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Child Safety Tips At Home

Of course this isn’t possible at all times or even necessary. No one is calling for parents to take shifts to keep a watchful eye over their sleeping baby every night. That’s what we have baby monitors for. But, consider installing security cameras in your home. This means you can always see what your baby is up to no matter where you are. It’s not a substitute for being there in person, but it does offer some peace of mind.

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Refrigerator isn't secured. If your child is able to pull your fridge open on his own, consider installing a latch. And at the very least, make sure you're aware of what's in there, says Dr. Schmidt: Always keep choking hazards like grapes, breakables like wine bottles, and poisons such as medications out of reach on high shelves.

Toiletries aren't out of reach. As with pills, putting them up high isn't the answer; a curious child will simply climb up on the counter to reach them. And items you may think aren't dangerous can be deadly: "I'd rather see my kids play with bleach than with Visine," says Dr. Schmidt. In rare in-stances, the same ingredients that constrict the blood vessels to get the red out of eyes can cause blood-pressure changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coma in a small child, he explains. Lock products away using a magnetic latch or a childproof medicine container.

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Photo frames are up and away. If your child knocks over or drops a frame, the glass can shatter and cut him, even in a carpeted room. Put frames somewhere well out of reach, mount them on the wall, or replace them with plastic.

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Take a look at the storage in your child’s room. A toy box with a lid is an easy way to get some injured fingers. Use an open box instead. For any storage furniture that does go in the room, make sure it’s properly secured at all times.

Small appliances are accessible. Most toddlers can reach onto a kitchen countertop, according to research from Children's Hospital of Michigan, which means they can easily turn over appliances, and other heavy and dangerous items sitting there. Even if your coffeemaker is set toward the rear of the counter, make sure the cords aren't sticking out. And don't leave a stool out, since toddlers can use it to get to off-limits areas.

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Candles and matches are out of reach. It's possible for a toddler to accidentally light a match and start a fire, no matter how undeveloped her fine motor skills. And if she chews on a candle, she could choke on the wax. Keep candles and matches well out of reach, and try flameless LED candles to mimic the effect of flickering candlelight.

Small toys are everywhere. Round, cylindrical, or oval objects that are smaller than 1? inches in diameter can completely block the throat of a young child and cause fatal choking. (And little square toys can be a risk too.) So these should not be used by children, probably until they are 5 years old, says Parents advisor Gary Smith, M.D., Dr. P.H., director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio.


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