At Home Child Safety
Miscellaneous Safety Checklist for Your Home
- Change him/her on a safe area where s/he cannot roll off.
- NEVER let cords from window blinds dangle; they can accidentally strangle him/her.
- Put gates at the top and bottom of stairs and install window guards.
- Shut and lock or latch doors to the bathroom, garage, basement and outside.
- Cover sharp edges and corners of furniture and cabinets that s/he could run into.
- Don't let him/her stand up in a high chair.
- Be aware of possible childhood lead exposure; lead screening is recommended at 12 months.
- Keep a list of emergency numbers by the phone.
- Learn CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver so you are prepared in case of an emergency.
- Place safety plugs in electrical sockets.
- Use cord holders to take up slack in loose cords.
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove
- Install childproof safety latches on drawers and cabinets.
- Infants should be placed only in the supine position (on his/her back).
- Preterm infants should be placed supine as soon as possible. After infants are old enough to roll from the supine position in their sleep, repositioning is not necessary.
- Infants should sleep on a firm, safety-approved surface.
- Infants can share a room with, but should not co-sleep with, adults or other children.
- Bed-sharing is particularly hazardous with adults who smoke or have consumed alcohol.
- Soft bedding, pillows, bumper pads, and wedge positioning devices should not be used.
- Breast-feeding is encouraged.
- Consider offering a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
- Infants should sleep in well-ventilated rooms to avoid overheating. Fans can be beneficial in lowering SIDS risk.
- Infants should not be exposed to tobacco smoke.
Click here for more information about Safe Sleep for your infant.
Car Seat/Motor Vehicle Safety
- Wisconsin law states that babies under one year MUST ride rear-facing until they are at least 20 pounds AND one-year-old. However, it is recommended that you use a car seat that will allow your baby to face the rear through age 2 or to the upper weight and height limits of the rear facing seat.
- The back seat is the safest. Use the middle position if you can install the car seat securely in this position.
- For a free car seat inspection, call (608) 890-8999.
- Keep cigarette smoke and butts away from your child and out of his/her reach.
- Keep matches and disposable lighters away from him/her.
- Install and maintain smoke detectors in your home.
- NEVER leave him/her unsupervised near a fireplace or heater.
- Set hot water heater no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent hot water burns.
- Bath water should not be hotter than 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- NEVER leave him/her alone in the bath.
- S/he can drown in less than 2 inches of water - keep toilet lid closed and avoid leaving buckets of water unattended while cleaning or washing the car.
- Never leave him/her unsupervised while in or near water (swimming pool, pond, lake, creek, etc.).
- Avoid heating his/her formula bottle in the microwave; it can get scalding hot in center but feel cold on the outside.
- Never prop the bottle, s/he could choke.
- Don't let him/her lie on his/her back with food in the mouth.
- Never allow eating while actively playing; choking on foods is a real danger.
- Until six months of age you should keep your baby out of direct sunlight; move to the shade or under a tree, umbrella or stroller canopy.
- Dress him/her in comfortable lightweight clothing that covers the body and a hat with a brim that shades the face and ears.
- Child-sized sunglasses with UV protection are a good idea for protecting the eyes.
- After 6 months of age chose a sunscreen made for children; test a small area on his/her skin for a reaction before applying all over.
- The sun's rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and can come through the clouds even on cloudy days; try to keep your child out of the sun during these hours.
- Keep toys with small parts or sharp edges out of reach.
- Don't give him/her plastic bags, balloons or small objects to play with; s/he could choke or suffocate.
- Avoid using baby walkers; they can be dangerous and won't help your child learn to walk.
- Store and lock guns, unloaded and uncocked in a securely locked container.
- Store ammunition in a locked place, separate from the gun.
- Keep the poison control number by the phone.
- Keep all medicines, tobacco and household products away from children.
- Know the plants in and around your house; many kinds of yard and house plants are poisonous if eaten.