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According to the U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission, each year
more children die in home accidents than from all childhood diseases combined!
We as adults, must watch and monitor our children as they play. There is
no substitue for careful supervision if we want our children to grow up
safe and sound.
Believe it or not, many injuries and deaths could be avoided with a
little common sense. The U.S. Consumer Protection Commission offers the
following advice for protecting your child.
SAFETY DANGERS IN THE HOME
Know where the "danger" items are- medicines, toxic bleaches, oven and
drain cleaners, paint solvents, polishes, and waxes. Look for items packaged
in CHILD-RESISTANT containers. Don't leave them under a sink or in plain
view in a garage - lock them away in a secure place, out of your child's
sight and reach.
Keep all thin plastic wrapping materials, such as dry cleaning, produce,
or trash bags away from children. NEVER USE THIN PLASTIC MATERIAL TO COVER
MATTRESSES OR PILLOWS - the plastic film can cling to a child's face causing
Guard against electrical shocks. Cover unused outlets with safety caps.
DISCONNECT electric rollers or hairdryers when not in use; some children
have been electrocuted when hairdryers that were left plugged-in fell into
bathroom sinks or tubs.
Keep children away from open windows to prevent falls. Don't depend on
screens to keep the child from falling out of the window. They are designed
to keep insects out, not children in. Avoid placing furniture near windows
to keep children from climbing to a window seat or sill.
TOYS, TOY CHESTS AND LABELING
Many nursery products have a long life and may be stored in anticipation
of future use. When choosing USED or NEW nursery equipment, check for sturdy
construction and stability. Avoid exposed screws, bolts, or fasteners with
sharp edges or points; avoid scissor-like mechanisms which could crush
fingers; and avoid cutout designs that could entrap a child's head.
Safety straps on high chairs and strollers are a must. Look for straps
that are easy to fasten and unfasten so that you will be sure to use them
properly each time.
Mesh playpens and portable cribs SHOULD NEVER BE USED WITH A SIDE LEFT
DOWN. They can pose a serious hazard to newborns and infants because the
mesh forms a loose pocket into which an infant can roll and suffocate.
Use baby walkers only on smooth surfaces. Edges of carpets, throw rugs,
or raised thresholds can cause a walker to tip over. Remove throw rugs
when a walker is in use, and block the tops of stairways. Children have
fallen down stairs in walkers.
If cribs or playpens are placed near a window, make sure there are no drapery
or venetian blind cords hanging within your baby's reach. Don't hang objects
with strings or elastics (toys or laundry bags, for example) around cribs
or playpens where your child might become entangled and choke to death.
When children begin to climb and explore, they can become caught in small
or narrow openings. Some have been strangled when they caught their heads
or necks in the open "V" shapes atop expandable wooden gates or enclosures,
or in decorative cutouts in cribs.
NEVER TIE PACIFIERS OR OTHER ITEMS AROUND YOUR BABY'S NECK. Cords and ribbons
can become tightly twisted, or can catch on crib cornerposts or other protrusions,
So, as you can see, many of the guidlines to children's safety are common
sense items. Other items to consider are, although you may take precautions
in your home, others may not take the same precautions. When you are visiting
friends or relatives who do not have small children you must be extra cautious.
How many grandparents actually have electrical outlet plugs in in their
unused outlets? At Aunt Susan's house will there be safety latches on the
cabinet doors under the sink where she stores bleach?
Keep small objects out of your child's reach. Tiny toys, and toys with
small, removable parts can be swallowed or become lodged in a child's windpipe,
ears, or nose. Check to see that toys have not broken or come apart at
the seams, exposing small pellets that might be swallowed or inhaled. Even
such common items as coins, pins, buttons, or small batteries can choke
When choosing toys, look for labels that give age recommendations such
as "Recommended for Children Tree to Five Years Old." Some toys or games
which are safe for older children may contain small parts which are hazardous
in a younger child's hands.
If a toy chest, trunk or other container for storing toys has a freefalling
lid, REMOVE THE LID. A lid can drop on a child's head or neck, and some
children have been killed or seriously injured. Look for a chest which
has supports to hold the lid open an any position, or choose one with sliding
panels or a lightweight, removable lid.
When visiting others you must supervise with a more watchful eye. People
may tell you that you're being over-protective, or not to worry so much,
but remember the risks! It only takes a toddler one second to get into
We leave you with one last bit of advice. When we prepared our home
for our new baby we did one other thing. We got down on the floor and crawled
around the house. We looked at the house through the "eyes" of our new
baby. And by doing this, we became aware of danger spots that we overlooked
when we baby-proofed our home. Sure, we felt silly crawling around, but
we didn't mind being silly if it meant better protection for our child.