Home Safety - Alberta Health Services

Did you know?
> Falls are the leading cause of childhood injuries in the home.
> Food is involved in
over 75% of
choking or near choking incidents.
> Suffocation is the leading cause of injury-related death among infants
> Many children have been burned because they have touched or
grabbed a hot object,
or because something
hot, such as a
beverage, was spilled on them.
Home Safety
Normal physical development, curiosity, and boredom
all influence what a child will do. Adults must
anticipate hazards instead of waiting for a child to
discover them first.
In the home, the most frequent and severe
unintentional injuries result from falls, poisonings,
choking, suffocation, strangulation, drowning, and
When assessing your home for hazards, look at your
home from a child’s point of view. Get down on the
floor to see dangers you would otherwise miss. Watch
closely when you have visitors as they may have purses,
suitcases, etc. that may contain harmful items.
Proper supervision, safe environments, hazard awareness, and participating in
age-appropriate activities all help reduce the risk of injury to children in their
home or in someone else’s home.
Learn more… >
For more information go to www.albertahealthservices.ca/injuryprevention.asp
Managing the Risks ...
To help manage risks at home: Look First and Get Trained.
Look First
•Do not use baby walkers for any reason.
•When using a change table, secure the baby with your hand when you turn or reach for something. Never leave a baby unattended.
•Lock balcony doors.
•Use approved safety gates at the top and bottom of all stairs. Gates at the top of stairs should be mounted to the wall.
•Install side rails on beds being used by small children.
•Keep large toys and stuffed animals out of the crib or playpen.
•Install child-resistant latches on windows and screens.
•Attach non-skid strips or rubber mats in bathtubs.
Look First
•Adjust the temperature of your water heater to 49º C (120º F).
•Test the bath water with your wrist before putting a child in the tub.
•Cover all exposed electrical outlets with sliding outlet covers.
•Keep hot liquids and food away from children. Hot liquids can scald up to half an hour after boiling.
•Do not heat baby bottles in the microwave as microwaves do not heat evenly.
•Keep fire extinguishers in the kitchen, garage, and basement.
•Teach older children safe operation of the microwave.
•Place a stable fire screen in front of the fireplace.
•Always store matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
•Keep candles in sturdy candle holders and out of reach. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
•Install a smoke detector on every level of the house. Test them monthly and change the batteries every six months.
•Install a good quality carbon monoxide detector.
•Teach children to stay away from the stove.
Get Trained
•Develop a home fire escape plan for your family and practice it.
•Teach children what to do if their clothes catch fire. Stop, Drop, and Roll.
Look First
•Constant supervision during baths is necessary for children under five years of age.
•Do not rely on a bath ring to keep your infant upright in the tub.
•Keep the lid down when the toilet is not being used.
Look First
•Avoid tiny or hard foods for young children.
•Cut or puree “plug shaped” food, such as grapes and hot dogs.
•Grate hard fruits and vegetables for young children.
•Follow the age recommendations for toys.
•If you have pre-schoolers living in or visiting your home, remove all small objects from the floor and reachable areas.
Get Trained
•Take a first aid course to learn what to do if someone is choking.
Look First
•Use Mylar balloons instead of latex balloons.
•Keep plastic away from infants and small children.
•The safest place for babies to sleep is on their backs, in a crib, in an
environment away from soft
comforters, pillows, bumper pads, stuffed animals, and tobacco smoke.
•Use cribs made after 1986.
•Check bunk bed labels to ensure that they meet safety standards.
•Ensure that toy chests have airholes and slow closing lids; if a toy chest does not have these features, remove the lid.
Look First
•Purchase drawstring free clothing.
•Do not tie a string around a child’s neck for any reason.
•Keep blind and drapery cords securely out of reach.
•Place cribs, beds, high chairs, and
playpens a safe distance from windows.
Look First
•Be cautious while using household
cleansers like furniture polish and detergents.
•Do not leave cigarettes, ashtrays or leftover alcoholic drinks unattended.
•Secure all hazardous substances in a locked cabinet. Harmful substances include household cleansers, cosmetics, alcohol, and medicines.
•Use child-resistant caps for all medicines. Keep pills out of purses, pockets or bags.
•When giving a child medicine, call it by its proper name. Do not treat it as candy or a special treat.
•Keep houseplants out of reach and ask your plant store which plants are nontoxic.
•Post the Alberta Poison Control Centre number by your phone –
General Tips
Look First
• Store guns and firearms in a locked storage case. Ensure they are stored unloaded and have the safety clips on.
•Lock ammunition in a separate location from the guns and firearms.
Get Trained
•Anyone handling guns or firearms should receive training from a certified instructor.
•Secure bookcases, children’s dressers, appliances, and heavy electronics to the wall to prevent them from toppling over.
Manage the risks…
> look first,
> wear the gear,
> get trained,
> buckle up, and
> drive sober.
608008A © (2011/04)
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