Keeping Kids Safe – At Each Age

by Jennifer Kelly Geddes

Keeping Kids Safe – At Each Age

Whatever your child’s age, you want to keep her safe. But the most common dangers she’ll face will change every few months; your strategies should too:

AGE: 0 to 2 months

Risk: Falls, predominantly from changing tables and front carriers

Prevention: Never leave an infant unattended on a high surface. With carriers, strap her in.

AGE: 2 to 5 months

Risk: Battering and shaken baby syndrome

Prevention: Make sure all caregivers know that shaking a baby  — even “just a little”  — can cause serious injury or fatalities.

AGE: 6 to 8 months

Risk: Falls from furniture

Prevention: Now that babies can roll and crawl, watch out for beds, couches, or other high surfaces. Best bet: the floor.

AGE: 8 to 11 months

Risk: Swallowing foreign objects and choking

Prevention: Avoid hot dogs and grapes; cut foods into little pieces, and cook them until they’re soft. Keep small items (coins, paper clips, older-kid toys with tiny parts) stored well away.

AGE: 12 to 17 months

Risk: Hot-liquid burns and drowning

Prevention: Toddlers can knock hot foods off coffee tables, so when she starts to pull herself up on living room furniture, clear all surfaces. Supervise every moment she’s around water: bathtubs, buckets, wading pools.

AGE: 1 1/2 to 3 years

Risk: Medication poisoning

Prevention: Request childproof caps for any medicine you bring home. It’s essential to store it out of your child’s reach.

AGE: 3 to 4 years

Risk: Car accidents, on the road or in driveways

Prevention: Be vigilant around driveways: When possible, another adult should be sure any kids are far away when you back out or drive in. Get your car seats checked to make certain they’re installed right.