When you first become a parent, you don’t realize just how many “rules” there are when it comes to protecting your child. As your child gets older, that list of rules gets even longer. Limit their screen time, don’t put them to sleep on their stomach, cut up grapes when you serve them, the list is endless! There are more things not to do to keep your child safe than there are to do. And while most parents eventually figure out these rules, there are a few that are lesser known. These few aren’t often mentioned in parenting books or suggested by pediatricians unless they happen to come up in conversation. Don’t wait for that to happen. Learn these safety rules now so you can protect your child starting today.
source: Getty via Woman’sDay
1. Don’t Leave Your Keys In The Car While Getting Gas
You hear stories sometimes about children who get a hold of their parent’s car keys and start or drive the car. If you’ve got kids still in car seats, this probably won’t be a concern. However, this is a possibility with older children who can easily unbuckle themselves and are curious about driving. There have also been stories of people, usually women, who get their wallets stolen by sneaky thieves who quickly open the passenger door and grab while the victim is filling up with gas. Imagine if, along with your wallet, the thief stole your keys, or actually jumped in and started your car! Maybe I’m too paranoid, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. The best thing to do when your kids are with you and you need to stop for gas is to keep your keys with you and lock your car until you’re ready to leave.
Learn more interesting facts about gas stations from Woman’s Day.
source: istock via Mental Floss
2. Don’t Buckle Kids In Car Seats Wearing Winter Coats
As a mom who lives where it gets really cold in the winter, I can tell you that I hate having to bundle my kids up to get in the car, only to remove the layers moments later. But more and more studies show that when kids wear winter coats in car seats, they (children) are at risk of coming loose in the event of an accident. Because winter coats are so puffy, you can’t adequately buckle your child in a way that is safe. Experts suggest removing your child’s coat altogether as long as they are buckled in their car seat. Yes, it’s a big pain to do this, but it isn’t worth the risk keeping that coat on your baby.
Find more important information about winter car seat safety on Mental Floss.
3. Secure Furniture To The Wall
According to reports, one child dies every two weeks from tipping furniture falling on them. How tragic! This is a problem that can be avoided. It will take a bit of time to get down, but your child’s safety is worth it. Make sure you anchor all heavy furniture like dressers and televisions to the wall. Curious little minds are known to climb on these pieces, which is what ultimately leads to the tragedy.
Visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for more information and tips for properly securing your furniture.
source: Taking Care of Monkey Business
4. Learn How To Properly Buckle Car Seats
Most parents learn how to buckle their baby in a car seat upon leaving the hospital after she’s born. But not all parents get the full car seat safety education. The chest clip that buckles across your baby’s chest should sit there -at the chest- and not at the stomach area. If the clip is placed too low, it can cause internal damage upon impact. Your child is also at risk of ejecting during a crash, due to the extra space that a lower clip creates.
Stop by Taking Care of Monkey Business for a visual reference on proper car seat buckling.
source: Parents For Window Blind Safety
5. Keep Blind Cords Out Of Children’s Reach
If you’re like most parents, your windows have blinds, and your blinds have cords. Those cords are dangerous for children. The estimated number of children who’ve been treated for near-strangulation in U.S. emergency rooms in the last twenty years is 1,600. If at all possible, install cordless blinds on your windows. It only takes a few seconds for these terrible accidents to happen. If cordless blinds are not an option for you, take preventative measures by keeping window cords out of your children’s reach.
You’ll find lots of great information on window cord safety and cordless blind products at Parents For Window Blind Safety.
6. Don’t Leave Children Unattended Near Water
It is estimated that close to 90 children die from drownings at home each year. Most of these occur in the bathtub, sometimes in as little as two inches of water. Like most accidents, a child can drown in a matter of seconds. You can literally step away to another room to grab something and your child can drown while you’re gone. As tempting as it may be to try and multi-task at bath time, it’s better to stay fully attentive to your child while he’s in the water. You also have to remember that children can drown in toilets too, so make sure to keep the lid down, and use child safety locks if needed.
There is a lot of great water safety information, as well as safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics from Today.
source: National Capital Poison Center
7. Keep Poisonous Products Locked Up
When it comes to household products, your child’s curiosity can be deadly. Always keep cleaning products locked away in a cabinet with a child lock. This includes laundry detergents, pods, dishwasher soap, and bleach, as well as other products that can harm your child like medications and batteries. Always close caps tightly after use and secure with child-proof lids whenever possible. It’s also a good idea to keep the national poison control phone number in a place where you can call quickly in the event of an emergency. That number is 1-800-222-1222, which is easy to remember and is available 24/7.
Read more about poison prevention at the National Capital Poison Center.