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Safety Tips for Children
We took a little bit of a break from child safety Friday during the holiday season, but we are back and hope that everyone had a very wonderful holiday and a happy New Year. For our first safety article after the new year, we want to focus on the Top 10 Home Safety Tips for Children that can help you make your home more child friendly.
Unintentional injuries can and do occur in the home – from burns, falls, lead and carbon monoxide poisoning from household cleaners, to animal bites or accidental choking.
According to statistics taken from The Children’s Safety Network home injuries account for at least one-third of all injury related emergency room visits. And according to the CDC, “374 children between the ages of 0-19 are treated in an emergency room and two children die as a result to being poisoned each day in the U.S.”
Taking preventative measures will help to reduce the risk of at-home injuries amongst parents and caregivers.
Child Safety Friday Tips to Home Safety
- The use of safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs – attached to the wall – will help prevent any unnecessary falls that could be disastrous.
- When children are around water – whether a bath, pool, pond, beach, lake, etc. – make sure that you are watching them at all times.
- Keep cribs clear of any objects that your child can choke on.
- Develop and practice a home escape plan with two ways out of the house in case of an emergency.
- Make sure all of the smoke detectors are working at every level of your home. Test the batteries every six months and install carbon monoxide alarms near sleeping areas.
- Keep any and ALL medicine up and out of the reach of children. Even the medicine you take on a daily basis. Be cautious of medicine stored in other locations such as pills in purses, vitamins on the counter, and medicine bottles on a nightstand.
- Keep all household cleaning supplies out of the reach of children. Make sure they are stored in a closet that is not easily accessible to the children or in the garage. If you put cleaner underneath the sink, child proofing your cabinets will be a wonderful way to make sure that children are not able to reach in and grab.
- Program the Poison Help Hotline into your phone where you and any caregivers may easily access it: 1-800-222-1222
- Make sure that TV’s, bookshelves, dressers, anything that may fall over on top of the child, are mounted or placed on stable furniture. You may be able to nail them into the wall to keep them from falling over. This will especially help those of us living in Orange County and all over California, as we are the leading state for earthquakes.
- Install window guards or window stops to keep children from falling out of windows.
These are just some tips that we have come up with to help ease your mind when it comes to home care. These tips will be helpful for the new parent, any caregiver, and grandparent alike.
Have a safe and happy weekend. We will see you again next Friday for the continuation of Child Safety Friday!
Keeping Kids Safe This Holiday Season
With Christmas and other holidays fast approaching, family gatherings are going to be more common as the month progresses. The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, especially for the littlest ones in our lives – unfortunately emergency rooms are also the busiest during the holiday season.
Learn how to protect the little ones in your life from some common holiday dangers, so everyone can enjoy the season happy and healthy!
Child Safety Friday | Choking and Swallowing:
- Be careful of tree ornaments, light bulbs, tinsel, etc. that can be potential choking hazards for smaller children. The rule of thumb is that if anything is too small to fit into the mouths of a toddler, it is too small for a toddler to play with.
- Be aware of food allergies. Common holiday foods, such as peanuts, popcorn, etc. can prove to be hazardous.
- Ornament hangers and/or needles from Christmas trees can cause cuts and can be painful or get stuck if a child swallows them.
Child Safety Friday | Fire:
- Make sure that your tree is secure and on a sturdy stand so that it does not tip over – or has the potential of being knocked over by children or pets. Keeping the tree away from heat sources such as radiators, electrical sockets, and portable space heaters may help in preventing a fire.
- Avoid using real candles on a tree. Though it make look lovely, if you forget to blow the candles out or if the tree gets too dry – it could potentially cause an unnecessary fire.
- Don’t overload indoor and/or outdoor electrical outlets.
- Practice fire safety – especially if you have a fireplace. This will ensure that everyone knows what to do just in case a fire starts.
Child Safety Friday | Poisoning:
Though this is not necessarily a topic that any parent wants to discuss, it is always wise to be prepared!
- Mistletoe, holly, poinsettias, etc. are usually common decorations during the holidays. Like many plants, if ingested, they could be potentially poisonous and should be kept out of reach of children. Common symptoms of plant poisoning are: rashes, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, to name a few.
- Bubble lights that contain methylene chloride can be very poisonous, if a child drinks the fluid. Snow sprays may potentially be harmful if the aerosol propellants are used improperly.
