A child can pretty much go anywhere they want to on the Internet, as a matter of fact most of them can teach their parents a thing or two when it comes to computer related issues. However, with all of their computer savvy ways most children still do not grasp the dangers that are out there waiting with just the click of a mouse. Jay Grossman reports on the issue, and what can be done, for the Observer and Eccentric.
Archive for April 2013
When the stop sign starts to come out on the bus it is not a sign that you need to speed up and get past if you are driving a car. School safety officials and bus drivers work hard to keep our children safe on the way to school, drivers need to do their part as well. Delaney Walker reports for the Cleveland Daily Banner on the subject.
When you welcome a new baby to the family, it can be both scary and exciting for the parents, especially if it’s their first time to be responsible for another human being’s life. You may be protective of them when outside the house, but keep in mind that many dangers and hazards are also present within the comforts of your own home.
From fires to drowning to poisoning to burns to choking to falls, kids under the age of four are prone to harming themselves – even more than stranger violence. In fact, 2.3 million kids get into accidental injuries at home every year – more than 2500 of whom die – in the US alone. This is why each room and every area in the home should be babyproofed to keep the kids safe. Below are some pointers that will help you accomplish this.
Electronics and Gadgets
With all the technology that we use now on a daily basis, there are a few gadgets that can help your babyproofing efforts. These may be costly, but if you can afford them, they can be great for your family. These include baby monitors, alarms, and cameras all around the home. Of course, nothing can replace the physical act of watching over your kids, but these can be a godsend during busy days.
Scout and Report
Before starting on babyproofing the whole house, it would be wise to just take a second to look at the whole vicinity of the area and take mental (or real) notes of which should be checked first, what stuff needs to be placed on higher shelves, which areas have electrical outlets – and so on. Medical supplies, supplements, and drugs should be kept out of kids’ reach, as well as household products and cleaning items. Makeup and tiny accessories may be potential hazards, too. Of course, anything with a sharp edge or pointed end need to be taken care of as well.
One of the cute (and sometimes annoying) things that kids do as soon as they can hold their head on their own and start crawling is exactly that – crawling. They crawl wherever there is space to crawl to. This means: under the tables, behind lampposts, corners of the room, etc. They also love sticking their tiny fingers in outlets. So make it a point to protect and cover these outlets, or at least those which they can reach and go to. Mind extension cords, too!
Don’t forget that as the kids grow up and older, their reach grows as well. So over time, more areas will eventually need babyproofing. Once they start walking and climbing, more items and areas will need attention.
Some Fine Furniture
Over 16,000 kids aged 5 and younger in the US had to be taken to the ER because of furniture and fixture-related injuries back in 2006. The hazards came in the form of TV sets, bookshelves, and other large furniture that can tip and fall over. From 2000 to 2006, over 130 kids died from these kinds of accidents.
Your first strategy is to keep such furniture firm against the wall. Make sure to bolt them properly and place them in strategic places where kids can’t climb over them. For closets and china cabinets or similar furniture, place the heavier contents at the most bottom shelves or drawers to keep the topmost parts less likely to be heavier and tip off.
Dining, coffee, and bedside tables or countertops can be dangerous, too, because of sharp edges. Cover these corners and edges with cushion or bumpers so if they must hit them or fall on them, the impact will be minimal.
One Does Not Simply Pass
Gates, at least during their infancy and toddler phase, can be your best friends around the house. Safety gates are a must-have when babyproofing. These can keep them from going to areas they aren’t supposed to – like kitchens, bathrooms, and the stairs. Make sure, though, that the gates are installed properly. Avoid gates that are easily dislodged and out-of-date.
For stairs – use gates that are screwed into the wall for more security. Pressure gates are only good for so long until the kids learn to open them on their own. Above all, look for the JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) seal of approval.
These are just some pointers to help you start your childproofing. You can ask for more detailed steps and guides from your pediatrician. Local health centers also provide help and assistance on these for new parents. We can’t keep our kids from getting into danger or hurting themselves 100% of the time, but we can maybe protect them until they are strong enough to take the blows for themselves – or at least soften up the blow a bit.
For this cycle of KidSafe we discussed the fact that Disney is banning children under 14 from entering the park without a parent or guardian and the fact that swaddling may be harmful to a baby. What do you think of this cycles topics? Join us and let us know.
- Disney is implementing a new safety rule in its parks. Children under 14 are not allowed to be in the park alone. For more on the subject read Genevieve Shaw Brown’s article for ABC News.
- Facebook is not the villain to parents that it once was. However, there are new chat sites out there to monitor. What chat sites are your children using?
- Pinwheels for Prevention is hosting its annual child abuse prevention party. For more details read here.
- Is swaddling a safe practice to calm babies? Read one mothers article on the subject for Slate.
- Do child safety rules in the summer go to far? One mom seems to think so. For a funny take on child safety for the summer read this article.
- Swaddling is a big issue at the moment. To swaddle or not to swaddle seems to be the question. Until the scientific facts are handed down that swaddling harms a baby I will continue to be an advocate of swaddling. How about you?
I read an article recently by Melinda Wenner Moyer entitled, “No, Swaddling will not Kill your Baby.” After reading the article I started thinking back to the time when I swaddled my oldest. He was not a difficult baby at all but did like to be held close. I saw, nor do I see now, any ill effects from swaddling him. I swaddled my youngest as well and no ill effects there either.
I totally understand the increasing need to try and find a cause for, and prevent, SID’s and other baby related deaths but the need for scientific evidence that swaddling is dangerous to a baby’s health is really needed in order for parents to take it seriously. Of course, Swaddling is still recommended by many pediatric groups so the doubt is there that it does harm children instead of helping them.
If I had another child I would continue to swaddle because in my opinion there just are not enough scientific facts there to stop me from doing so. The issues of child abuse and postpartum depression that have been raised as a result of being unable to swaddle your baby to calm them are very real concerns and need to be addressed. I will continue to swaddle; how about you?
While safety this summer for your children is of the utmost importance there is such a thing as going overboard. For some funny, and some not so funny, tips on how to keep your child safe and bubble wrapped this summer read Lenore Skenazy’s article for The Washington Post. While these tips are cute, child safety is serious. Make sure to protect your children this summer.
A recent article by Melinda Wenner Moyer for Slate brings states to task for outlawing swaddling in child care centers. Swaddling has been around for centuries and there is no scientific proof that swaddling is dangerous to the health of a newborn. Moyer gives us her opinion, and some facts, on the reasons behind her claim that swaddling is safe for newborns.
Pinwheels for Prevention is celebrating its annual party for the prevention of child abuse. The party is designed to bring child abuse prevention to the forefront and let everyone know how important preventing child abuse is. Puppet shows and other activities are planned and hopefully a good time will be had by all. Chattanoogan.com reports on the event.
Facebook is not the only social media site that parents have to worry about these days. With the high volume of mobile devices such as tablets and Smartphones many kids are abandoning the adult monitored Facebook for chat sites that most parents don’t even know about. Anne Flaherty reports on the subject, the sites, and what you can do for Greenbaypressgazette.com.
In an attempt to promote child safety, Disney is now requiring a parent or guardian to be with children under the age of 14 if they are going to be in the Disney Park. No certain incident led to the rule being handed down, the park just has the safety of children in mind. Genevieve Shaw Brown reports on the new rule for ABC News.