Safety Guide for kids at home

Safety Guide for kids at home

Children often do not understand the dangers around them. Supervision is the best way to prevent injuries. Many injuries can be prevented at home by following safety guidelines. Make sure safety guidelines are followed by all people, including relatives, who care for your child.

Medicines

  • Read all medicine labels closely before giving medicine to a child. Doing this ensures that you are giving your child the correct medicine and dosage.
  • Avoid letting your child watch you take your medicine. He or she may copy your behavior.
  • Keep all medicines in a locked cabinet that is out of children’s sight and reach. This includes vitamins, which can be toxic in high doses. Do not keep medicine in your purse or nightstand.
  • Make sure the caps on all medicines are closed tightly. Remember that child-resistant containers are not completely childproof.
  • Dispose of all extra medicines properly. Check the product information to see if it is safe to flush it down the toilet. Consult your pharmacist if you are unsure of how to dispose of the medicine.
  • Have the number for your local poison control center available (1-800-222-1222 in the U.S.).

Dangerous substances (poison)

  • Check all areas of your home for dangerous substances. These include your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, garage, and other storage rooms. Keep doors to unsafe locations locked.
  • All substances that could be a danger to children should be locked in a safe place. These include soaps, bleach, detergent, and dishwasher liquid.
  • Store products in their original packages. Avoid using empty household food containers, bottles, cans, or cups for storage of dangerous substances. Children can easily mistake substances in these containers for the original product.
  • If items must be stored under a sink or in a cabinet within reach of children, use a lock or childproof safety latch that locks every time the cabinet is closed.
  • Have the number for your local poison control center available (1-800-222-1222 in the U.S.).

Electrical hazards

  • Use socket protectors in electrical outlets to guard against electrical injuries.
  • Do not leave electrical appliances in bathrooms or near water, such as near a bathtub, sink, or toilet.
  • Keep electrical cords out of children’s reach.

Burns

  • To prevent burn injuries, always check bath water temperature with your hand or elbow before bathing your child. Maintain water heater thermostats at 120°F (48.9°C) or below.
  • When cooking with a stove or grill:
    • Find something for your child to do in order to keep him or her away from the stove or grill.
    • Do not carry or hold your child.
    • Use the back burners.
    • Keep all pot and pan handles pointed toward the back of the stove.
  • Do not leave climbing aids for children near a stove or grill.
  • Store matches, lighters, and gasoline in a locked place away from children.

Choking, strangulation, and suffocation

  • Store household items (including small magnets) and toys with small parts out of children’s reach.
  • Provide toys that are safe and age appropriate for children. Read the manufacturer’s age recommendations.
  • Do not let a child play with a plastic bag or packaging. Keep these materials away from children.
  • Keep cords and strings out of children’s reach. These include cords and strings that are attached to blinds.
  • Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Heimlich maneuvers that are appropriate for use on children. Knowing how to do these procedures can help you save your child’s life if an accident occurs.

Drowning

  • Never leave children unattended around water. Infants can drown in as little as one inch of water.
  • Always empty bathtubs, sinks, buckets, and other containers with water immediately after use. Do this for all containers inside and outside of your home.
  • Keep toilet lids closed and use seat locks.

Falls

  • Use window guards to prevent children from falling through screens or windows.
  • Keep furniture that children can climb away from windows.
  • Make sure that large furniture and appliances are secured to the wall or floor to prevent tipping.
  • Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairways.
  • Remove furniture with sharp edges or add protective padding to them.
  • Never leave a child alone on a high surface, such as a counter, couch, or bed.

Smoking and other hazards

  • Keep cigarettes locked away, preferably out of the house. Eating nicotine can be deadly to a toddler or baby. One cigarette butt can kill a baby.
  • Do not smoke in a home with children. Secondhand smoke is a common cause of repeat upper respiratory and ear infections in children.
  • Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check them regularly.
  • Have your house checked for lead paint, especially if you live in a house or apartment that was built before 1978.
  • Keep walls that have been painted in lead paint in a non-peeling condition, or refinish the walls with non-lead paint.

Other precautions

  • Post a list of important telephone numbers on your wall. This should include the numbers for the following:
    • Your health care provider.
    • Your local emergency services (911 in the U.S.).
    • The hospital emergency room.
    • Poison control (1-800-222-1222 in the U.S.).
  • Keep important health information available, such as:
    • Immunization records.
    • Lists of allergies, current medicines, and significant health problems.
  • Always leave written permission with your child’s health care provider, babysitter, or clinic to provide your child with medical care in your absence. This prevents needless delays in an emergency.

Summary

  • Keep all medicines in a locked cabinet that is out of children’s sight and reach. This includes vitamins, which can be toxic in high doses.
  • All substances that could be a danger to children should be locked in a safe place. These include soaps, bleach, detergent, and dishwasher liquid.
  • Use socket protectors in electrical outlets to guard against electrical injuries.
  • Provide toys that are safe and age appropriate for children.
  • Post a list of important telephone numbers on your wall.