How Strong Is Your Safety Instinct

So much of child safety depends on daily judgments, often made in seconds, and on thinking three or four steps ahead of your child in order to act or make choices with prevention in mind. That's why, once again, we offer you a potpourri of safety tips from the Canadian Paediatric Society and Ross Laboratories, so that you will become what they call "a Prevention Expert, a Trouble Shooter or a Basic Rescuer."

Cars and Bicycles

Always use the safety seat for your toddler.  Allowing them to romp in the car while your driving is a danger to him and to you.  If your child unbuckles a safety belt, stop the car as soon as it is
convenient and tell the child the car is not going anywhere until everyone is buckled up.

Explain to your child that putting his head or arms out the window is dangerous.  A child could be blinded by a stone kicked up by traffic.

If you use a child carrier on the back of your bike, make sure the feet are restrained in protective foot rests.  The child must be firmly strapped into place.  A safety helmet is essential. Beware that even with these precautions, it is not a wise way to transport a child.  In some jurisdictions, child carriers on bikes are prohibited.

The Kitchen and Laundry

Your child should be engaged in an activity in a safe place while you are cooking, in a playpen with her toys, for example.  Otherwise, in a moment she could touch a hot oven door, or pull on the cord of a plugged-in kettle or frying pan.  Handles should be turned in when pot are on the burner.

In the laundry area, put a hot iron out of reach when not in use.

Other Rooms

Never leave a toddler alone in a room with an auxiliary heater.  Erect adequate barriers around wood stoves and fireplaces.

Avoid loose and flowing styles of children's sleepwear.  Loose nightgowns and robes are more likely to drag across a stove element, heater or open fireplace than snuggler-fitting polo-styles make of fire-retardant fabrics.

Never leave a barbecue or fire-starter unattended.  After use, keep an eye on the grill until it cools off.