keeping children safe - Children`s Aid Society of Hamilton

keeping children safe - Children`s Aid Society of Hamilton
KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE
A Guide for Caregivers
Poscor Centre for Children & Families
26 Arrowsmith Road
P.O. Box 1170, Depot 1, Hamilton, Ontario L8N 4B9
905-522-1121
NOTES:
Mission Statement
The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton, in partnership with
families and our community, is committed to the safety,
protection and well-being of children and the strengthening
of families, while valuing diversity and promoting equity.
INTRODUCTION
IMPORTANT CONTACT INFORMATION
The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton
Public Health
Consumer Product Recalls
Ontario Poison Centre
Office of the Fire Marshal
St. John Ambulance
Ministry of Transportation
Transport Canada
Canadian Red Cross
SIDS
Family Doctor:
Pediatrician:
Child Protection Worker:
In case of EMERGENCY call
905-522-1121
905-546-3550
www.publichealth.gc.ca
www.healthcanada.gc.ca/cps-recalls
1-800-268-9017
416-325-3100
www.ofm.gov.on.ca
905-387-1880
www.sja.ca
1-800-268-4686
www.mto.gov.on.ca
1-800-333-0371
www.tc.gc.ca
905-522-8485
www.redcross.ca
1-800-END-SIDS
www.sidscanada.org
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911
For general inquiries about any of the information in this booklet, contact your
Child Protection Worker or your local Public Health & Community Services
Department. In Hamilton contact: 905-546-3500
The Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton understands that in
today’s world there are many factors to think about when
trying to keep children safe. We realize how difficult it can
be to keep all of the information straight and to make certain
you are following all current recommendations in your efforts
to ensure a child-safe environment.
In response to the large number of factors caregivers must
consider, this booklet was created to support you in creating
a safe environment for children in and around your home.
We hope you will find the booklet informative and helpful.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding any
of the information enclosed, please discuss your concerns
with your Child Protection Worker or contact the appropriate
resource listed within the booklet.
FIRE SAFETY
How safe is your home?
(continued)
PREVENTING FIRE
▪ To prevent the spread of fire keep bedroom doors closed while sleeping
▪ Store all flammable material away from heat sources
▪ Keep matches and lighters out of sight and reach of children
▪ Keep in mind that child-resistant lighters are not child-proof
▪ Teach young children not to touch matches or lighters and to tell an adult if
they find them
▪ Fireplaces and wood stoves should have screens to prevent sparks from
exiting
▪ Chimneys should be cleaned and inspected every year by a professional
▪ If anyone in the home smokes, they should smoke outside
▪ Adult smokers should have only one lighter or book of matches and should
keep it with them at all times
▪ Always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking
▪ Always blow out candles before leaving the room
▪ Keep lit candles away from items that can catch fire, such as toys,
clothing, curtains, Christmas trees and decorations
▪ Place candles in a sturdy, burn resistant container that won’t tip over and
is big enough to collect dripping wax
▪ Avoid overloading electrical outlets
▪ Extension cords should only be used as a temporary connection
▪ Check electrical appliances regularly for damaged cords and replace
loose, frayed or damaged cords immediately
▪ Don’t let trash accumulate in the attic, basement or garage
▪ Don’t run extension cords behind rugs or curtains
▪ Keep all exits in the home clear and easy to use
▪ If parents suspect their child is involved in inappropriate fire
play they should call their local fire department for
information and assistance
▪ Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher labeled ABC for the
kitchen, basement and garage.
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All exits in our home are clear and easy to access
All matches, lighters and fire-starting materials are stored out
of reach of children
All children are secured in an appropriate car seat for EVERY
trip in the car
Children are never left alone in the bath tub or near any other
body of water (kiddie pool, river, backyard pool, etc.)
Infants are placed to sleep alone on their backs in a crib,
cradle or bassinet
All unused electrical outlets are covered
The thermostat on the water heater is set to 49 degrees
Celsius or less to prevent burns
The more ‘Yes’ boxes you can check, the safer your home.
Plans to address any identified safety concerns:
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How safe is your home?
FIRE SAFETY
Complete this safety checklist to find out!
