Young children love to climb. So the first thing to check is to make sure she cannot stack things in her crib and try to climb out. If she is trying this, it is time to move her from a crib to a low bed. This could be as simple as a mattress on the floor. Also make sure she cannot get tangled in cords hanging from draperies or mini-blinds.
Once she is no longer using a crib, other dangers need to be considered. Do not put chairs or couches next to windows. If you live on an upstairs floor, window guards are a great idea. This makes opening the window virtually impossible for young children. Some cities even require them by law.
Window sills and toys
Paint on window sills is one of the main sources of lead poisoning for children. Make sure your house or apartment has been tested and any lead paint removed.
Don’t give her toys that have to be plugged into an electrical outlet. Avoid toys with small pieces. When she is a toddler, anything that can fit in her mouth usually goes into her mouth. Be sure to use toys that are right for your child’s age. Throw away all toy packing materials right away.
Children are fascinated by bathrooms. Think about it. Faucets turn on and off and water pours from them. The toilet flushes and things disappear. Then there is that mirror with a baby in it!
Toilet are very dangerous because young children can drown in them. Remember that baby’s head is very large compared to her body. This makes her top heavy. If she falls in head first, it is unlikely she is strong enough to pull herself out. Keep the lid down. Toilet lid locks are also available.
Install a soft spout if you can. This will help to prevent bumps, bruises and burns. Keep all electrical appliances like your hair dryer unplugged and put away.
Use slip proof mats in and out of the tub. Never leave small children alone in the bathtub… not even for a minute.
Your medicine cabinet is also full of tempting dangers. Your baby can climb on the toilet or counter and find all kinds of things.
- Fingernail polish remover
Keep cabinet doors locked with childproof cabinet locks. These locks are available at most hardware stores. Move everything dangerous to a high shelf somewhere else in the house so that your child cannot reach.
Do not take medicines in front of your children. They might try to copy you. Never tell your children that medicine is candy.
Make sure the lights are on when you give your child medicine. You need to be able to read the label. Make sure the medicine is the right one for your child.
People used to be told to flush all old medicines down the toilet. But it is better to throw medicines in the trash in order to keep the water supply clean. You can also call your local pharmacy to see if they have a disposal system. Remember that children love to dig in wastebaskets. Some pills looks like candy to them. So, take the pills directly to the garbage can and make sure they are not a danger to your child.
Make sure all pill bottles have a child proof cap. But remember, just because something has a childproof cap doesn’t mean that children can’t open it. If children find medicines, they can really get hurt.
Keep the bathroom door shut. And keep what’s dangerous really out of reach – and out of sight on a high shelf in the closet.
In Case of Poisoning
Even the most careful parent can still face an emergency. It is always best to be prepared in advance. Think it out. Plan out how you would respond if your child got into a bottle of pills or a cleaning solution in the kitchen. What would you do?
Always have the phone number for the poison control hot line where you can find it.
If you think your child has swallowed poison:
- Look into your child’s mouth and remove anything you see.
- Save the container.
- Call 911 or the Poison Control Hot line at 1-800-222-1222.
- Tell them what your child swallowed and how long ago. Have the container right there. It will be helpful if it has an ingredient or chemical list.
- Tell them your child’s height and weight.
Many families’ lives are centered around the kitchen. Family parties happen there. It is a place where people gather to cook meals together. Families share the day’s stories. But kitchens can be very dangerous places to curious toddlers.
Dangers are everywhere.
- Toddlers can cut themselves on knives so don’t leave knives or sharp objects at counter’s edge.
- Don’t let children near pots of boiling liquid and frying pans.
- Turn pot handles to the back of the stove.
- Electric appliances should be unplugged or stored.
- Cleaning supplies should be stored in cabinets with childproof latches.
- All kitchen and other cabinets should have latches.
- Get a latch for your refrigerator.
- Don’t let little ones play on the floor when you’re cooking. You could spill something hot on them.
- Don’t hold your baby while you eat or drink hot food.
Dangerous Things Your Child Might Get Into
Additional dangers to children include:
- Vitamin and mineral pills. Iron pills are the most common cause of poisoning of children under the age of five.
- Paints and solvents.
- Beauty supplies and makeup.
- Yard and garden supplies.
Be prepared if something does happen. Know what you can do yourself.
- For a minor burn, apply a wet washcloth or run cold water on it. Don’t ever use butter or ice on a burn – cool water is best.
- For small cuts, wash with soap and water, apply an antiseptic cream, and put on a band-aid. And add a kiss.
- Keep your first aid supplies in one place in the house.
- To prevent scalding, be sure your water heater is turned down so it is no more than 120º F (48ºC).
You’ll probably know when an injury is serious and when it’s not. Just trust your common sense. If you have any questions, call your doctor.
Everyone has an opinion on guns. If you own a gun, your biggest responsibility is keeping your child safe. If you have a gun in the house, it must be locked away. The most responsible way to own and keep a gun is to use a trigger lock, and then to store the ammunition and gun separately. Both the ammunition and gun must be locked up. There is no other way to know for certain that children in your house cannot get to the gun.
—- from First5 Advice for New Parents