General Household Tips

1. Other children's products: Drawstrings on children's clothing pose strangulation and entanglement hazards. Hood or neck drawstrings can strangle a child if they get caught on such items as playground equipment or cribs. Remove drawstrings from hood and the neck area of outerwear including jackets and sweatshirts. CPSC recommends that consumers purchase children's outerwear with alternative closures, such as snaps, buttons, or Velcro, instead of long, loose drawstrings.

2. Dressers and shelves: Young children can be killed when furniture tips over. These children can climb on a lower drawer that has been pulled out and use it as a step. This can cause the dresser to tip over. Use latches on lower drawers to ensure that drawers are not opened by young children or use angle braces or anchors to secure furniture to a wall.

3. Toys: Babies use their mouths to learn about the world around them. At two months old they can usually grip small objects. Keep tiny objects out of reach of your baby, especially SMALL BALLS, MARBLES and BALLOONS. Smooth round objects present the highest risk of choking. Uninflated balloons and balloon pieces can easily be inhaled into the lungs. Be sure to check the labeling on the toy for the appropriate age for safe use.

4. To prevent poisoning: Children may try to eat cake deodorizers used in pails (such as diaper pails). Keep containers that use these deodorizers securely closed. Child-resistant packaging is not child proof. Keep all medicines, iron-containing vitamins and household cleaning products, including those with child-resistant packaging, locked away from children. Keep poisonous plants out of children's reach.

5. To prevent burns, other injuries: Use your stove's back burners and keep pot handles turned to the back of the stove. Lock up knives, matches, cigarette lighters and plastic bags away from children.

6. Do not place plastic climbing equipment indoors on hard surfaces. Falls on cement, tile, and other hard floors, even covered with carpet, can result in serious head injury and death. Use these only outdoors on shock-absorbing surfaces such as mulch or sand. Grass is not considered a shock-absorbing surface.

7. Fire hazards: Install smoke detectors on each floor of your home, especially near sleeping areas; test them on a regular basis and change the batteries each year, or when a "chirping" sound is heard.

8. Electric hazards: Use safety plugs to cover electrical outlets, and keep all loose hanging wires and appliance cords out of reach of children. Use ground fault circuit interrupters devices to protect outlets in basement, kitchen, bathroom, garage, and outdoor.

9. Carbon monoxide poisoning: Make sure all fuel burning appliances are properly installed, used, and maintained annually at the start of the heating season. Do not leave vehicles running in garages. Install at least one CO detector that meets the requirement of the most recent UL standard.

10. For information on children's car seats and Auto Safety Hotline, contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


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