Kids And Safety

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How can I teach my child what to do in case of fire? Fire safety is one of the most important things that a child should learn from a young age.  The first thing to tell your child is “stop, drop and roll”. This mantra will stick with them throughout their lifetime.  Second, you should teach your child that if there is a fire they need to get the attention of ANY adult by yelling “Fire” and not “Help”.  Finally, teach them to get outside and to run to a neighbor’s home to call 911. Arranging a meeting place where you can check to see that all family members got to safety.
How can I teach my child what to do in an emergency? Teaching your young child to dial 911, and explaining repeatedly that the number is only for use in a serious emergency is a good start.  Older children will understand that they should only call 911 if their parent is unconscious or they are alone in the home.  In addition to knowing how to call 911, even young children should learn their home address and phone number along with the full names of their parents.  Remind your child that staying calm in an emergency is the most effective way to make clear judgments, but keep your own expectations realistic and know that children will panic.  If you are leaving your child alone for an extended period of time, ask a trusted adult to check in on them occasionally.
What should I do to keep my child safe around water? All children need to know about the dangers of water and drowning.  If you have a backyard swimming pool, put up a fence and raise the ladder if possible.  A pool alarm is inexpensive and takes only a few minutes to install. Never allow your child to swim, or be near water, alone and be sure to teach them about the buddy system.  These are lessons that will stick with them through their life and allow them to always be safe around water. Finally, enroll your child in swimming lessons.  Neighborhood pools and schools often provide these.  Knowing how to swim is the best defense against drowning or being injured in the water.
How can I keep my child safe around a hot tub? More and more families are installing hot tubs in and around their homes.  Because of the shallow depth, many people overlook the importance of covers.  Don’t make this mistake.  Use a cover with a lock every time you get out of the hot tub.  When children use the hot tub, it is important to let them in the water for only a few moments at a time, because the elevated water temperature can be dangerous for young bodies and lead to burns or dehydration. As with all dangerous household items, keep your hot tub chemicals under lock and key, because they can be very harmful if ingested or spilled.
How can I keep my child safe on the playground? Never allow your child to use playground equipment that is in need of repair.  And, unless the equipment is placed on a base of mulch or rubber padding of at least 12 inches there is a significant risk of injury resulting from falls.  Never leave your child alone at the playground, because if they should become injured you need to be there to assist them.  Teach your child that pushing other children on the equipment is absolutely unacceptable, and do not allow other children to push your child either.
How can I keep my child safe when playing inside?  You should never allow your child to run in the house because injuries can occur due to stairs and falls. And many parents have made a clear distinction between indoor and outdoor toys in order to avoid children throwing balls and other objects in the house.  If you allow your child to play hide and seek inside of the house, make sure that they understand that freezers and refrigerators are off limits, along with other potentially hazardous locations such as storage closets that are used for chemicals or cleaning products.  Have plenty of indoor friendly toys, games and activities available for young children in order to keep them safe inside your home.
What should I do to keep my child safe from poisons? The first rule of thumb for parents is to keep cleaning products and other chemicals out of the reach of children. This may be on a high shelf or in a locked cupboard. It also means not using your medicine cabinet for medication storage.  Keep medications out of the view and reach of children at all times.  Have the poison control number handy by every phone in the house in case of accidental ingestion, and never induce vomiting until you have spoken with a professional.
How can I keep my child safe when there are firearms in the home? The best option is simply to not have firearms in the home. But, if you must have them you should always keep them in a locked cabinet. Keep ammunition locked in a different location and NEVER tell your child where it is kept.  Teach your children about firearms, and the dangers that they pose.  Be honest with your child, because curiosity results in more firearms injuries than anything else.  Toy guns are a bad idea, and if your child asks for a BB gun, dart gun or other firearm toy – tell them no.
What can I do to teach my child to leave houseplants alone? There are many varieties of houseplants that are poisonous to children and animals, so be aware of what types of plants you are growing in your home. If you know that a specific plant is dangerous, keep it well out of the reach of your child.  Knowing what is growing in your home is important, because if your child should eat a piece of your plant and become ill – you will need to tell the poison control center or pediatrician exactly what the child ate that made them ill.

How will I know when it’s time to move my toddler out of his crib? Once they reach 30 inches tall, children should be moved out of their crib and into a bed.  This is a safety concern, because taller children are prone to falling over the edge of crib rails.  If you are worried that your child will fall out of a bed, use a guardrail.  There are many options available, and the best is a rail that slides between the mattress and box spring for stabilization. Another option is a toddler bed, which places your child just a few inches off of the floor.

How would I know if my home contained lead paint? Any home that was built before 1978 could potentially contain lead based paint.  Intact paint that is not peeling in any location is most likely not a hazard, however if your home is older and has peeling walls you will need to be aware of the dangers of lead poisoning.  If you suspect that your home contains lead-based paint, you can request that a certified lead inspector perform tests to determine whether there is lead present and give you advice on what you need to do in order to keep your child safe.

How can I prevent staircase injuries? The best way to prevent your child from falling down stairs is to keep them away from the top.  You should have a door, or locking gate in place on all staircases when your child is young.  Teach your child to navigate stairs correctly as soon as he or she is crawling in order to make sure that they know how to go up and down should they find themselves on the stairs.  Don’t allow your children of any age to run in the house, otherwise an accidental stair fall could result.

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