It’s every parents desire to provide a safe environment for their child to live, grow and play. Unfortunately, sometimes a parent’s good intentions or momentary lapse in judgment can have deadly consequences for their children.
When considering your child’s daily life, take inventory and see if you’re making any of these top 10 safety mistakes that many parents make:
1. Using the wrong car seat. Not all car seats are created equally. There are specific seats designed for specific children. Be sure your child is in the seat that best suits his size and age. When shopping for a car seat, check the manufactures instructions for size guidelines and follow their recommendations carefully.
2. Improperly using the correct car seat. More than 80% of car seats are installed incorrectly. The correct car seat installed and used incorrectly can render itself useless. Consider contacting your local fire or police department and ask to have a certified car seat installation technician install your child’s seat. You’ll also want to be sure that the harness straps and retainer clip are in the correct position and that they are pulled tightly.
3. Leaving the kids alone in the bath. Children should never be left in the bathtub unattended, even for a moment. Children can easily drown in just a few inches of water.
4. Feeding foods that cause choking. Feeding whole grapes, popcorn, chips, raw carrots, hot dogs and other foods that pose a choking risk for young children should not be served to them.
5. Leaving the kids in the car unattended. The temperature inside of a car can rise significantly in just a few minutes. On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside of the car can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit within 10 minutes. Once the body temperature reaches 107 degrees Fahrenheit, death can occur. In 15 states, leaving your child inside of a car alone is a criminal act.
6. Not lowering the water thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Lowering the water temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit degrees can help protect your child from accidental water burns.
7. Putting stuff in the crib. Nothing should be placed inside the crib with your child. Stuffed toys and blankets can pose a suffocation risk to your child. Instead of a blanket, consider using a sleep sack to help keep your child warm.
8. Using harsh chemicals on the lawn. Many lawn fertilizers and other lawn chemicals aren’t designed to be used on areas where children will be playing. Consult a lawn and garden professional about safe alternatives to chemical lawn products.
9. Keeping the room too hot at bedtime. The ideal room temperature for a child’s bedroom is 61-68 degrees Fahrenheit. The room should feel comfortable to a lightly clothed adult. Consider keeping a fan going in the room to promote air circulation. Overheating is thought to be a contributing factor in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
10. Putting babies to bed on their stomach. Babies should always be placed in the crib on their backs. Putting a healthy baby to sleep on his back can help reduce the risk of SIDS. In some special cases, your pediatrician may recommend that your baby be put to sleep on his side or stomach, but you should only do so if your pediatrician provided this specific recommendation for your baby.
While even avoiding every safety mistake can’t guarantee your child a life free from injury, avoiding the top 10 safety mistakes parents make may reduce your child’s risk of injury or death.