Safety around BBQs

Children are naturally curious about barbecues.

They want to see what’s going on, how well lit it is, what’s cooking and are always keen to know when it’s going to be ready to eat. They’re drawn to where the cooking is going on, yet that’s the most dangerous place to be.

In fact, each year about 1,000 people suffer injuries, such as burns, caused by barbecues.

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Poison control

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.

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Preparing for playdates

Having a clean and child proofed home is important, especially when hosting a first ever play date. For first play dates, parents often want to attend or at least view your home. You want them to get a good impression and know that their child will be safe in your care.

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Choking safety tip

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.

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Fixing dangers around the house

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.

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Toddler safe car seats

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.

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Child gate safety tip

When safety proofing your house for toddlers, use a straight-slatted, screw-mounted gate at the top and the bottom of a stairway. Never use pressure gates at the top of the stairs.

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Tots and stairways

Keep your wobbly walking tot from stairways by installing sturdy safety gates at the top of the stairs and at the bottom. (Consider putting the lower gate three steps from the bottom, so your child has a small area to practice stair-climbing skills.)

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Covering electrical outlets and vents

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.

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Toddlerproofing

Imagine that everything your toddler touches goes into his mouth. Now imagine everything in your home that is small enough to fit in his tiny hand going into his mouth.

That is the way you need to look at your surroundings when toddlerproofing.

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Fire risk during the winter

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.

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Winter driving safety

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. 

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Cold weather safety tip

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

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Poison hazzards in the house

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.

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Save decorations for when they are older

Resolve that some decorations may have to wait until next year. Depending on your child’s age you may have to keep your favorite decorations boxed this year or up high where they can’t reach them

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Tree safety tip

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.

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Planning for safety when toddlers go mobile

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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Keep kids out of the kitchen

Lock the kitchen door, or use a safety gate to prevent children going into the kitchen especially when no one is around.

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Watch toddler tripping on Halloween night

Tots tend to trip and fall under the best of conditions, so you’ll have to take extra precautions on Halloween night.

When choosing or creating a costume, make sure it’s short enough to let her navigate easily.

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Costume safety

Look for flame-resistant labels when buying costumes, masks, beards, and wigs.

According to Yolanda Fultz-Morris of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, such products not only resist burning but also burn out quickly if they do catch on fire.

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