Dr. Kern shares some of her safety tips to keep your children safe.
October is National Children’s Health Month! Below are several safety tips to help keep your child safe.
Every October when you change your clocks back an hour, get in the habit of changing the batteries in your house smoke detectors. Also have carbon monoxide detectors installed in the house if they are not already installed. Carbon monoxide is a odorless, colorless gas that can kill a family before they are aware of it in their house.
The other major point in regard to fire safety, I like to discuss with parents is an escape route and a “family meeting place” in case of a fire. If a fire occurs in the house, family members can become separated by smoke and flames. It is important to have a meeting place (for example: the neighbor’s mail box across the street) so that way the family knows if everyone is out of the house safely.
Young children are very curious and love to put things in their mouth. As a result, parents need to lock up hazardous household chemicals (such as cleaning supplies, pesticides, and antifreeze) and keep them out of reach from children. If items must be stored under the sink then parents should use a safety latch that locks every time the cabinet is closed.
Remember safety caps on medicine are child-resistant not child-proof! Medications should also be stored out of reach from children and locked. Check the label every time you give medicine to a child to make sure you are giving the correct medication and dose. If a poisoning occurs 1-800-222-1222 is the number for poison control. Call this number right away.
Bath Time Safety:
Baby’s skin is thinner and more sensitive than adults and therefore can burn faster. Make sure the water heater in the house is set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Test the bathwater with your wrist before bathing your baby. The water should be luke warm. Have the child sit facing away from the faucet so they are not tempted to turn it on and off.
NEVER leave your baby alone in the tub to go answer the phone or grab a towel, etc. Babies can slip out of bath seats very easily and drown in a matter of seconds! Babies can drown in as little as one inch of liquid! Have everything you need in the bathroom before you put your baby in the tub and if the phone rings, let it ring. You can return the phone call after your baby’s bath is done and both you and baby are out of the bathroom.
Car Seat Safety:
Car seats are made for travel. Do not leave your baby in the car seat outside of the car for long periods of time. Place the car seat on the floor and not on top of a table or other piece of furniture when placing your child in car seat to prevent a fall.
Have your car seat checked by a currently certified technician to make sure it’s installed properly (either at the hospital prior to discharge from the nursery or at your local fire station.)
NEVER leave your baby in the car alone.
To check and see if your car seat has been recalled go to www.recalls.gov.
In April 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics revised the car seat guidelines. The biggest change was to keep toddlers in rear-facing care seats until age 2 or until they reach maximum height and weight for their car seat to provide the most safety for your child.
When transitioning to a booster seat, make sure the vehicle’s lap-and-shoulder belt fit properly. The shoulder belt should lie across the middle of the chest and shoulder, not near the neck or face. The lap belt should fit low and snug on the hips and upper thighs, not across the belly. Most children will need a booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years old.
Children should ride in the rear of a vehicle until they are 13 years old.
You can review more child safety practices at the American Academy of Pediatrics website: aap.org.
Thank you for letting us assist you in the development and health of your children.