Children can choke on small things. If something is small enough to fit in a toilet paper tube, it is not safe for little children.
As young children get older, they start to crawl and walk around the home. This is how they learn and grow, but it also can put them in danger.
To keep your child safe, parents need to find and fix the dangerous places. The Home Safety Council recommends that parents look at each room from their child’s eye level and use the following tips to make homes safer for young children.
Keeping toddlers safe in the car means always placing them in a properly installed child car seat.
Use a five-point harness as long as possible. Moving a toddler to a booster seat that only utilizes the car’s seat belts greatly reduces his safety. Many full-sized booster seats include a five-point harness that goes up to 65 lbs. or more.
Toddlers are extremely able to manipulate things around the home like electrical sockets and appliances.
Since they mimic our behavior, they will no doubt try to stick things in every hole they can find. Start by covering electrical outlets and vents throughout the house and make sure that no appliances are left plugged in.
As the weather turns cold, we tend to seal our homes up tightly and turn heating sources up. This creates an increased risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be placed outside of the bedrooms and on each floor of the home.
Check monthly for proper functioning and change the batteries regularly.
Winter driving can be especially hazardous.
It is best to be prepared for any emergency. Keep a winter safety kit in the trunk of your car. In addition to jumper cables, an ice scraper, sand and a shovel consider packing blankets, snacks, formula, diapers and several changes of clothing.
With each trip be sure to take plenty of water for each passenger in the car. Remember; do not leave your toddler alone in the car for any length of time.
Children aren’t as efficient at regulating their body temperature as adults. They tend to lose body heat more quickly and don’t recognize when they are in danger.
To protect your toddler from the effects of the winter weather dress your child in layers. Hats, coats, scarves, mittens and waterproof boots will help keep your child’s body, head, little fingers and toes warm. Make sure that wet clothes and mittens are quickly exchanged for dry ones.
Put a time limit on the amount of time your toddlers spends outdoors, and bring them in frequently to warm up
Childhood poisonings are a frequent source of illness and death during the toddler years. Keep all medications in a locked cabinet.
Keep all toxic household products (polishes, acids, cleaning solutions, chlorine bleach, lighter fluid, insecticides, or poisons) in a locked cabinet or closet. Many household plants may cause illness if ingested, and toad stools and other garden plants may cause serious illness or death.
Obtain a list of these common plants from your pediatrician.
Decorate your Christmas tree appropriately for your child’s age. Children who are still "mouthing" items may put ornaments in their mouths.
Put glass bulbs, lights, tinsel and ornaments that are delicate or have removable parts out of reach. Remember that popcorn is a choking hazard for children under age 5. You could place the tree on top of a table (no table cloth) or put a safety fence around it.
It is important for parents to recognize that the child can now walk, run, climb, jump, and explore wherever the environment is unrestricted. This new stage of movement makes child-proofing the home essential.
Window guards, gates on stairways, cabinet locks, toilet seat locks, electric outlet covers and other safety features are absolutely essential.
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