Monday, September 26, 2011

Baby Safety at Home


Having a baby in the home can be an exciting and joyous time in life.  However, as your baby grows and develops, household safety becomes more important.  As your little one becomes more mobile, there are some important steps you can take and consider for “baby proofing” your home.

First, if there are stairs in your home, they can be very enticing for your baby to explore.  Baby gates at the top of the staircase, or in open doorways, are a good measure to take in order to prevent accidental falls and tumbles down the steps.  Before investing, be sure to research the safety of the baby gate you wish to purchase as certain gates have been recalled due to hazards and some are made specifically for the bottom and/or top of stairs.  Read the labels on the packaging for specific information concerning placement and installation.

Cabinets and chemicals are other safety issues that arise when your bundle of joy starts getting around.  Prevention of your child getting into cabinets and drawers and getting hold of harmful items or chemicals, such as household cleaners, can be achieved by using cabinet locks. But remember, the best way to keep baby from these items is by placing them in a high place that is unreachable for your child.

Next, make sure that tables and countertops are free from long-hanging tablecloths and items like towels that hang over the edges.  The reason for this is because babies are constantly reaching and grasping at every object in sight, and grabbing and pulling these items could cause your baby to have something fall onto him or her causing serious injury.

Finally, let’s not forget about those electrical outlets! Your baby’s curiosity when it comes these items can be extremely dangerous. Prevent electrocution or serious shocks simply by placing electrical outlet covers throughout the entire home.

These are just a few common tips to ensure your baby’s safety in the home.  There are many products and devices out there that can help with the “baby proofing”.  Be sure to regularly talk about home safety with your baby’s pediatrician and keep your little explorer out of harm’s way!

Friday, September 16, 2011

National Child Passenger Safety Week Sept. 18-24

Make sure your children are safe and secure.
Please join us to have your child safety seat inspected.
 
Saturday, September 24
10am – 1pm
 
Burlington Coat Factory
3022 High Point Road
Greensboro, NC

September 18-24 is National Child Passenger Safety Week.  All over the United States, Safe Kids Coalitions will be hosting car seats checking stations held as part of Seat Check Saturday.  Greensboro's event will be Saturday, Sept. 24 from 10am - 1pm at Burlington Coat Factory at 3022 High Point Rd..

According to statistics, in 2009 1314 children ages 14 and under died and an estimated 179,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes.  Almost half of the children who die in motor vehicle crashes are completely unrestrained.  Research shows that child restraints provide the best protection for all children up to age 8.

For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers can visit their local inspection stations and refer to the following guidelines that determine which restraint system is best suited to protect children based on age and size: 
1.      For the best possible protection keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. At a minimum, keep infants rear-facing until a minimum of age 1 and at least 20 pounds. 
This year, The American Academy of Pediatrics announced it is now recommending infants and toddlers ride rear-facing in a child safety seat (a safety seat that is weight and height appropriate for the child) until they are 2 years of age or until the child reaches the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer.
2.       When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (at a minimum age 1 and at least 20 pounds) they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds).
3.       Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds), they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (usually at age 8 or when they are 4’9” tall).
4.       When children outgrow their booster seats, (usually at age 8 or when they are 4’9” tall) they can use the adult seat belt in the back seat, if it fits properly (lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest).

Remember: All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat.

Safe Kids Guilford County urges every parent and caregiver to have your child safety seats checked by a certified technician.  For a list of certified technicians and seat check events in your area, visit http://www.safeguilford.org/ or http://www.buckleupnc.org/