13 Dont's on Child Safety
By: Alma de la Cruz
years, we have been taught that 13 is an unlucky number: Don't go up to
the 13 th floor of a building and don't go out on Friday the 13 th, our
grandmothers used to say. But 13 is also a sacred number due to its
secret knowledge, mystery and tangible powers.
last revelation has been brought masterfully down by a professional who
is known for her experience in the study of child safety. Author Debra
Smiley Holtzman brings a particular expertise of the number 13 to the
pages of “The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety.”
this do-it-yourself manual, parents and thinking-to-be parents will
learn the essentials of protecting the baby. I took this from the
release of the book. Here's Debra Holtzman's List of 13:
1. Balloons: More
children have suffocated on uninflated balloons and pieces of balloons
than any other type of toy. Balloon related deaths are more common
among children ages three and older than among younger children. Keep
balloons away from children under eight years of age.
2. Storage chests: Suffocation
deaths occur in such places when children crawl inside and cannot
escape. The best choice is one without a lid or one with a lightweight,
removable one. If a chest closes, make sure it has ventilation holes.
3. Bunkbeds: To
prevent entrapment, all spaces between the guardrail and the bed frame
and in the head and footboards should be less than three-and- one- half
inches and there should be guardrails on both sides. Children under the
age of six should never sleep on the top bed.
4. Stuffed toys: Be
aware that seams can separate and allow stuffing or plastic pellets to
be released, presenting a choking hazard to young children. Check also
for small detachable parts, security of eyes, nose and mouth of stuffed
5. Art Supplies: Always look for this
label: ASTM D-4236. This label means the product has been reviewed by a
toxicologist. If it is necessary, cautionary information will be
included with this label. Children under age 12 should never be allowed
to use hazardous art materials, which can expose your child to toxic
substances, including lead, cadmium, nickel and organic solvents.
6. Garage Door: Watch
out for automatic garage doors. If your garage door does not already
have one, install a sensor such as an 'electric eye' for the garage
door. It signals the door to reverse its motion if anything is in the
7. Entertainment Center : Use angle braces or anchors to secure larger furniture-which presents a tipping hazard-to the wall.
8. Baby Walkers: Each
year, an average of 2 children die as a result of baby-walker related
injuries. Holtzman recommends using a stationary activity center
9. Water faucet: Water with 140
degrees Fahrenheit will produce a third-degree burn on a child in just
3 seconds! Set hot water heaters no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
A lower water temperature will reduce the chance of scald burns. Always
check the water temperature before giving a small child a bath.
10. Mouthwash: Many brands contain alcohol. Children are much more sensitive to the toxic effects of alcohol than adults.
11. Window Treatments with hanging cords: Those
that were manufactured before 2001 may pose a strangulation risk to
small children. Consider replacing them with today's safer products or
12. Antifreeze: It has a sweet
taste. Children or pets will drink large amounts of it if it is left
out in an open container or if it is spilled on your driveway.
13. Plants: As
beautiful as they appear, decorative plants may not be safe as you
think. Two common household plants that are frequently ingested by
children are Dieffenbachia and Philodendron. Both of these plants can
cause very serious symptoms. These plants contain oxalates, small
crystals that get released into the mouth when the plant is chewed,
causing extreme pain and inflammation.
A popular Flower Garden plant is the beautiful Oleander.