Perhaps the most crucial and challenging part of being a parent is keeping a child safe and away from harm.
Commitment to safety starts when a child is still inside the mother’s womb during pregnancy. Moms take extra care of herself to ensure that baby is normal and healthy.
Dads, on the other hand, does his part by supporting mom physically, mentally, and emotionally during this period.
But things become even more challenging when the little human grows older.
They can be the most curious beings of all making cuts and bruises inevitable.
And as much as we want to be with our kids all the time, that’s just not possible. There will be times when they’ll have to do things on their own and learn to be independent.
Whether you’re a new parent or a ‘seasoned veteran,’ the safety tips below should be able to guide you along the way.
So read on.
Quick Heads-Up: Here at BabyLic, we have other safety guides you will want to read. Be sure to check out some of them, like our post on babyproofing your home and how to tell until when a car seat is good for.
Child Safety Tips For Babies 0-12 Months
Your baby is most reliant on your care for the first 12 months. And at this stage, you must exercise extra vigilance when handling your child.
- Only use a slip-resistant bathtub designed for a baby.
- Fill the tub with about three inches of warm (not hot) water with a temperature of around 90°F.
- Have everything you need ready and never leave your child unattended. If there’s something that you forgot, you should either go on without it or take your child with you to get it.
- Babies will be slippery when wet especially once you use soap on them. Be extra careful in handling them and if possible, have someone (your partner, a friend, or a relative) help you out.
- The baby’s crib should meet current safety standards. The crib slats should not be more than two and ⅜ inches apart.
- A firm mattress and a fitted sheet are all you need on the baby’s crib. Remove everything else like blankets, pillows, toys, etc.
- Again, do not leave the baby unattended on a changing table. Get a changing table with a safety strap to ensure baby is secure.
- Do not share a bed with the baby to avoid the risk of suffocation or rolling over your little one. Instead, put a crib or bassinet beside your bed.
- Check that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are installed and working on every level of your home.
- Do not feed your baby anything that can cause choking like peanut butter, hot dogs, popcorn, whole grapes, raw carrots, raisins, nuts, etc.
- Make sure that small items like coins, buttons, balloons, safety pins, etc. are out of your child’s reach. As babies grow, they become curious and will put anything they get their hands on in their mouth.
- At the same time, make sure you follow age recommendations when it comes to toys. As much as possible, stay away from those with small parts.
Additional Baby Safety Tips
- Cover all electrical outlets in the house with caps or plugs to prevent your child from getting burned or electrocuted.
- Have baby gates installed at the top and bottom of stairways.
- No matter how cute pets can be, NEVER leave them alone with your child.
- Put padding on things around the home especially furniture with sharp corners.
Kids 1-4 Years Old
Fantastic! You’re now past the first year.
They’re starting to learn more about the world around them, and as they do, bumps and bruises are all natural.
Choking and food safety tips are more or less the same for kids under this age bracket and that of children one-year-old and below.
Since you’d be taking your kid out more often, always have him or her use an appropriate child safety seat. Be sure to use one from day one until your kid is twelve years old or is ready to use the car’s seatbelt.
Here are more child safety tips to make sure your mini-me’s don’t suffer from serious injury.
- Never allow a kid to be in the kitchen without you.
- When cooking, the pot’s handle should be inwards to the stove.
- Store away from flammable items like matches, lighters, etc.
- Make sure hot foods and liquids are out of your child’s reach.
- Your child should be at a safe distance while you cook food or iron clothes.
- Medicines and even vitamins should be out of reach by kids.
- Chemicals like cleaning products should keep and locked away.
- Never refer to medicine as “candy.” Otherwise, your little will think that it’s okay to put it in his or her mouth.
- Have the number of the American Association of Poison Control Centers handy.
- Lock away batteries when not in use. Dispose of batteries properly if they’re already empty.
- Move chairs, cribs, and other furniture that your child can use to stand or crawl on, away from windows and doors.
- While you’re at it, install window guards to help further in preventing window falls. But don’t forget to include an emergency release device in case of an emergency like a fire.
- Secure TVs and other furniture using mounts, brackets, braces, anchors or wall straps to prevent tip-overs.
- All rugs should have skid-proof pads underneath.
- Use a harness or safety belt if you are placing your child in a shopping cart when doing groceries.
- Little tots will want to go to playgrounds. So take your kids to play areas that have shock-absorbing surfaces (ex: rubber, synthetic turf) and other child-friendly safety features.
- Let them learn independence by allowing them to play with other kids on their own. However, keep a close eye on your child, so you can react fast enough in case of an accident.
- Have a first aid kit with you whenever you’re out and about with your child.
- Strategically place electrical appliances so kids can’t pull and topple them over.
Additional Safety Tips
- Teach them at least two ways out of every room in case of emergency.
- At a young age, teach your kid not to be afraid of firetrucks and firefighters.
- Keep all kinds of plastic bags away from children to avoid suffocation.
- Cords from blinds and drapery should be kept away as well because these can strangle kids.
- Never leave kids alone when bathing and swimming in the pool.
- Keep water hazards such as pools, ponds, and bathtubs fenced and gated.
Kids 5-12 years old
A child’s first day at school is a milestone. And at this point, children have a greater awareness of the things around them. They also understand when parents say ‘no.’
But even if they are most likely past the ‘clumsiness and uncoordinated movements’ stage, your commitment to keeping your child safe shouldn’t waver.
Us adults are all too familiar with the dangers of the outside world. And warning your child about them is your responsibility.
Important Contact Information
Kids should be able to share their full name, your address, and your name, and your phone number during an emergency. Although this is basic, young children tend to forget this information so practice this as often as possible. At the same time, teach them when and how to call 911.
Establish Trust And Communication
You want to do this as early as day one. Your child needs to be comfortable to tell you everything that’s happening to them day in and day out. Regardless of how busy or tired you are, make time to talk to them and be familiar with your child’s activities inside or outside the school.
Explain to your child, in clear and simple to understand terms, that they should never go with a stranger. No matter what.
Remind them that in case of an emergency, you will send a grandparent, aunt or someone your child knows and trusts. Never a stranger.
They should also remember not to take anything from someone they don’t know even if it’s their favorite treat.
Here’s another tip:
Have a ‘safety word’ that only you and your child knows.
If you ever need to send a person your child doesn’t know to pick them up, they can tell it’s okay to go with that person so long as the latter knows the safety word.
You should also question and monitor anyone who takes an unusual interest in your child.
Finally, tell your child that they should stay away from an adult and call for help if they feel threatened in any way.
If someone tries to take them by force, your child should know to shout, “Help! This is not my parent.”
- Do your homework by checking websites for registered offenders in your neighborhood. Talk to your children why they need to do it as well.
- Remind your child not to share personal information online. Put the computer at an easily accessible and visible place in the house so you can monitor what they’re doing in front of the PC.
- Explain to your child that NO ONE should touch their body except them, mom, and dad.
- Encourage your kids to stay honest and open. If something or someone is making them feel uncomfortable, they must let you know.