Child Safety for All Ages

Some safety hazards apply to all children. But many problems are especially dangerous for children at a particular age or stage of development.

Keep the following precautions in mind for your children as they grow.

Birth to 8 months

  • Never leave a child alone on a changing table, bed, or sofa. Children can fall as soon as they can roll over.

  • Use gates on stairways and install window guards on all windows above the first floor as soon as your baby can crawl.

  • Never leave small objects within your baby's reach.

  • Put your baby to sleep face up to prevent suffocation and reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

  • Never carry hot liquids or food, or cook, while holding your child.

8 to 12 months

  • Keep pins and other sharp objects off the floor and out of your baby's reach.

  • Install safety plugs in wall sockets.

  • Remove easily overturned lamps and dangling electrical cords.

  • Place soft adhesive bumpers on the corners of sharp-edged furniture.

  • Place a gate across stairways to keep the baby from falling downstairs.

  • Keep medicines and poisons in a locked cabinet. Install child locks on cabinets.

  • Be sure baby furniture and toys are painted with lead-free paint. Buy age-appropriate toys that are too large to swallow.

  • Never leave your baby alone in the bath; keep one hand on the child at all times.

12 to 36 months

  • Secure doors that lead to stairways, driveways, and storage areas.

  • Never leave a child alone in a bathtub, wading pool, or other body of water.

  • Lock medicines away immediately after use.

  • Lock kerosene, pesticides, and toxic cleaning products in a safe place.

  • Buy age-appropriate toys that are too large to swallow.

  • Don't leave your child alone around burning fireplaces, heaters, or other hot appliances.

  • Provide constant supervision.

  • Store dangerous tools and gardening equipment in a locked shed or cabinet.

  • Keep matches and cigarette lighters locked up and out of sight.

3- to 6-year-olds

  • Teach your child the right way to use simple kitchen tools and appliances.

  • Teach bicycle safety rules and traffic dangers.

  • Start swimming lessons. Never leave a child unsupervised around a pool or other body of water, even if the child has had swimming lessons.

6- to 12-year-olds

  • Insist that your child wear a helmet when cycling or other appropriate times. Children should wear helmets and wrist and kneepads while skating and skateboarding.

  • Teach proper use of more complex kitchen appliances.

  • Be sure your child uses well-fitting, well-maintained sports equipment when practicing or playing a game.

  • Teach your child basic first-aid and what to do in an emergency.

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