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 ____________________ ____________________ ____________________ 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. Yes No N/A □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ 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: _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ How safe is your home? FIRE SAFETY Complete this safety checklist to find out! Yes □ □ □ No □ □ □ N/A □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ 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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