- Food poisoning is another potential hazard. Practicing food safety by washing hands, utensils, dishes, and anything else that may come into contact with raw meat, poultry, fish, raw eggs before and after use. Don’t contaminate a serving dish with raw foods. Store leftovers properly and heat them thoroughly before serving.
Child Safety Friday | Accidents:
- Keep breakable ornaments out of the reach of young children.
- Car accidents and injuries to children actually increase during the holiday season. In order to prevent a holiday ER visit, make sure that children are buckled up securely during car rides. Don’t drive if you have consumed alcohol.
- Make sure to be extra cautious while driving at nighttime on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. As there is a higher incidence of impaired driving on these days.
- If you happen to go to the snow this holiday season, make sure that you are being careful when out sledding with the kids. Sledding accidents can be very serious. Young children should be supervised and should be sledding in an area that is safe. A place that is free of rocky areas, steep hills, and crowded sledding areas.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t have a wonderful time with your children this holiday season. It is just about being safe and making sure that your loved ones, especially the littlest of loves, are taken care of and having fun in safe environments.
Playing it Safe: Playground Safety
It is always a nice breath of fresh air when our kids want to go to the playground. They get outdoors, develop learning skills (sharing, patience, etc.), they get exercise, and it allows them to be social with other children. This week, we are going to focus on the importance of playground safety – how to let our kids be the free spirits they are, but also keeping them safe.
According to KidsHealth, “Each year, more than 200,000 kids are treated in Hospital ER’s for playground-related injuries.” With that being said, we believe that it is important to not only teach children about safety on the playground, but also educate parents on what to look for when taking your children to the playground.
Adult Supervision is the most important issue to discuss when it comes to playground safety! Making sure that we, as parents, are actively supervising our children when they are on the playground. This helps to avoid injuries by making sure that our children are using the playground equipment properly. And should a fall occur, having an adult present can help ease a child’s nerves, but can also administer any necessary first aid. Older kids like to test their limits and be little dare devils when they are on the playground, so having an adult they are familiar with supervising them will hopefully prevent any unnecessary accidents.
Is the Park/Playground Safe?
When taking your kids to the playground it is always a wise idea to take a look around – just to make sure that it is a safe area to be in. Here are a few tips on what to look out for:
- Make sure there is no broken equipment
- If there is wood equipment, make sure that the wood is not chipped or splintering
- Make sure that the hardware on the equipment is secure, with no loose or broken parts; that plastic and wood show no signs of weakening or rust.
- Swing Safety – swings are usually the most frequented spots on the playground, here are some tips on how to keep kids safe on the swings:
- Be cautious of swings made with wood or metal, swings should be made with soft materials like rubber or plastic. This is so there won’t be aby instances of splintering or cuts.
- Make sure that your child is sitting on the swing and not standing or kneeling – this will help prevent any unnecessary accidents.
- Children should be tightly holding onto the chains of the swing with both hands while they are swinging and wait until they are finished swinging to get off of the swing.
- Children who are not on the swings should stay a safe distance away from those who are swinging.
- Slide Safety – slides are the second most popular attraction at the playground so it is wise to:
- Make sure children are going down the slide and not walking up the slide.
- Make sure kids are going down the slide feet first.
- Check the bottom of the slide to make sure there is a clear landing – nothing stuck at the bottom of the slide, if it is a tube slide.
Teaching Children Playground Safety
- No pushing or roughhousing while on jungle gyms, swings, slides, or any other equipment.
- Leave bikes, backpacks, and any bags in an area that will not cause trips and falls.
- Make sure children are not wearing helmets on the playground – unless it is needed
- Check playground equipment in the summertime – as some equipment can become dangerously hot from the heat.
- Make sure the children are not wearing clothes that have drawstrings or chords. Drawstrings, purses, and necklaces can get caught on the playground and accidentally strangle the child.
- Wear sunscreen when playing outside even on cloudy days – protects against sunburns
- Make sure that the park and/or playground you are going to has rubber playground flooring. Most parks and playgrounds have installed this special kind of flooring – as it makes falls less traumatic.
Summer has come and gone, but the weather here in Southern California still remains warm. And kids will continue to be playing outside and roaming free in the sunshine. It’s always good to know what to pay attention to when our kids are out playing in the park.