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Home Safety

Throughout their life, especially in their younger years, your child will spend a lot—if not the majority—of their time at home. So making your home as safe as it can be should be a priority. In the youngest years, your efforts will mostly be in creating a safe environment for your baby. As your child gets older, and they become more active and more likely to take risks, your focus will shift from keeping them safe, to teaching them safer behaviours.

 

No matter what the age of your child, you should know your local poison centre number: in NS and PEI call 1-800-565-8161, in NB call 811 or 911, and in NL call 1-844-POISONX.

 

Newborn (0-6 months)

  • Have everything you need by your side before you start bath time.
  • Check bath water with the inside of your forearm to make sure it is not too hot for your newborn.
  • Keep one hand on your newborn at all times during bath time.
  • Put your newborn to sleep in an empty crib with no bumper pads, heavy blankets or stuffed animals.
  • Remove bibs, cords, and strings before putting your newborn to sleep.
  • Use the change table strap or change your newborn on the floor.
  • Place baby seats and play equipment on the floor to prevent falls.
  • Babies should not be left alone on couches, chairs, or beds because they could fall.
  • Use covered mugs, even in the house.

 

Baby (6-12 months)

  • Keep your baby in a safe place, like a playpen, crib, or highchair, when you are not in arm’s reach.
  • Use a baby gate that screws into the wall at the top of the stairs and a pressure mounted gate at the bottom of the stairs.
  • Cut your baby’s food into pieces smaller than your fingernail.
  • Always be able to see and reach for your child during bath time.
  • Measure all medicines and write down the amount and time it was given.
  • Move the crib mattress to the lowest position once your baby is able to sit up.
  • Place corner guards on furniture with sharp edges or temporarily remove certain furniture.
  • Use the safety straps on baby seats and other play equipment.
  • Keep blind cords out of reach.
  • Cover electrical outlets that are lower than counter height.
  • Use covered mugs, even in the house.
  • Use teething toys and gentle gum massages instead of teething jewellery.

 

Toddler (1-3 years)

  • Move your child from a crib to a toddler bed (or to a mattress on the floor) if your child has tried to climb out of the crib.
  • Attach heavy furniture to the wall, and tie up blind cords.
  • Use a baby gate that screws into the wall at the top of the stairs and a pressure mounted gate at the bottom of the stairs.
  • Always be able to see and be able to reach for your child during bath time.
  • Place corner guards on furniture with sharp edges or temporarily remove risky furniture.
  • Use window locks and keep furniture away from windows.
  • Turn pot handles in towards the back of the stove. Use the back burners when possible.
  • Use cupboard locks.
  • Keep all poisons, including medicines, vitamins, tobacco, and cleaning products, up high and out of sight, or in a locked cupboard.

 

Young child (3-5 years)

  • Attach heavy furniture and televisions to the wall with safety straps.
  • Turn pot handles in toward the back of the stove.
  • Keep hot liquids and appliance cords out of reach.
  • Tie up blind cords.
  • Use window locks and keep furniture away from windows.
  • Check to make sure that handrails are secure on all staircases.
  • Stay with your child at all times during bath time.
  • Use cupboard locks.
  • Keep all poisons, including medicines, vitamins, and cleaning products, up high or in a locked cupboard.

 

Older child (5+ years)

  • Wait until your child is at least 6 years old before you let them sleep in a bunk bed.
  • Keep floors and stairs clean, dry, and tidy to help prevent falls.
  • Attach heavy furniture and televisions to the wall with safety straps.
  • Keep furniture away from windows.
  • Continue to supervise your older child during bath time.
  • Turn pot handles in towards the back of the stove and use the back burners when possible.
  • Store all outdoor poisons and yard products in their original containers, up high and out of children’s reach.
  • Keep all poisons like medicines, vitamins, and cleaning products in a locked cupboard.

 

Teens and preteens (10 – 16 years)

  • Teach your preteen and teen to never to play with matches, lighters, or fireworks
  • If your teen is ready to help with the cooking, teach them how to do it safely.
  • Store household products safely to prevent poisoning.
  • Keep medicines locked, labelled, and stored out of reach and sight of children, even medicine you take every day.
  • Keep all household cleaning products in their original containers.

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