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Accident prevention

Home safety

Here are a few things you can do to prevent your child from having an accident at home.

  • Test the temperature of the bath water before putting your baby in the tub. Consider putting a cover over the bathtub faucet to keep your toddler from turning on the water.
  • Turn your water heater to its lowest setting (lower than 120 degrees Fahrenheit). This will prevent a scalding accident.
  • Never leave your baby alone on a bed or any other high place. Your baby could turn over, squirm or wiggle off the surface. Put your baby in her crib or playpen when you can't hold her.
  • Keep all medicines, perfumes, poisons, detergents and other harmful products out of reach of your baby or toddler. Put Mr. Yuk!® stickers on all cleaning products and poisons. Teach your child what this means when she is old enough to understand.
  • Put up gates to keep your baby away from all stairs or other areas when she begins to crawl. Close doors to rooms you do not want your baby entering. The bathroom should be totally off limits.
  • Cover heat radiators in the winter.
  • Make sure cords on window blinds are secured. Do not let the cords hang down—they could strangle your baby.
  • Keep fans out of reach in the summer. If you open windows, make sure they are not wide enough for your baby or toddler to crawl through. Install window guards on windows higher than the first floor.
  • Use the back burners on your stove when cooking. If you need to use the front burners, turn the pot handles away from the edge of the stove. This will keep your toddler from grabbing or running into the handles.
  • Never carry your baby and hot liquids or foods at the same time.
  • Cover all electrical outlets with plastic plugs.
  • Do not tie your baby's pacifier around her neck. The cord or string could strangle your baby.
  • Make sure your baby is secured well in a stroller, high chair, swing or jump chair. Never leave your baby alone because she might slip out.
  • Never give your baby small or hard pieces of food (such as hot dog, grapes or raw carrot). This may cause your baby to choke.
  • Keep all electrical appliances (such as a curling iron or toaster) out of reach of your toddler.
  • Keep hot liquids and foods out of your toddler's reach.
  • Keep emergency phone numbers available for your family and baby sitters in case of an accident.

 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition

To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."

First published: 02/01/2010
Last updated: 01/01/2014

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic