As much as parents would like to protect a child against illness and injury, this may be difficult, especially when potential health hazards can be found everywhere. Although this may be the case, parents can still do so much in protecting a child when outdoors. While child proofing is possible indoors, a parent can still promote safety for a child while outside the home.
For children aged 2 to 5 years old, there are a lot of safety issues that need to be addressed. Here are some sensible tips on how to keep your young child safe, while outside your home:
1. Use car seats at all times when traveling. This should be on top of the list of most parents. Vehicular accidents are responsible for most injuries and deaths in young children. Make sure that the car seat that you are using has passed safety standards, so that it can serve its purpose. Use an infant car seat that faces the rear, for babies who have not turned one year old, and who weigh less than 20 pounds. After that, a forward facing car seat should be used, until a child weighs 40 lbs. Take some time to read the safety guidelines established by the American Academy of Pediatrics, so that you can be guided accordingly.
2. Do not leave a child unattended inside the car. The heat inside the car can potentially cause injuries, and even deaths in a matter of minutes. Body temperatures in children can increase faster as compared to adults, and the risks are far too great to ignore. Even opening car windows will not help in protecting a child from these injuries. An unsupervised child may also accidentally set the car in motion, which may lead to life threatening injuries.
3. Impose a no playing zone outdoors like the street, driveway or near the garage. Emphasize that playing around cars is very dangerous. Children, who have learned to ride bikes, need to be closely supervised. It is preferable that you take your kids in areas, away from the streets and cars. It may be the best time to teach your child early awareness regarding street safety When crossing the street with your child, make it a learning activity by pointing out basic guidelines, on following signs, walking on sidewalks, and crossing the street.
4. Teach your child the proper way to interact with pets. If you have a pet at home, let your child know that other pets may behave differently, when around other people, or when provoked. As much as possible, have your child avoid unknown cats, dogs, and other pets to avoid any injuries from attacks.
5. Make sure that your child is strapped securely while riding on strollers. A stroller with a wide base is so much safer to use because it will not easily tip over. Likewise, do not hang bags, or other items on the handles to prevent the stroller from tipping over.
6. Dress your child appropriately when outdoors to prevent insect bites and stings. Do not have your child wear brightly colored clothing in order not to attract insects. It may also be wise to use insect repellants. Try to clean any decaying fruit in your yard because it may be appealing to insects.
7. Protect your child from the weather outdoors. If it is too hot, apply sunscreen and offer more fluids. Do not keep your child outdoors for long periods because young children may easily develop heat exhaustion. When it’s too cold, make sure that your child is warm enough to avoid frostbite.
8. As much as possible, do not let your child ride on shopping carts because it may result to falls. Most of the injuries from shopping carts, involve children 5 years old and younger. Common injuries include fractures and internal injuries. If you need to take your child with you, choose a store with a supervised play area, so that you can safely have your child play while you shop.
There are a lot of measures that parents can take, in ensuring a child’s safety. Let your instincts kick in, and try to take precautionary measures before you leave for your itinerary. Taking necessary safety precautions can go a long way, in protecting a child against illness and injury.