Our site readers' best safety tips

Our site readers' best safety tips

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Experts give great advice, but when it comes to real life and real kids, nothing beats live-and-learn wisdom from other parents. Here's a reality check from our site members on what really works to keep kids safe.

Home dangers

My best safety tip is to babyproof before you need to do it. My 18-month-old knows that at one time there was no gate in front of the stairs and she makes it clear that she does not like the one that's there now.

The best outlet plugs we found screwed right over the plugs themselves. The slots for the prongs actually have to be moved to plug something back in. That way our child can unplug something (if we're not watching), but there is no risk of him plugging anything back in and getting shocked.

Some baby catalogs sell long foam tubes to place on dangerous edges like raised hearths. A friend pointed out that they are no more than foam pipe insulation tubes you can get at any home improvement store. For a cheap and effective way to protect your baby from dangerous edges, just slit a tube lengthwise and voila!
John and Cindy

When our daughter was learning how to walk up stairs, we placed a childproof gate at the third step and a thick foam puzzle at the foot of the stairs to cushion her fall just in case she slipped.

At home we have installed a security system. To keep an eye on our daughter and to keep her safe, we have the chime turned on, even when we're home. This lets us know if she's decided to wander outdoors.

Baby burns

My 1-year-old recently knocked over a hot drink by pulling on the legs of an end table and was burned all over his torso. Not putting hot drinks on an end table is obvious in retrospect, but the doctors at the hospital had what I thought was more realistic advice: Anyone with toddlers at home should drink hot liquids from travel cups. That way if there's an accidental spill, the damage is minimal.

My daughter severely burned her hands on the glass of our gas fireplace when she was 12 months old. She is now 3 and still has bad scars. She is scheduled for more surgery next month. Please, do not leave your fireplace on when your young kids are around! It gets so hot and many people don't realize this. If you decide to turn it on, watch them every second. It can happen in a split second, and then it's too late. Once they're older, they know better. For added protection, put up a fireplace gate in front.

Playing keep-away

Magnetic cabinet locks are great. They don't let the cabinet open at all, so I don't have to worry about him catching his little fingers. The only thing I have to be careful of is the magnet that I use to open the doors (which I keep stuck to the freezer). It's small enough that he can put it in his mouth, and now that he's older he can even open the cabinets with it. To satisfy our toddler's curiosity we left one cabinet open and put things in it that he could get into without harming himself (or driving me crazy). We call it his "closet."

By far the best safety devices we've found are the slide cabinet-door locks. They keep the baby from getting into the poisonous cleaning products.

When our son was born we put every cleaning supply, possible poison, medicine, and harmful substance high on a closet shelf because accidents can happen even with cabinet locks.

When our daughter started to crawl, the cleaning products in the cupboards under the bathroom and kitchen sinks had to be moved. Our solution was to move all the potential hazards to the shelves in the linen closet. This made room for towels and washcloths in the bathroom and made a safe play zone for our baby.
Kim and Gary

I keep all medicines in a locked toolbox. It might be inconvenient at times but at least I don't have to worry about my children getting into anything that could be harmful to them.

Tubby time

To keep an eye on my baby while I got ready in the morning, I would lay him in his infant tub on a baby blanket in front of my shower. He enjoyed watching the water run down the glass, and I could see and talk to him. It was easy to carry, and was a comfortable and entertaining seat for him during my morning rush. This lasted until he was able to sit up and roll over.

Ian, my 15-month-old son, is used to coming into the bathroom with me while I get ready. But when he learned to open doors he walked out. Now I put a piece of loose-fitting cloth around the inside doorknob and secure it with thick elastic bands. When he tries to open the door his little hands can't get around the cloth and he doesn't have the dexterity to hold it tight enough to open the door.

Road rules

One inexpensive child safety item I find helpful is a small mirror attached to my passenger visor. I initially purchased it to make sure the baby was still breathing, but it's become even more helpful when driving multiple toddlers on playdates. You can see exactly who is punching whom and the kids think you have eyes in the back of your head!

We have always talked to our 2 1/2-year-old about the importance of wearing a seatbelt. We never move the car an inch if it is not in place! We're not gory in our conversation, but he does know that if we got into an accident, the seatbelt would help keep us safe. He also observes other people in their cars and points out the kids and adults who are not "following the rules."
J. Hale

From day one we've had a rule that the car doesn't move until everyone is buckled up. This has become especially important now that our little girl is old enough to buckle and unbuckle her car seat herself. On a recent trip to the zoo, Jessica decided to unbuckle her seatbelt. I told her that if she didn't fasten it again, I would stop the car until she did. She refused to obey, so I pulled the car over and sat quietly until she buckled up again. That worked great. She has never again attempted to unbuckle during a trip.

Go to a car seat safety clinic to learn the proper way to install and use a car seat. After the birth of my second child, I became a volunteer at one such clinic, and I'm totally shocked at the errors made by people installing car seats. The clinics are free and only take about 20 minutes.

Editor's note: Visit the National Safe Kids Campaign for a list of car seat checkup events near you. Or check Parents Central, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website for parents. It answers questions about car seat safety that range from buying your baby's first car seat to handing your teen her first set of car keys.

When my kids were small I would say "hands on head" while trying to get them in the car. As soon as they were buckled in their car seats, I'd shut the doors and the hands would come off their heads. It started as a game, and eventually they just knew to do it or the doors didn't get closed.

One of the best resources I've found for car safety and car seat information is SafetyBeltSafe USA. This website goes into much more detail than many of the other sites or the child-rearing books. It contains up-to-date lists of car seat recalls. It also has some of the most accurate information I've found on safe seating for children – including when to face children forward, when to use booster seats, and how to make sure your car seat is properly installed.

After working in the emergency room of a decent-sized hospital for four years, I have learned a lot about car safety. I give my son only very soft toys (a cloth book, a small stuffed animal, a plush shape) to play with in the car. I also put all purchases in the trunk or behind the last seat in our minivan. I have seen too many adults, children, and babies seriously injured in minor accidents because something in the vehicle hit them!

My husband is a highway patrol officer and sees many children who are injured in minor accidents because of improperly installed car seats. We were concerned about our parents' understanding the proper installation techniques, so we put together an "Installation and Assembly Guide" for all of our baby accessories. In alphabetical order we listed the products, their use, the setup and installation procedures, and the manufacturers' toll-free numbers (with the product serial number), just in case they have trouble.

Safe shopping

I always use the safety strap to secure my 11-month-old in the shopping cart. If a cart with a safety strap is buried deep in the line of available carts, I ask a store employee to help me get one out. Many people are unaware that a typical grocery cart is very prone to tipping.

To ensure the safety of my "walking angels" while shopping, I have the three of them hold onto my skirt as we shop. I know exactly where they are and it helps keep them safe from strangers or wandering off to explore some irresistible treasure.

Pet project

My family has two dogs, as do my parents. When my son was born, my mom took used diapers and clothing home so all the dogs could get used to Seth's scent. They would gently carry around his socks and sniff the diapers. When the time came for them to meet Seth, they were much calmer because they had smelled him before.

Watch the video: How To Secure Your Home From Burglary For Cheap. TODAY (July 2022).


  1. Marwood

    Definitely, the quick answer :)

  2. Ravin

    I congratulate, what necessary words ..., the excellent idea

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