Kids Korner

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Tips for Keeping Your Child Safe

Accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in children up to 5 years of age. Most of these accidents occur in and around the home, and many are preventable. Here are details.

Store all poisonous materials on high shelves, out of the reach of children. Never keep poisonous products in containers or bottles used for beverages or food. Toxic products should have safety caps and should be properly closed.

The following houseplants are poisonous if swallowed or chewed and should be kept out of the reach of children: poinsettia, mistletoe, dieffenbachia, philodendron, rhubarb, laurel, rhododendron, azalea, and cherry boughs

Make sure that your child cannot accidentally get locked in a closet or other confined space. Check all knobs and locks in the house, and remove any that suggest possible hazards.

Set the water heater no higher than 120

Install childproof latches on all drawers, closets, and cabinets containing poisonous materials and dangerous items.

Unplug all small electrical appliances when they are not in use; when they are in use, be sure that the cords are not dangling down where your child can reach them.

When using the stove, remember to keep all pot and pan handles turned toward the back of the stove; be careful when handling hot liquids that could spill or splatter; and repeatedly remind your child to stay far away when someone is cooking.

When serving or consuming hot foods or beverages, be sure to set them down on the middle of the table — not near the edge where a child could pull them off. Do not use tablecloths that hang over the table and can easily be yanked off.

Keep knives, forks, graters, and other utensils out of reach of infants and toddlers.

Do not leave jewelry where children could find it and possibly choke if they put it into their mouths.

Perfumes, deodorants, makeup, and other such substances can lead to accidental poisonings.

Belts, ties, shoelaces, and especially plastic bags can cause strangulation and suffocation. Keep them out of the reach of infants and children.

Never place pillows in an infant’s crib, and keep the crib away from the cords of window shades, blinds, or drapes.

Even if you could manage to secure all the medicines, soaps, shampoos, nail clippers, hair dryers, scissors, and tweezers, the basic materials and equipment that constitute the bathroom would still represent an unacceptable level of danger to infants and toddlers. There simply are too many slippery surfaces, hard tiles, hot water faucets, and water receptacles. Supervise children in the bathroom.

If your small child can’t distinguish or remember to stay away from the hot-water tap, make it easier by marking it with red tape.

Keep electrical appliances, such as shavers, hair dryers, and toothbrushes, away from small children. Teach older children the danger of using such appliances near water or with wet hands.