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Frequently Asked Questions About Safety
 
Frequently Asked Questions About Safety How do I eliminate safety hazards in my own home?
 

Accidental deaths of children follow a tragic but consistent pattern every year. The most common causes of accidental death in children in the home are fires, drowning, choking, falls, poisoning and firearms. Below are ways you can protect your children from these hazards:

  • Store matches and lighters in a secure place out of reach of children.
  • Never smoke or drink hot beverages while holding small children or infants.
  • Keep hot items away from the edge of tables and counters. Use rear burners as much as possible and turn handles toward the back of the stove.
  • Always check the water temperature in a tub with your forearm before putting a child in it. To be sure, use a thermometer to test the water’s temperature.
  • Unplug appliances and power tools when not in use.
  • Put safety plugs on all unused electrical outlets.
  • Always stay with children who are in the tub.
  • If you are using a large bucket to hold cleaning water, don’t leave a child unattended near it even to answer the phone. Children can drown in one inch of water.
  • Keep small objects such as crayons, jewelry and deflated balloons out of the reach of children. 
  • Check with your doctor before giving a young child a possibly dangerous food.
  • Learn the Heimlich maneuver for infants and children.
  • Install safety gates at the top and bottom of stairways, but avoid the type with wide openings that could trap a child’s neck. If you can push a 6-inch ball through it, it’s dangerous for kids.
  • Keep floors and stairways well-lit and clear of clutter.
  • Remove sharp edged furniture or use stick-on edge guards.
  • Clean up spills immediately and put non-slip rugs in the bathroom.
  • Strap infants into highchairs and strollers.
  • Don’t let children play on a fire escape or balcony.
  • Never rely on a window screen to prevent falls, and keep anything a child could climb on such as a desk or chair away from a window.
  • Install window safety guards.
  • Never leave babies alone on beds, changing tables or sofas.
  • Keep anything poisonous to children out of reach and locked away.
  • Install safety latches on all cupboards, drawers and closet doors.
  • Don’t take medication in front of a child or call pills candy.
  • Have all emergency phone numbers including the phone number of your local poison control center clearly posted near all phones.
  • Keep any guns out of sight and securely locked up with ammunition in a separate place. Guns should remain unloaded with their safety locks on until you use them.
  • Explain to children how dangerous guns are, despite what they may see on TV, and that they should tell you as soon as they find one, even if they’re at a friend’s house.

How do I ensure my child’s safety when he is not in his own home?

While you probably can’t be with your child all the time, you can help him by teaching them the basics of personal safety:

  • He should never play with or even touch a gun without adult supervision.
  • He should always walk with a friend or relative when walking on the street or in a parking lot. He should stick to well-lit, well-traveled places even if it means a longer walk. He should be aware of possible dangers all the time.
  • He should never get close enough to a car that someone could jump out of one or grab him. 
  • He should never hitchhike or accept a ride from a stranger, even one who says, “Your mother sent me to bring you home.”
  • He should make a scene the moment he feels physically threatened by anyone. 

Your attitude toward teaching safe practices to your child is important in helping her to be appropriately vigilant when she is not with you. 

Source: ValueOptions® Making Your Life Eaiser Program