Five Ways to Make Your Home Safe for Your Child
September is Baby Safety Month and a reminder to look around our homes for hazards that might cause injuries to children. Parents, as well as anyone who cares for a child, play an important role in protecting them from injuries. Safety should never be compromised. Your job as a parent or caregiver is to make your child a part of your home while keeping them safe. 

The following Take Five tips will help you identify potential hazards and choose products that are safe for your child .
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Use Age Appropriate Products. Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions and choose products, including toys, car seats and high chairs, that are appropriate to your child's age and stage of development. Supervision is very important - watch, listen and stay near your child to spot hazards. Also remember to change products as your child grows, becomes more mobile , and acquires new skills.
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Child-Proof to Prevent Hazards. Get down on your hands and knees to look for dangers from a child's perspective.Children are very curious and want to touch, feel, lick, and smell anything and everything, so be thorough. Also keep in mind that child-proofing is an on-going process. Something that is safely out of reach of an infant today can become a hazard as a child grows and develops .
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Be Aware of Hidden Hazards.  Some things around your home may not look dangerous but are. These hidden hazards include magnets; loose change; items that can tip over, such as a flat screen TV; pot handles that are within reach on the stove; loose rugs; detergent pods; hot mugs of tea or coffee; window blind and electrical cords; button batteries; and recalled products. Read more about these hazards.
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Choose Safe Products and Use Them Properly. For example, hanging a purse or bags on a stroller can cause it to tip over. Use the basket underneath instead. Place cribs and pack-n-plays away from windows, drapes and blinds to prevent a child from pulling on them or getting entangled. Choose a crib mattress that fits snugly with no more than two fingers width between mattress edge and crib. View this safe sleep video for more tips.
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Be Aware of Recalls. Register purchased products with the manufacturer, so you can be notified about recalls.You can also visit or to check if a product has been recalled. If there is a recall, contact the manufacturer to obtain either a new part or an entirely new product. Using second-hand children's products is not recommended. If you do, make sure it has all its pieces, is not broken, and has not been recalled. 

Q.  I'm pregnant and my mother is going to help watch the baby. She is so excited! The problem is that she wants to use the crib that I used as a baby and I've heard that older cribs aren't safe. Is that true ?
A. You are correct, older cribs are not safe at all!  It can be difficult to explain hidden dangers, but everyone who cares for a child needs to be well informed. I'm sure your mother would want to do the right thing to protect that new grand baby so suggest that you work on it together. The resources listed below may be helpful as you prepare your family and others for your baby's arrival .
Do you have a question or a topic you'd like us to explore? Contact Parent Services at or call 800-997-8515

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