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Medication is stored out of reach of children
Alcohol is stored out of reach of children
All cleaning products and poisonous products are stored out
of reach of children
Knives, scissors and other sharp objects are stored out of
reach of children
Sources of water (pool, hot tub, ravine) are fenced and
secured with a locked gate
Tools are secured and any power tools are stored in a locked
cabinet
Guns and firearms are stored unloaded in a locked container
with ammunition stored separately
All windows and screens above the first floor (windows,
balcony doors, etc.) are adequately secured using safety
latches or locks
Large pieces of furniture (dressers, TV, shelves, mirrors) are
secured to the wall to prevent toppling
Baby gates are in use at the top of all stairs
Blind cords are tied up and out of reach of children
No crib/bed/dresser is placed in front of a window
No bunk bed is placed under a ceiling fan
There are no locks on a child’s bedroom door
All exterior doors have functioning locks
All unused electrical outlets are covered
The thermostat on the water heater is set to 49 degrees
Celsius or less to prevent burns
We have a home fire escape plan
We have working smoke alarms installed on every storey of
our home
We have a working smoke alarm installed outside all sleeping
areas
SMOKE ALARMS
▪ The Ontario Fire Code requires that working
smoke alarms be installed on every storey of the home and outside all
sleeping areas. IT’S THE LAW!
▪ For extra protection, the Office of the Fire Marshal recommends installing
a smoke alarm in every bedroom
▪ Test your smoke alarms once each month
▪ Change smoke alarm batteries annually AND whenever the low-battery
warning sounds
▪ Replace smoke alarms that are more than 10-years-old
▪ It is recommended that all homes have a carbon monoxide detector
installed in the sleeping area.
DURING A FIRE
▪ If clothing catches on fire, stop, drop and roll
▪ In dense smoke, crawl on floor to nearest exit
▪ Test every door, be sure there is no fire on the other side
▪ Leave personal belongings behind
▪ Don’t go back for any reason.
RESOURCES:
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA): www.nfpa.org
Office of the Fire Marshall (OFM): www.ofm.gov.on.ca
Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council:
www.firesafetycouncil.com/english/pubsafe.htm
Your Local Fire Department:
Arson Prevention Program for Children: 905-546-2424, ext. 7797
Fire Station Tours: 905-546-3333, option # 4
V.I.P. Home Inspection Program: 905-546-3382
Alarmed and Ready (smoke alarm installation): 905-546-3382
Develop a Home Fire Escape plan today …
it could save your life tonight
HOME SAFETY
Statistics show that most fire fatalities occur in the home between 2:00-4:00 a.m.,
while occupants are asleep. That is why it is critical to develop an escape plan …
so you can react quickly during a fire. According to Fire Prevention
Canada, quick response is extremely important because:
The smoke is black and very thick making it impossible to see;
There is no time for indecision, an entire home can be engulfed within five
minutes;
Most people are killed by smoke inhalation, not the flame of the fire;
The heat of the fire is extremely intense and can kill you instantly
Draw a floor plan of your home. Use the grid in this booklet to draw a floor
plan for each level of your home.
Include all possible emergency exits. Draw in all the doors, windows and
stairways. This will illustrate all possible escape routes at a glance. Include any
features, such as the roof of a garage or porch, that would help in your escape.
Show two ways out of every room, if possible. The door will be the main exit,
however if the door is blocked by smoke or fire, identify an alternate escape route
such as a window. Make sure that all windows can open easily and that everyone
knows how to escape through them to safety. Consider placing an escape ladder
in bedrooms above the first floor.
Does anyone need help to escape? Decide in advance who will assist the very
young, older adults or persons with disabilities. A few minutes of planning will
save valuable seconds in a real emergency.
Choose a meeting place outside. This should be a safe distance from your
home and a place everyone will remember. A tree, street light or neighbour’s
home are all good choices. In case of a fire, everyone will go to this meeting place
to be accounted for.
Call the fire department from outside your home. Don’t waste valuable time
calling from inside. Once outside use a cell phone or neighbour’s phone.
Once out, STAY OUT. Never re-enter a burning building for any reason.
Practice your escape. Walk through your escape route as a family, making sure
all options are practical and easy to use. Hold a fire drill twice a year and time
how long it takes to escape. Make sure everyone memorizes escape routes.
Knowing what to do can save precious time in a real emergency.
▪ Wall mounted baby gates must
be used at the top of all stairs.
▪ Pressure mounted gates are
recommended at the bottom of
Stairs and in doorways.
▪ All unused electrical outlets
should be covered.
▪ Keep cords for electrical
appliances, such as kettles and
toasters, out of the reach of
children. Children can be injured
if they pull an appliance off the counter.
▪ Turn pot handles to the centre of the stove when cooking to prevent children
from pulling the boiling water onto themselves.
