Health Matters Spring 2021 - Page 12

Car seat safety
Choking prevention
Safe sleep
Water safety
Baby-proofing

Safe and sound

5 ways to reduce safety risks for young children

A s parents , one of your top priorities is the safety and wellbeing of your children . With all the potential pitfalls of day-to-day life , however , navigating the risks can be difficult .

These everyday safety tips can help you navigate everything from car seat safety to baby-proofing and safe sleep , keeping your child out of harm ' s way as much as possible from birth through his or her toddler years .

Car seat safety

* Always use a valid ( typically less than 6 years old ), federally approved car seat in motor vehicles .
* Ensure the seat is properly installed . Refer to the instruction manual with any questions .
* If you use an infant carrier , strap your child in on the floor , never a counter or tabletop .
* For at least the first two years of your child ' s life , the car seat should be rear-facing .
* The safest location for a car seat is in the middle of the back seat .

Choking prevention

* Avoid giving your child nuts , popcorn , hard candies , hot dogs and raw fruits and vegetables , such as grapes or carrots , that may present a choking
12 Health Matters hazard . * Never prop up a bottle and leave your baby unattended .
* Inspect toys often to ensure they ' re not broken and do not have small pieces that could easily become detached .
* Be cautious of strings and buttons on clothing .

Safe sleep

* The safest place for your baby to sleep is on his or her back , which reduces the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ( SIDS ).
* Avoid placing anything in the crib or bassinet that may suffocate your child , such as pillows , blankets or bumpers .
* Keep your child ' s room at a moderate temperature and dress him or her appropriately to avoid overheating .
* Never leave your baby alone on a bed , couch , changing table , swing or infant seat .

Water safety

* Set your hot water heater no higher than 120 F .
* Test the temperature of bath water before setting your baby in the tub .
* Never leave your baby unattended in the bathtub .
* Keep toilet lids down and consider installing toilet lid locks .

Baby-proofing

* Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home and in every sleeping area .
* Secure cords on blinds and drapes out of reach .
* Keep sharp objects , such as knives , scissors and tools , and other hazardous items , like coins , beads and pins , in a secure place out of baby ' s reach .
* Store cleaning products and medications in locked cabinets . Never store potentially toxic substances in containers that could be mistaken for food or drink . * Cover all electrical outlets . * Cushion hard edges and sharp corners of furniture and decor . * Secure cords to electrical items along baseboards using electrical tape .
* Attach heavy or tall furniture to the wall and avoid placing items that could fall , like electronics or lamps , on top of dressers or shelves .
* Install safety gates with straight , vertical slats securely in front of all stairwells .
Find more tips and ideas to keep your children safe at home and on the go at eLivingtoday . com .
— Source : eLivingtoday . com ( Family Features )