Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Are Kids Ever Safe Enough?

Child safety has been on my mind a lot these days. Ok, it's always on my mind but more so lately. Maybe it's all the movies with children getting kidnapped or hurt, or the blogs of tragedies, or just the reality that I am a mom now and so I just think about everything and anything that might cause them harm.
Anyway, I've always considered myself to be a careful mom but I found this list of questions to know if you are protecting your child from unwanted dangers and it sent me into a mild panic.

  • Is your child properly restrained when riding in your car?- yes.
  • Do you use door knob covers and door locks so that your child can not get out of the house or into rooms that aren't childproofed?- yes, in a sense.
  • Do you have smoke alarms on every level of your house and near bedrooms? Do you check them regularly to make sure they are still working?- no smoke alarms but I check outlets and things plugged regularly.
  • Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home that has gas or oil heat or with attached garages? - no, I didn't know these existed.
  • Does your child wear a helmet when riding his bike?- no, but he has a toddler bike still, which he can't pedal consistently, so I figured this wasn't necessary yet.
  • If you have a pool, is it protected with a fence and a self-closing and self-latching gate?- I do, and no. Oh no!
  • Do you have a child under 6 years in the top bunk of a bunk bed?- no bunk bed.
  • Have you set the temperature of your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit?- not water heater.
  • Do you have a gun in the house that is loaded and unlocked?- no way!
  • Do you have covers on electrical outlets?- not really. They remove them. I have yet to find a brand that stays on.
  • Do you have a fire extinguisher?- yes.
  • Do you keep medicines, poisons and household cleaners completely out of reach of your children?- definitely.
  • Do you have wall anchors on your stove and large pieces of furniture that may tip over?- no, but I don't have too many large pieces of furniture.
  • Have you checked your house for recalled toys and household products?- there aren't a whole lot of toys either.
  • Do you keep toys with small parts out of the reach of your younger children?- yes.
  • Do you smoke?- yes, but not in the house.
  • Have you protected the sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces with corner and edge bumpers?- my furniture all have rounded edges.
  • Do you put sunscreen on your child when necessary?- yes.
  • If you live in an older house, has your child been screened for lead poisoning?- we don't live in an older house.
  • Do you have matches or lighters easily accessible in your house?- no.
  • Do you have window guards installed on your windows?- yes.
  • Does your family have an escape plan in case there is a fire?- yes, but it's in my head.
  • Do you have a list of emergency numbers by the phone?- no phone but I have a list on the fridge door.
  • Do you let your kids play with fireworks?- no!
  • Do you wash fruits and vegetables before letting your children eat them?- yes.
  • Are your kids safe when they visit the homes of friends or family members? Have they childproofed their homes?- they are safe and half of the homes are childproof. We try to teach them what to touch and what not to touch, e.g. what is a toy and what is glass.
  • Do you use the back burners when cooking and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove?- no but I don't allow my kids near the stove.
  • Do you use an appliance latch to lock your refrigerator?- no.
  • Do you let your younger child play outside by himself?-no.
  • Do you leave buckets around the house with water in them?- no.
  • Do you leave your younger child in the bathtub alone?-no.
  • Do you let your child stand up in shopping carts?- no.
  • Do you use a harness when your child is in his high chair?-yes.
  • Have you warned your children not to play near moving water, such as a canal or creek?- no, no moving water near us and we haven't taken them to the beach. Does the pool count? If so, yes they are always warned not to play near the pool.
  • Do you let your kids ride in the back of a pickup truck?-no!
  • Do you encourage your children to wear safety equipment when playing sports?- well, floaters when swimming. What are the safety equipment for basketball and football (soccer)?
more info here

Judging from my answers I think I am on the right track. I think a lot of the question made me think about other things too. Like, locking doors, swimming lessons, breakables, etc. I am sure I will be able to come up with an entirely new list of dangers to avoid on my own but, for now, I am satisfied with this list. How did you guys fare?

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