September is Baby Safety Month, and Safe Kids Henderson-Vance reminds parents and caregivers to plan ahead to make safe spaces for babies “at home, at play and on the way.”
Safe Kids Henderson-Vance Coordinator Angela Feingold has the following basic safety tips for children ages 0-3:
In the nursery: Remove pillows, soft bedding and toys out of your baby’s crib. Put your baby “back to sleep” (face up) on a firm mattress. Make sure you can’t fit a soda can between the crib slats. Make sure the crib’s corner posts are the same height as the end panels. Keep bed, cribs and other furniture away from windows so kids can’t climb up.
In the kitchen: Never leave a hot stove unattended. Cook with pots and pans on back burners. Turn pot handles to the back of the stove. Keep hot liquids, poisons, lighters, matches and electrical cords out of reach. Don’t let children under age 3 eat small, round or hard foods such as hot dogs, grapes, hard candy, nuts or popcorn.
In the bath: Mix hot and cold water together, and test the temperature before putting the baby in. Set your hot water heater to 120 degrees to help prevent scalding. Never leave a baby alone in the bath.
In the water: Never leave your baby unattended in or near water, even for a second. Empty and turn over all buckets as soon as you are done using them. Pools should be fenced on all four sides and have self-closing gates.
In the play room: Do not use baby walkers. Use play centers that stay still instead. Look for well-made toys and follow the age and safety information on the warning labels. Check regularly for damages such as sharp edges. Keep toys with small parts or other choking hazards away from children under age 3. Avoid toys that can become hazards. Toys with strings, straps or cords longer than 7 inches can accidentally strangle them. Electrical toys are a potential burn hazard. Children under age 8 should not use toys with electrical plugs or batteries. Make sure toys are stored safely.
In the home: Install guards on windows that you will open, and tie up cords on curtains and blinds. Install smoke alarms on every floor and outside all sleeping areas. Install safety gates at top and bottom of stairs.Always strap babies into high chairs, swings, chaging tables and strollers. Keep cleaning products, medicines, and other poisons locked and out of reach. Keep the poision control hotline number (800-222-1222) and emergency numbers by ever phone.
In the car: All children ages 13 and under should be properly restrained in a back seat on every ride. Choose and use correctly the right restraint for your child. Infants should ride in rear-facing car seats as long as possible, until they are at least 1 year old and weigh at least 20 pounds. Keep children rear-facing to 30-35 pounds if your car seat allows it. Children who are at least 1 year old, weigh 20 to 40 pounds, and can no longer ride rear-facing should ride in forward-facing car seats secured with harnesses. Always check the harness for proper fit.
Baby Safety Month is an annual observance led by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association since 1991. The focus for this year is car seat safety. For more information, visit this site.
For more information about baby safety topics such as burn and scald safety, playground safety, drowning prevention and child passenger safety, call 252-430-3165 or visit www.usa.safekids.org. Safe Kids Henderson-Vance works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children 14 and under. Safe Kids Henderson-Vance is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury.