This Safety Checklist was designed to help you make your home or work environment as safe as possible for infants and children. It can be used to inspect your home, the childcare center where your children stay after school, or any other place where children spend time. Take time to go around your house and see just how safe your home is for a child and learn how you can make it easier.
If you already follow the suggested safety precaution, check the box in the first column. If you need to purchase a certain item to make your home safer, the box on the far right will be shaded, indicating the need to purchase a "Safety Item." Check the shaded box when you have purchased the appropriate safety items.
3. Use a rear-facing infant safety seat until infants weigh at least 20 lb and are 1 year old.
• Secure all car seats in the BACK seat of the car.
• Secure the seat following the manufacturer's instructions
• Test for tightness by pushing the seat forward, backward, and side to side. Tighten the belt to ensure that the seat does not move more than ½ inch (1 cm)
5. Use a belt-positioning booster seat for children weighing 40 to 80 lb (18 to 36 kg). Secure the seat with a 3-point seat belt (lap and shoulder belt) in the BACK seat of the car.
• If a shield is provided, fasten it close to the child's body.
6. Children cannot be properly restrained with a lap-shoulder belt until they are at least 4 feet and 9 inches (58 inches or 148 cm) tall, weigh 80 lb (36 kg), and can sit in the automobile seat with their knees bent over the edge. Always use a combination lap-shoulder belt to restrain children sitting in an automobile seat.
• The shoulder belt should fit across the shoulder and breastbone. If it crosses the face and neck, use a belt-positioning booster seat to ensure that the belt is properly placed. Do not hook the shoulder belt under the child's arm.
General Indoor Safety
18. The crib is safe.
• The crib mattress fits snugly with no more than 2 fingers' breadth between the mattress and crib railing.
25. Store cleaning products out of a child's reach and sight.
• Store and label all household poisons in their original containers in high locked cabinets (not under sinks).
• Do not store chemicals or poisons in soda bottles.
31. To minimize the risk of burns:
• Keep hot liquids, foods, and cooking utensils out of a child's reach.
• Place hot liquids and food away from the edge of the table.
• Cook on the back burners when possible and turn pots handles towards the center of the stove.
• Avoid using tablecloths and place mats that can be yanked off, spilling hot liquids or food.
• Keep high chairs and stools away from the stove.
• Do not keep snacks near the stove.
40. Your child knows the rules of safe bicycling.
• Wear protective helmet
• Use the correct size bicycle.
• Ride on the right side of the road (with traffic).
42. Your child is properly protected while roller skating or skateboarding.
• Child wears helmet and protective padding on knees and elbows.
43. Your child is properly protected while riding on sleds or snow disks.
44. Your child is properly protected while participating in contact sports.
• Proper adult instruction and supervision are provided.
• Teammates are of similar weight and size.
Outdoor Safety (continued)
45. To reduce the risk of animal bites:
• Teach your child how to handle and care for a pet.
•Teach your child never to try to separate fighting animals, even when a familiar pet is involved.
46. If you have a home swimming pool, be sure the pool is totally enclosed with fencing at least 5 feet high and that all gates are self-enclosing and self-latching. There should be no direct access (without a locked gate) from the home into the pool area.
• Children must always be supervised by an adult when swimming. Never allow a child to swim alone
• Change young children from swimsuits into street clothes and remove all toys from the pool area at the end of swim time.
• All adults and older children should learn CPR.
Note: Much of the safety information presented in this course is based on the SAFEHOME program developed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health as part of its Statewide Comprehensive Injury Prevention Program and the Children's Traffic Safety Program at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. The SAFEHOME program was funded by the Federal Division of Maternal and Child Health. The Children's Traffic Safety Program was funded by the Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Program.
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