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Keeping children safe and secure is undoubtedly a major concern for parents, grandparents, teachers, and other care givers. While you canít protect your child from every single bump or bruise, there are many precautions you can take to ensure their safety. The very first step is to purchase an infant car seat, which is required by law in all fifty U.S. states to transport babies home from the hospital. It is reported that one in every four children receives medical care due to an injury such as a fall from a bicycle or a tumble down the stairs. Itís a good idea for parents to prepare a ďsafety checklistĒ of things they can do to prevent injuries in the home. Childproofing your home can be done prior to bringing baby home. Childproofing includes things such as covering all electrical outlets, installing locks on toilets and cabinet doors. Ask yourself questions such as: is there a working smoke alarm on every level of your home? Are all window cords out of reach of the children? Are all medications, cleaning supplies, and chemicals stored above waist level or behind locked doors? Make sure your child is never left alone in the bathtub, and also have supervision when near swimming pools, lakes or other bodies of water. Safety gates should be installed in any areas of your home that may be of danger to your child.

As children reach pre-teen and teen years, internet safety becomes another safety concern. While you may not be able to monitor your childís activities online 100 percent of the time, there are things you can do to minimize the dangers. Keep the computer in an area of the house where everyone can see it. Know what websites your children are visiting and read those web siteís privacy policies. Internet accounts should be in the parentís name, and they should control the passwords and use their names for the primary screen name. Keep the lines of communication open with your child about the computer and internet safety is key. Also consider installing filtering software on the computer.

Itís always good to prepare for an emergency. Keep a list of emergency numbers close to each phone in your home and on your cell phone. Make sure all caregivers for your children also have access to these numbers. Develop an escape plan in case of a fire, and practice it with your children. The United States national poison control center phone number is 800-222-1222. If you call this number, they will immediately put you in contact with the closest local center.


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