Safety for You and Your Child

You can help prevent your child from getting injured by being prepared and educating yourself and your family. It is important to take charge of your child's health and follow a program designed to help you and your family stay healthy and safe.

There are 2 sides to prevention: taking care of your child's health and following safety guidelines.

Preventing unintentional injuries

Taking care of your child's health

Safety guidelines

Be a role model for your child: have regular checkups, eat healthy, exercise, wear a bicycle helmet, use your seat belt, and don't smoke.

Know CPR, care for choking, and first-aid basics. Many organizations, such as the American Red Cross and American Heart Association, offer courses in child and infant CPR.

Make sure your child has regular check-ups and immunizations.

Put safety first. Know how to child-proof your home. The best treatment for injuries is prevention.

Provide a healthy diet and regular exercise for your child. Helping your child stay healthy and strong may help lessen problems when they do happen.

Install safety devices in your home, such as smoke detectors, carbon dioxide alarms, handrails, stairway gates, window guards, and fire extinguishers. Check the devices and change the batteries on a regular basis. Cover electrical outlets as needed. Never leave a child unattended when around water. Set the water heater temperature no higher than 120°F (48.8°C). Mount top-heavy furniture to the wall. Keep young children within arm's reach at all time.

Teach your child to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, especially before meals and after using the toilet.

Place medicines, cleaners, chemicals, and potential poisons out of your child's reach. Install safety locks on cabinets that contain dangerous or sharp items.

Never leave a baby or young child alone—not even for a moment.

Make a fire escape plan and make sure all family members and caregivers know what to do in case of fire.

Put babies to sleep on their backs until they can turn over by themselves.

If you must keep a gun in the home, make sure it is unloaded and store it in a locked cabinet or gun safe. Lock ammunition in a separate place. Do not let children or teens know the safe's combination or where the lock's key is kept. If your child plays at other homes, ask the adults if they have guns in the home and if they are in locked cabinets. This question applies to both friends and relatives.

Supervise your child and make sure they take part in age-appropriate activities.

Wear your seat belt. Make sure your child uses an approved car safety seat or seat belt that has been installed correctly.

Help your child learn how to handle anger and stress in correct ways.

Keep a list of emergency phone numbers handy, including your local emergency medical services (EMS), your child's healthcare provider, police and fire departments, and your local poison center. The national poison control help line can be reached 24/7 by calling 1-800-222-1222.

Learn about your child's school, friends, and environment. Be on the lookout for unsafe behaviors. And be ready to step in if they happen.

Teach your child how to dial 911 or your local emergency medical services in case of an emergency. When age appropriate, help your child learn their first and last name, your first and last name, your address, and your phone number.

Teach your child how to be safe—at home, at school, and with play and sports activities.

Keep a well-stocked first aid kit handy at home and in the car.

Make sure sitters and other childcare providers know the correct safety and first aid measures to take in the event of an emergency.

If you have a backyard pool, make sure it is fenced with a 4-sided fence at least 4 feet tall with a self-closing gate. Consider locking the gate and adding alarms.

Online Medical Reviewer: Dan Brennan MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Liora C Adler MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Tara Novick BSN MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2023
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.