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Child Safety

As young children grow, they quickly become more curious and independent. It’s hard even for the most careful parents to keep up with where they are and what they’re doing at all times. To instill safe practices in your children from a young age, talk about basic home safety dangers and work together to fix any safety hazards you find in your own home. Follow the tips below to protect your children from injuries in and around the home.

Keep Your Child Safe from Falls

  • Have a grab bar by the bathtub and shower.
  • Have a bath mat with a non-skid bottom next to the tub and shower.
  • Wipe up spills when they happen.
  • Use nightlights in hallways and bathrooms.
  • Have window guards or window stops on upper windows. But make sure you can open the window fast in case of a fire.
  • Cover the ground under playground equipment with a thick layer (9-12 inches) of mulch, wood chips or other safety material.
  • Choose solid play equipment and keep it in good shape. Look for signs of rust, chipped paint, cracked or broken parts, etc. Fix them.

Keep Your Child Safe from Poisons

  • Know the things in your home that are poisons.
  • Look at the labels for the words “Caution,” “Warning,” “Danger,” “Poison” or “Keep Out of Reach of Children” on the box or bottle. Remove all medicines and medical supplies from purses, pockets and drawers. Keep them locked up.
  • Put cleaners, medicines, alcohol and other poisons in a cabinet with a child safety lock or latch. Have child safety caps on all chemicals, medications and cleaning products.
  • Know to call 1-800-222-1222 if someone takes poison. This number will connect you to emergency help in your area. Keep the number by every phone.
  • Put a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm near the bedrooms in your home. A CO alarm will tell you if the gas level is too high.
  • Have a service person check your heaters, stove and fireplaces every year to see that they work well. These are a source of carbon monoxide, a deadly gas you cannot see, smell or taste.

Keep Your Child Safe from Fire & Burns

  • Make sure a smoke alarm is inside or near every bedroom. Test each smoke alarm every month. Push the test button until you hear a loud noise. Put new batteries in your smoke alarms at least one time each year.
  • If your smoke alarms are more than 10 years old, replace them with new smoke alarms.
  • If possible, get “interconnected” smoke alarms. These alarms are linked together so if one alarm sounds, they all go off.
  • Make a fire escape plan for your family. Find two exits out of every room. Pick a meeting place outside. Practice makes perfect – hold a family fire drill at least twice each year.
  • In a fire, go to your meeting place outside. Call the fire department from there. Do not go back inside for any reason.
  • Lock up all matches and lighters where children cannot see or touch them.
  • Teach young children to stay away from the stove. Put tape on the floor so they can see where the “no-kid-zone” is.
  • It is not safe for children to use the stove or microwave alone. Teach older children who are learning to cook how to be safe from fire and burns.
  • Keep hot drinks away from the edge of tables and counters. Do not use tablecloths or placemats because young children can pull them down.
  • If your child burns their skin, cool it with running water. Do this right away.
  • Keep the burned area in cool water for 3 minutes or longer. Do not put ice, butter or lotion on the burn. This could make it worse.
  • Call your doctor or 9-1-1 if the burn looks bad.

Keep Your Child Safe from Choking and Suffocation

  • Read the labels of all toys before you let your child play with them. Make sure your child is old enough to use that toy. The label will tell you the safe age.
  • Always make sure children eat while sitting down. Do not let them have round food like peanuts or hard candy.
  • Window blind cords should not have a loop. Cut any loop in two pieces.
  • Place blind cords up high where children cannot get them.
  • The best option is to install new 'cordless' blinds to reduce the risk of strangulation even more.

Keep Your Child Safe around Water

  • Drowning can happen very fast. Most of the time you will not hear someone drowning. Stay within an arm's reach of young children when they are in or near water.
  • Store large buckets turned over, so water cannot collect inside them. Very young children can drown in 1-2 inches of water.
  • Put a high fence all the way around your pool or spa. Always keep the gate closed and locked.
  • Hot water burns like fire. Set your home water heater at 120 degrees F or just below the medium setting to prevent burns. Use a water thermometer to test bath water. The water temperature should be at 100 degrees F.
  • Babies and young children have thin skin. Install special tub spouts and shower heads that prevent hot water burns.
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