▪ Put a barrier around fireplaces to prevent children from being burned by hot
surfaces, during and after use.
▪ All exterior doors should have functioning locks.
▪ Pools and other sources of water are to be fenced and locked.
▪ Tools should be stored out of reach of children and any power tools should be
stored in a locked cabinet.
▪ Guns and firearms must be stored unloaded in a locked container with
ammunition stored separately.
RESOURCES
Check regularly for recalls of toys, clothing, furniture and equipment by
contacting the manufacturer or visiting Health Canada’s Consumer Product
Recalls web page at www.healthcanda.gc.ca/cps-recalls.
HOME SAFETY
▪ Medication poses a serious risk to children and should
be stored out of reach of children and in a locked
cabinet whenever possible.
▪ When storing medication in a purse or diaper bag,
always ensure the article is stored out of reach of
children.
▪ Alcohol should be stored out of reach of children or locked.
▪ All cleaning products and poisonous products should be stored out of reach
of children and in a locked cabinet whenever possible.
▪ Keep household chemical products in original containers. Never cover up or
remove labels.
▪ Keep in mind that child-resistant
closures are not child-proof and
still require safe storage out of the
reach of children.
▪ Knives, scissors and other sharp
objects should be stored out of reach of
children.
▪ Set the thermostat on your water heater to 49 degrees Celsius or less to
prevent burns.
▪ All windows and screens above the first floor (windows, balcony doors, etc)
should be adequately secured using safety latches or locks.
▪ Large pieces of furniture (dressers, TV, shelves, mirrors) should be
secured to the wall to prevent toppling over.
▪ No crib/bed/dresser should be placed in front of a window.
▪ No bunk bed should be placed under a ceiling fan.
▪ No locks on a child’s bedroom door (inside or out).
▪ Blind cords should be tied up and out of reach of children.
▪ Make sure plastic bags are kept out of the reach of children to prevent
suffocation.
Our Home Escape Plan
Our Home Escape Plan
Water Safety
Life Jackets
▪ Ensure all life jackets have a label indicating it has been approved by
Transport Canada or for older models by the Canadian Coast Guard,
Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
▪ Ensure you are using the correct life jacket for the individual. For
children, life jackets are measured by weight, for adults, by chest size.
▪ The life jacket should fit snugly.
▪ Ensure all buckles and zippers
are in good working order and
are secure when in use.
▪ For children under age five,
choose a life vest with a strap
between the legs to prevent it
from riding up, and with a neck
support to keep their face out of the water.
▪ Inflatable toys, water wings and puddle jumpers are not designed to protect
against drowning.
Pools, ponds, hot tubs and spas
According to the Consumer Product and Safety Commission, fences surrounding
pools, ponds, hot tubs and spas should:
surround the pool on all four sides;
be at least 4 ft high (122 cm);
be self closing and self latching;
be locked when the pool is not in use.
▪ Caregivers should empty all portable toddler pools and water tables after each
use. Keep young, non-swimmers within arms’ reach at all times.
▪ Ensure you have first aid equipment and a phone in the pool area.
▪ Consider becoming certified in First Aid and CPR and keeping that certification
current.
RESOURCES:
Red Cross: www.redcross.ca
Transport Canada: www.tc.gc.ca
Wear a Life Jacket: www.wearalifejacket.com
Water Safety
▪ Drowning happens quickly and silently - often in only seconds.
▪ Drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death for Canadian
children ages one to four.
▪ A small child can drown in only a few centimeters of water (enough to cover
the nose and mouth). Young children most often drown in backyard pools,
toddler pools, the bathtub or at the beach.
Keeping Children Safe
▪ Children under five should be in
arms’ reach of an adult at all times
when near water. Do not rely on older
siblings or other children to supervise
young children.
▪ Always actively watch children around
water – even if they can swim.
▪ Never leave a child alone in the bathtub
or around any water (river, toddler
pool, sink or toilet, etc.).
Bath Safety
▪ Never leave a child unattended in a
bathtub for any reason.
▪ Health Canada does not recommend the use of bath seats/bath rings as
children have been injured by slipping through the holes or tipping over in
the chair.
▪ Test the water temperature before placing a child in the bathtub.
▪ Set your hot water heater to 49 degrees Celsius or lower to prevent burns.
49°C
Our Home Escape Plan
SAFE SLEEP
CRIBS
▪ A crib that meets current Canadian Safety
regulations is the SAFEST place for your
baby to sleep.
