With the holiday season sneaking up on us, we have enough to worry about with the preparations, cooking, buying presents, decorations, and so forth. So when it comes to safety in our home and with our families, we sometimes put that on the back burner. September is Baby Safety Month and in coordination with UL (Underwriters Laboratories), I’ve provided some basic and easy tips and info on keeping our young children safe from birth to toddler age. UL has been an industy leader in providing safe, environmentally-friendly, and comprehensive certification on products and services for the home and business. Below are outlines of their safety advice for Baby Safety Month and Halloween Safety:
Baby Safety Tips:
PURCHASING A CRIB:
When purchasing a crib, make sure there is no more than 2 3/8″ between slats; corner posts do not extend more than 1/16 of an inch above the end panels; and headboards and footboards do not contain cutout areas.
FROM 1-3 MONTHS:
Do not keep large pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals in your newborn’s crib. These may pose a suffocation hazard for infants.
FROM 4-6 MONTHS:
When shopping for a highchair (or inspecting a hand-me-down), look for a base wider than the top; safety straps for that go around the waist and between the legs; and a post between the legs to prevent your baby from slipping under the tray.
FROM 7-9 MONTHS:
Get down on your hands and knees and search each room for objects or situations that may endanger your baby. You’d be surprised at the sharp corners and small objects that you may have missed from an “adult” viewpoint.
FROM 10-12 MONTHS:
If your child has a nightlight in his/her room, unplug it and place it out of his/her reach when not in use. The bulbs in the light can easily break if your child grips it or puts it in his/her mouth, or can pose an electrical shock hazard.
FROM 13-18 MONTHS:
It’s okay for children to play with dirt sometimes. But it isn’t a good idea for them to eat it – and they will try. A small amount of ingested soil may not be something to panic about, but keep it to a minimum as dirt can be contaminated by bacteria.
FROM 19-24 MONTHS:
Constant supervision is always crucial when children are playing in or around a pool. In an event that your child tries to explore your pool area on his/her own, a safety fence can keep her from getting too close. You can also install a motion sensor alarm that will alert you if your child ventures near an unattended pool.
FROM 25-35 MONTHS:
Keep your child at least three feet away from the stove while cooking. A great way to implement this is to use tape to create a border three feet from the stove in all directions. This provides both you and your child with a visual reminder to stay “three feet from the heat”. The three feet rule should also be applied to other heat sources such as grills and fireplaces.
Now these are pretty easy rules to abide by but you’d be surprised at the many adults who are clueless about these things. Pay extra attention to your younger children when they’re around other younger children and older adults (seniors); sometimes age really is a factor in common sense. And always use your own common sense and best judgement as a parent.
While Halloween can be a time of fun and mischief for many people, younger children still need supervision and guidance during this festive holiday. Below are some common tips to help keep your children safe during Halloween season.
Halloween Safety Tips:
DON’T FRANKENSTEIN YOUR LIGHTS:
When purchasing electrical decorations, make sure to shop at a reputable retailer and look for the UL Mark. Be sure to check the rating on your extension cords and do not plug in more than the recommended wattage. Use special, heavy duty extension cords for high wattage decorations such as fog machines and electrically-powered inflatable decorations.
INSPECT DECORATIONS WITH FIENDISH CARE:
Inspect all of your electric lights and decorations for damage and wear. Cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections may pose a fire or shock hazard. Replace damaged light strings with energy-efficient LED lights. Look for a red UL Mark to indicate that lights are certified for both indoor and outdoor use. A green UL mark indicates certification for indoor use only.
BEWARE OF CANDLES:
Candles, especially in a Jack O’Lantern, should be off the ground and out of children’s reach. Try battery-operated LED candles for an even safer option.
DON’T TRIP UP YOUR GOBLINS:
Halloween costumes should allow full movement for your kids. Costumes that drag, constrict or drape pose a dangerous hazard, especially at night. Check to ensure that costumes don’t restrict your children’s vision, and instruct them to watch out for tripping hazards, such as cords.
SAY BOO TO UNSAFE COSTUMES:
Be sure to purchase or make costumes out of flame-resistant materials such as nylon or polyester as these specially marked fabrics will resist burning and extinguish quickly. Make sure your child knows to stop, drop, and roll in case their costumes catches fire.
BE SAFE AND BRIGHT:
Choose costumes that are lighter in color and attach reflective materials to costumes. Make sure each child has a flashlight to help them see and be seen.
Halloween is one of our favorite holidays because it’s fun, it’s entertaining, and it’s creative. It can also be pretty scary for both kids and adults especially if proper precautions aren’t initiated. Although the scare of tainted or poisoned candy are probably a thing of the past (hopefully), my usual advice is to visit a local mall for trick-or-treating or stay within your neighborhood. Most likely you’ll know who your neighbors are and know that they won’t do anything bad or wrong on Halloween. It’s also important to remember about your pets for Halloween as well. Keep them indoors if possible and be especially aware when they get frightened by all the trick-or-treaters. And most importantly, let your children know that the masks and costumes they see that day are just make-believe. Children often believe anything they hear and they may get frightened or have nightmares if they think the scary costumes and decorations are real.
While I outlined the safety guidelines for home baby safety and Halloween safety, you can find a more comprehensive list of safety tips at UL’s website: www.SafetyAtHome.com.
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Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.