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November is Child Safety Protection Month

child on a bike

November is a good month to make sure your home is kid safe. Why? Because it’s Child Safety and Protection Month. This was created to raise awareness about the potential dangers that kids face every day.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Child Injury Report, “an estimated 9.2 million children annually had an initial emergency department visit for an unintentional injury.” In addition, they found that, “on average, 12,175 children 0 to 19 years of age each year die in the U.S. from an unintentional and often preventable injury.”

Home Safety

What kind of household cleanings do you have around your home? Children are treated and hospitalized every year due to accidental poisoning.

Follow these tips to make your home safer:

  • Keep cleaning supplies, medicines, garden chemicals, and toxic art supplies locked away or on a high shelf. Put them away after you use them.
  • Purchase over the counter and prescription medicines with childproof caps. Keep them on a high shelf or in a locked cabinet, not on your nightstand.
  • Keep vitamins and minerals out of reach. They can be hazardous, even fatal, to children.
  • Never use food containers to store nonfood substances.

Infant Safety

Is your home baby proof? Are you letting an infant sleep with stuffed animals? Here’s how you can protect your baby:

  • Use a firm mattress and fitted sheet for your baby’s crib. Remove blankets and toys.
  • Learn to use your child’s car seat the right way. Make sure you have both a working smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home and in all sleeping areas. Test the alarms to make sure they work.
  • Place your baby’s crib and other furniture away from windows and blinds. Your baby is safer without any strings or cords within reach.
  • Set your water heater to 120F to avoid burns.

Outside Safety

Kids love playing outside, especially when the weather is perfect. Take precautions by:

  • Never leaving children alone outside.
  • Ensuring that the kids are wearing helmets and knee pads.
  • Teaching children not to play near the street.
  • Explaining that children must ask for help if toys roll into the street or driveway.
  • Ensuring that all outdoor play areas are fenced.
  • Surrounding your air conditioners with fences so children cannot reach them.
  • When playing at a park or playground, check to make sure that the equipment isn’t too wet or too hot.

Eye Safety for Child Safety Protection Month

According to Common Sense Media, “children under age 8 now spend more than two hours a day with screen media. For 8 to 10-year-old, the screen time triples to six hours a day.”

Have your kids follow the “20-20-20” rule — every 20 minutes, take your eyes off your screen and look at something that’s at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This simple task relaxes the focusing and eye alignment muscles. The 20-20-20 rule also might decrease the risk of myopia progression.