Child Safety Resources (05)
The National SAFE KIDS Campaign is the first and only national non-profit organization dedicated solely to the prevention of unintentional childhood injury: the number one killer of children ages 14 and under. More than 300 state and local SAFE KIDS coalitions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico comprise the Campaign. Children's National Medical Center and Founding Sponsor Johnson and Johnson launched the campaign. Site includes links to public policy, safety education activities for kids, conference information, research information, certifications, a resource catalog and safety seat guide.
In general, most toys on the market today are safe. But, injuries still occur in spite of tough government regulations and toy makers' efforts to test products. The first step in preventing toy-related injuries is to know what to look for. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is a great resource for toy safety, as you would expect it to be. This page of Safety Publications offers several publications in PDF format on toys (see the last section on the page, Toys, but also other sections, such as Sports, Fitness and Recreation). There's a guide to choosing, buying and maintains toys for children and infants; a fact sheet on the Child Safety Protection Act; tips on selecting and using electric toys, which can be quite dangerous; a safety alert on caps for toy guns to help prevent burn injuries; a document of the suffocation danger associated with children's balloons; a document warning against BB guns (BB Guns Can Kill); and a document on the choking hazard of plastic film on toys and other children's products. There are other documents as well, such as a toy safety coloring book and guys for choosing suitable toys for children up to age five, and ages six through twelve.
What to Teach Kids About Strangers
Kids need to know the difference between strangers they can trust, and strangers they should be weary of, and this page by the National Crime Prevention Council tries to provide information parents can use to teach their children about strangers and suspicious behavior, as well as some precautions they can take on their own. A few salient points: kids tend to think that bad strangers will look scary like villains in cartoons. This is only half true, as pretty strangers can also be dangerous, and kids should know that you can't tell by appearances. Importantly, you don't want kids to think all strangers are bad; for one thing, sometimes they may need help from strangers, such as if they're lost, threatened by a bully, or being followed by a stranger. Some safe strangers are obvious, like police and firefighters. The way to help children recognize safe strangers is to point them out when you're out in town with your kids. The most important task is to teach kids to be wary of potentially dangerous situations. They need to learn warning signsfor example, when an adult asks them to disobey their parents, or keep a secret, or make them feel uncomfortable in any way. Yu should practice different scenarios and responses with your children.
A Checklist for Childproofing Your Home
It is especially important that a home with small children be made safe. Some of the safety measures you need to take for a small child are obvious, but unfortunately many are not. This checklist of safety precautions that need to be taken in a home with small children will help insure that the unthinkable never happens. The site is broken down in Safety Measures for Every Room, Safety Measures for Hallways & Staircases, Safety Measures for Kids' Rooms, Safety Measurers for the Kitchen, Safety Measures for the Bathroom, Safety Measures for the Yard, and Special Safety Precautions. Under each category are several dozen bulleted safety tips and advice, such as shorten curtain and blind cords, keep furniture away from windows, place screen barriers around fireplaces and other heat sources, keep matches and lighters locked away, install carpeting on stairs to prevent slips and falls, never use an electric blanket in a crib, lock all medicine cabinets and many more. If you have small children, going through this extensive checklist just might help save the life of a child.
Choosing a Babysitter
This article on WhatHappensNow.com on finding and choosing a good baby sitter is based on interviewing babysitters, babysitting agencies, the American Red Cross, and moms and dads. The advice is grouped into the following categories: Starting Out (i.e., finding candidates), Consider This... (make a list of your needs and requirements), The Sitter Interview (questions to ask candidates), Test Run (an interesting idea for you and the kids to get to know and evaluate the babysitter based on a short period, such as an hour where you run an errand), Post-Sitter Pow-Wow (speaking with your children afterwards) and the Babysitter Info Chart (information to leave the sitter before you leave).