▪ A crib should not be used if the child is
taller than 90 cm (35.4 in) or if he/she is
able to climb out of it, whichever comes first.
▪ Do not use a crib made before September
1986 as they do not meet current safety
regulations.
▪ Crib slats must be no more than 6 cm
(2.4 in) apart on all sides.
▪ The mattress must not be thicker than
15 cm (6 in) and should be firm with no
holes, tears or soft spots.
▪ Retighten all screws every three months.
▪ Place the mattress support in its lowest
CAR SEAT SAFETY
position AND remove mobiles and
toy bars, as soon as your baby can
push up on his/her hand and knees.
▪ Bumper pads, stuffed toys or
waterproof sheets should NOT be
used in the crib.
▪ Regularly inspect your crib for
hazards such as holes, exposed bolt
ends, broken or missing parts.
BASSINETS
▪ Bassinets that meet current Canadian safety regulations are appropriate places for
your baby to sleep until he/she reaches the maximum weight recommended OR can
roll over, whichever comes first.
▪ The mattress must not be thicker than 3.8 cm (1.5 in). There must not be a gap of
more than 3 cm (1.2 in) between the mattress and any part of the bassinet’s sides.
CRADLES
▪ Cradles that meet Canadian safety regulations are appropriate places for your baby
to sleep until he/she reaches the maximum weight recommended by the
manufacturer OR until your baby can push up on his/her hands and knees,
whichever comes first.
▪ Do not use cradles with decorative cut outs or corner posts that are more than
3 mm in height as these may cause injury to the baby.
▪ Spacing between the bars should be no more than 6 cm (2.4 in).
▪ The mattress must not be thicker than 3.8 cm (1.5 in).
▪ There must not be a gap more than 3 cm (1.2 in) between the mattress and
cradle sides.
Booster: Preschool to 8-years-old, 18-36 kg (40-80 lbs)
Seatbelts are designed to protect adults. Booster
seats raise the child up so that the adult seatbelt
works more effectively.
A lap and shoulder combination belt must be
used with all booster seats.
Your child's head must be supported by the top
of the booster, vehicle seat or headrest.
The shoulder strap must lie across the child’s
shoulder (not the neck or face) and middle of the
chest, and the lap belt must cross low over the
hips (not the stomach/abdomen).
Never use seatbelt adjusters.
Youth: 8 to 12-years-old
Once your child can sit all the way against the vehicle seat back with legs
bent comfortably over the edge of the seat, and with the shoulder belt flat
across the shoulder and chest, he or she is ready
to move from the booster seat to the vehicle
seatbelt.
A child can use a seat belt only when the child
reaches one of these milestones:
turns 8-years-old
weighs 36 kg (80 lbs)
is 145 cm (4 ft, 9 in) tall
Never put the shoulder strap behind the child’s
back.
Children under 13 are safest in the back seat.
RESOURCES:
For help installing your car seat securely contact:
Your local Public Health Department at [email protected] or 905-546-3550
or St. John Ambulance: www.sja.ca
For additional information on car seat safety:
Ministry of Transportation: www.mto.gov.on.ca
Transport Canada: http://www.tc.gc.ca
CAR SEAT SAFETY
Car crashes are the number one cause of death for Canadian children (MTO, 2011).
Infants: Birth to 9 kg (20 lbs)
Rear facing
45 degree angle
No more than 2.5 cm (1 in) of
movement at anchor point
The shoulder harness should come
out below shoulder level
Shoulder harness/strap should be flat against chest, not twisted
Chest clip should be secured at armpit level
Allow only one finger of space between baby and harness at collar bone
A child should remain rear facing until they are at least 20 pounds AND
over one-year-old.
Toddler: 9-18 kg (20-40 lbs)
Forward facing
Use a tether strap to secure the seat
from moving forward in a crash
No more than 2.5 cm (1 in) of
movement at anchor point
Shoulder harness should come out
at or above the child’s shoulders
Chest clip should be secured at
armpit level
Only allow one finger space between strap and child’s chest.
CAR SEATS EXPIRE
Transport Canada provides a list of manufacturers of car seats and booster
seats sold in Canada which includes the expiry/life date of their products at
www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/safedrivers-childsafety-notices.
SAFE SLEEP
PLAYPENS
Playpens are NOT intended to be used for unsupervised sleep as they do not
meet the same safety requirements and are not as durable as cribs.
