To Your Health
November, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 11)
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7 Ways to Accident Proof Your Child and Your Home

By Staff Editorial

Every parent knows that sound, yet dreads it. Your child has just gone off like a fire truck siren, crying and shrieking at the top of their lungs because they got a "boo-boo." Granted, most accidents don't require a 3 a.m. trip to the emergency room, but anything you can do as a parent to cut down or eliminate common childhood accidents will make everyone happier and healthier. Here are 7 tips to keep your child out of harm's way, courtesy of

Supermarket Safety

Riding in the cart basket or hanging off the end of the cart may seem like a rite of passage, but it can lead to trouble. In 2005, more than 17,000 American children under age 6 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to such hijinks, and most were head or neck injuries. Instead, always strap your child into the seat until they are too big (or too independent!) to be confined. Bring along toys, books and snacks. Take advantage of those little car-shaped carts (they're low and don't tip easily). Mini-carts are also great for getting little kids to walk along and "help" you shop.

Chore Time

image - Copyright ‚Äď Stock Photo / Register Mark Little kids are sneaky and can get injured in a blink, even when you're right there. Whenever you're doing anything that's potentially hazardous, such as unloading a steaming dishwasher or using caustic cleaning chemicals, take a minute to settle your child in a playpen or high chair with their favorite toy or snack before you get started. Also keep in mind that the most common time for accidents is during meal preparation, so don't be shy about asking your spouse to stir the pasta sauce while you play peek-a-boo with your child.

Not Resistant Enough

That pill bottle with the child-resistant cap might seem like the perfect in-a-pinch rattle toy. Remember that child-resistant is not the same as child-proof. A tenacious kid may still get the bottle open. Keep a stash of safe, age-appropriate toys in baskets or drawers all over the house. If you're really desperate for a distraction, reach for a set of keys. They may not be particularly clean, but they're far less hazardous to your child.