Safe and Secure
Child-Proofing Your Home
- Get down on the floor and crawl around to discover your home from a child’s perspective. Cover up hard and sharp edges. Cover electrical outlets. Place “kiddie locks” on cabinets that contain cleansers, dangerous products, or medication.
- Keep children away from water. A toddler can fall into a toilet if the lid is left up.
- Install safety gates and use playpens, which will help keep young children from wandering away. Stop using them when your child begins to unlatch or crawl over them.
- Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics’ safety and first aid page.
- Always use a car seat, even with your baby’s first ride home from the hospital or adoption agency.
- Buy, install, and use an approved child car seat. It’s better to buy a new car seat to ensure that it meets current safety standards.
- Carefully read the instructions of how to use the car seat. Research shows that many parents are not properly using car seats.
- Learn more about car seats at the American Academy of Pediatrics’ car safety seats page. You can also watch a video from Johnson’s Baby Center about how to correctly install an infant car seat.
Choking and CPR
- If your child is choking but can still cough, encourage her to spit out or cough up what she is choking on.
- Use abdominal thrusts only on children who are older than one year.
- Read Relief of Choking in Children from the American Heart Association.
- Complete a course in basic CPR. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that all parents and caregivers take a course. Simply reading about CPR will not teach you how to do it.
- The best way to deal with choking is to prevent it. Ask your pediatrician for a list of common foods and objects that young children choke on, or see a list on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ choking prevention page.
- Carefully childproof every single room of your home.
- Your child’s room or nursery should be the safest place in your home. Use a safe crib that meets current safety standards. Keep all plastic bags and coverings out of reach.
- Keep in mind that young children can’t tell what’s hot, cold, sharp, or dull. They’ll explore everything.
- Remember that accidents are the number one cause of death and serious injury for young children. Be vigilant when it comes to safety.