WCC RESOURCE CENTER
Safety Through the Ages
- Never smoke around your child, never allow people to smoke in your home, and monitor second-hand smoke exposure away from home.
- Avoid gun possession in your home. If you do have one, make sure the gun itself is safety locked, is physically locked up (out of sight), and the ammunition is locked in a separate location with a separate lock.
- Make sure you have the appropriate car seat, booster seat, or seatbelt for your growing child. All children should sit in the back seat until age 13. Don't forget the safety belt with grocery carts and strollers, too.
- Set your hot water heater at 120 degrees or lower and check the temperature every few months.
- Learn CPR and basic first-aid.
- Make sure all sleeping areas (as well as other living areas) have working smoke detectors. Check them every month to make sure they work, and change the batteries every six months. Devise a fire plan for your home, and involve your child when you feel he or she is old enough.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector near all sleeping areas.
- Teach caution, safety, and respect around animals, especially your own.
- Always wear bike helmets for biking, skateboarding, in-line skating and while riding a scooter. It all starts with parents modeling, then enforcing, this rule.
- Constantly supervise cooking areas, and avoid drinking anything hot while near your child.
- Constantly supervise your child near water (including bathtubs and buckets). Start swimming lessons as soon as your child is ready. Always wear lifejackets when near deep water or while boating (Minnesota State Law requires all children under age 10 to wear a lifejacket when on a boat).
- Never drink alcohol (even a small amount) and drive, whether or not your child is in the car.
- Start using sunscreen during infancy and continue forever.
- Avoid using commercially-available insect repellents containing the chemical �DEET� until your child is at least two months old.
- If your child is involved in organized (or �pick-up�) sports as he or she gets older, make sure
the playing fields or courts are safe and well maintained. Also make sure that all protective
equipment fits well and is in good condition.
- Never take medication in front of children, regardless of their age. Make sure all
medications have safety caps and are never accessible (the most common danger areas are
unlocked medicine cabinets, cupboards, drawers, and purses).
- Many household plants and garden flowers/plants are toxic even with minor ingestion.
Research the ones you have or are planning to purchase and eliminate any that are
- Keep matches and lighters out of sight and inaccessible.
- Teach children (starting at appropriate ages) correct use of scissors, knives, tools, and
- Climbing on furniture is dangerous, and causes many early trips to the emergency room for
stitches. Start the rule when your child is an infant climbing is not allowed.
- Continually update your childproofing. Keep small items out of sight and reach, even long
after you've allowed supervised permission to play with these items.
- Keep the Poison Control phone number (800-222-1222) handy next to all of your home phones and programmed in your cell phone.
- Make sure your child's sleeping area is safe. The windows should only slightly open, the
crib or bed rails should meet federal safety standards, the crib mattress should be lowered sooner than you feel you need to, sharp furniture should be padded or removed from the room, and exposed light bulbs should be covered and lamps placed up high with no dangling cords.
- Avoid using your cell phone when driving. Minnesota State Law prohibits provisional license holders (license holders under age 18) and permit holders from using a cell phone while driving.
- Make sure you have a list of numbers you can call (this can include friends, relatives, neighbors, health hotlines, etc.) in the event you need help with your child. Circumstances can include everything from health emergencies to parental stress.
- Learn about Shaken Baby Syndrome and make sure your child's caregivers know what this is, also. Never, ever, shake or hit a child.
- Discuss strangers with your children frequently. Help them be comfortable yet cautious
around people they do not know, and guide their behavior around strangers. Also remind them
that they should always check with a parent before going off with another person (even if the
person is known to your child)
- Regardless of your child's age, get prepared to answer questions or initiate discussion about
sexuality and health risks (smoking, alcohol, drugs).
- It is recommended that your child's blood be tested for lead if he or she:
- lives in or attends daycare in a home built before 1950
- lives in or attends daycare in a home built between 1950-1978 with peeling or chipping paint
- lives in or attends daycare in a home known to have lead water pipes or lead-based paint (on the woodwork, walls, or outdoor siding)
- lives or attends daycare near a heavily traveled highway
- lives or attends daycare near a long-term construction site
- has lived in a major metropolitan area within the past 10 years
- has a sibling or close daycare acquaintance with high blood lead levels