Child Safety Tips Often Overlooked By Parents

June 28th, 2018 by

Child Safety TipsYou know that as a parent, you would do everything in your power to keep your child safe. Whether it’s keeping a constant eye on your child outdoors, installing the best child seat in the car, or child-proofing every inch of your home, you go to great lengths just to ensure that your little one is away from harm.

But even the most prepared and well-researched parents sometimes slip up. There are indeed child safety concerns that don’t seem obvious right away and can easily be overlooked. Here’s how you can avoid some of the most unnoticed yet crucial child safety tips.

 

Step 1: Don’t Serve ‘Kiddie’ Foods – They May Actually Be Unsafe

Overlooked Danger:

We often feel confident about giving children soft foods such as marshmallows and peanut butter. But even these innocent-looking food items can block the small airway of a child, especially because of their gummy, sticky consistency.

How To Avoid It:

Don’t let your child eat these chewy foods by globs or by spoonfuls. Instead, pre-divide the food into small portions and always ensure that the little one is sitting upright when eating.

 

Step 2: Don’t Let Kids Ride In The Front Seat

Overlooked Danger:

It’s quite common for parents to allow their nine-year-olds or so on the passenger seat, but this is definitely not recommended. One of the dangers here is that in the event of a frontal collision, the small body of a child will likely sustain serious or even fatal injuries. Additionally, in any other type of vehicle accident, the passenger-side airbag may deploy so forcefully that it can severely hurt a child’s body.

How To Avoid It:

Heed the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: keep your child in the back seat until they are past 12 years old.

 

Step 3: Put Away Guests’ Bags 

Overlooked Danger:

As a knowing parent, you’ve likely taken up the habit of putting your bags away from your little ones so that they won’t be able to reach small, hazardous items such as keys and coins. But your house guests may not be as wise. They may just leave their bags on the table or the couch, where your child’s curious hands can get access to the very items you want to keep away.

How To Avoid It:

Remember to politely ask your visitors if they can have their bags stowed away in a safe place such as a cabinet or back in their car. Explain why this needs to be done when there are small children around so that they can take note for their next visit.

 

Step 4: Avoid Decorating with Latex Balloons 

Overlooked Danger:

What’s a child’s birthday party without balloons? Children adore them, and for grownups, they’re a convenient way to decorate. But did you know that balloons are one of the leading non-food causes of choking deaths among children? Latex balloons are particularly risky because when they pop, they leave behind pieces of rubbery material that are clear choking hazards for toddlers.

How To Avoid It:

Get creative with other forms of party décor such as large pompoms, streamers, and banners – hung out of children’s reach, of course. If the party just has to have balloons, try Mylar balloons, which deflate but not pop.

 

Step 5: Don’t Go Tandem On A Slide

Overlooked Danger:

Parents tend to think that accompanying their children down the length of the playground slide helps protect them from accidents. However, research says otherwise. The Winthrop University Hospital found in a study that tandem-sliding – that is, when a toddler is on an adult’s lap while going down the slide – accounts for 14 percent of the pediatric shin fractures they treated.

It’s counterintuitive to have an adult on a child slide because when a piece of clothing or a foot gets caught on the way down, the adult’s downward weight can abruptly land on a child.

How To Avoid It:

Instead of riding the slide with your toddlers, just ease them into it. You can start them on the smaller slides first, then move on to the big slide by putting them just halfway down and standing next to the slide as they ride down it themselves.

 

Step 6: Mind The Pool Drain

Overlooked Danger:

At the swimming pool, the drain isn’t really one of the things parents watch out for. These days, pools drains and pipes are required by federal law to have anti-entrapment covers, but some children still get injured by getting caught there. The bigger danger is that if some hair or clothing gets caught in the drain, drowning becomes a real possibility.

How To Avoid It:

Caution your child about pool drains and pipes, and see to it that the pool has proper drain covers.

 

Step 7: Ensure Kids Aren’t Distracting You While Driving

Overlooked Danger:

Most of the reminders you hear about distracted driving just warn about using cellphones while behind the wheel. The truth is that there is one thing that’s a bigger driving distraction than mobile phones – and that’s children. In fact, Australian research firm AAA discovered that children in the vehicle can be 12 times more distracting than cellphone use.

How To Avoid It:

Chicago car accident attorney Matt Willens suggests laying down clear rules for when your children are in the car – for example, “no fighting” and “no shouting.” Set up consequences for breaking these rules and confirm that each child understands these.

It’s also important to be accordingly prepared when taking the kids on a car trip so they don’t nag you when they get bored. You’ll want to ready their snacks, toys or books, games, and even their favorite DVDs.

 

Step 8: Restrict the Amount of Bedding in Your Child’s Bed 

Overlooked Danger:

When it comes to babies and small children, it’s easy to think “The softer, the better.” You’d probably pad every corner of your home if you could. However, think twice about that additional layer of bedding. Safe Kids Worldwide, a global non-profit, found that 82 percent of accidental suffocation deaths among infants occur right in the comfort of their beds.

How To Avoid It:

“Have your child sleep in the barest environment possible,” advises Dr. Angela Mickalide, director at the National Safe Kids Campaign. You can use just one blanket and tuck it under so the little one can’t pull it over their head. When the nights are colder, dress your baby warmer instead of piling on sheets.

 

These child safety tips are quite surprising, and no parent is so perfect that they can completely avoid slipping up in areas like these. The best we can do is to arm ourselves with awareness as much as we can, and with extra vigilance and good sense, we can adequately protect our precious little ones.

 

Contributed by: Matt Willens of Willens Law Office  30 North LaSalle Street, Ste 3450, Chicago, IL 60602  (312)957-4166

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