SLEEP POSITIONERS
Health Canada does not recommend the use of sleep positioners as babies
can suffocate on them. Once a baby can roll over they do not have to be kept on
their back all night.
BUMPER PADS
Health Canada does not recommend the use of bumper pads as babies can
suffocate if their faces become pressed against the fabric. Additional concerns
pertain to the long strings/ties attached to bumper pads as a baby may become
tangled or strangle on the cords. Furthermore, older babies may use bumper pads
to climb out of their crib and may fall and become seriously injured.
OTHER PRODUCTS (car seats, swings, bouncers, slings, strollers)
It is not safe for a baby to sleep for long periods in strollers, car seats,
swings, bouncers, slings, etc. that keep the baby in a seated semi-reclined
position. In this position the baby’s airway may become constricted causing
breathing difficultly and even death. Once you reach your destination or the baby
has been lulled to sleep move the baby to a crib, cradle or bassinet.
BED SHARING
Babies should never be placed to sleep on standard beds, water beds, air
mattresses, couches, futons or chairs. A baby can suffocate when
sleeping on these unsafe surfaces.
Babies should never sleep on the same surface as an adult or another child.
Babies have been hurt or died because of:
falling off an adult bed;
being trapped between a mattress and headboard or mattress and wall;
being smothered by soft bedding (comforters/duvets) or pillows;
being smothered while bed sharing with an adult, particularly one who is
extremely fatigued or impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Health Canada does not recommend using bedside sleep products that have one
side lowered, as the space between the adult bed and infant sleep product is too
wide and a baby may become trapped.
SAFE SLEEP
It is recommended that caregivers always follow the ABC’s of safe sleep:
A is for alone
B is for back to sleep
C is for sleeping in a crib
The safest place for your baby to sleep is
on his/her back, in a crib, cradle or
bassinet.
Health Canada and the Public Health
Agency of Canada recommend room
sharing for the first six months of your
baby’s life. This involves placing your baby
to sleep in a crib, cradle or bassinet that is
within arm’s reach of where you sleep.
General Sleep Safety
Cords on window blinds, shades and curtains are a strangulation hazard. Tie
cords out of reach at all times.
Place your baby’s sleeping area away from hazards such as windows, patio
doors, lamps, plugs, cords and small objects that could injure your baby.
Before putting your baby to bed, scan the surroundings for potential hazards. If
hazards are identified, remove them.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the safe use of any baby or child
product, particularly those used for sleep.
Check regularly to make sure all hardware is secure and that there are no
damaged or sharp parts that may be dangerous.
RESOURCES:
The above information was collected from the Public Health Agency of Canada
and various written materials accessed on their website at www.publichealth.gc.ca.
Check consumer product recalls at: www.healthcanada.gc.ca/cps-recalls.
For further information on SIDS, contact the Canadian Foundation for the Study of
Infant Deaths at www.sidscanada.org or call 1-800-END-SIDS.
SAFE SLEEP
Reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
▪ Put your baby on his/her back to sleep for nap time and bed time.
▪ Ensure the baby’s crib is completely empty aside from a mattress and fitted sheet.
▪ Make sure the mattress is firm and fits tightly against the sides of the crib.
▪ Avoid the use of heavy blankets, pillows, stuffed toys, bumper pads and other soft
items such as sleep wedges or positioners.
▪ Instead of a blanket, consider a one-piece sleeper to keep your baby warm.
Blankets can cause suffocation if the baby’s head gets covered during sleep.
▪ Make sure your baby does not get too warm or overheated. Keep the room at a
comfortable temperature for you and baby will be fine. Do not over dress your baby.
▪ Keep your home smoke free. Cigarette smoke increases the risk of SIDS
(both prenatal and after birth).
Sleep safety for toddlers and school-age children
Portable Bed Rails
Health Canada does not recommend placing a child younger than two years of age
on a bed with a portable bed rail as they may become trapped between the rail and
mattress. To keep younger children safe if they fall out of bed, keep the floor around
the bed clear and use a crib mattress on the floor beside the bed to cushion their fall.
Health Canada recommends only buying portable bed rails that meet the latest
ASTM International Standard.
Bunk Beds
▪ Canada recommends that children under six years
of age should never use the upper bunk of bunk
beds.
▪ Only allow one person at a time on the top bunk.
▪ Teach your children to use the ladder and
ensure the ladder is always securely attached
to the bed.
▪ Children should not be allowed to play on the top bunk.
▪ Make sure the top bunk has guard rails on all four sides, even if pushed up
against the wall.
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