The goal of Child Safety & Protection Month is to create awareness about the potential dangers children face in everyday situations and to use this new knowledge to prevent injuries, and death.
Washington’s Child Restraint law:
- Children under 13 years old be transported in the back seat where it is practical to do so.
- Children up to their 8th birthday, unless they are 4’9″ tall (which ever comes first), must ride in a child restraint. (For example a child car seat, booster seat, vest, or other restraint that is federally approved for use in the car.)
- The restraint system must be used correctly according to the car seat AND vehicle manufacturer’s instructions.
- Vehicles equipped with lap-only seat belts are exempt from the requirement to use a booster seat.
- Children 8-years of age or at least 4’9″ who wear a seat belt MUST use it correctly (never under the arm or behind the back) or continue to use a booster.
- Shoulder belts must be used with booster seats at all times! A child is exempt from the booster seat law requirement, only when a child weighs 40 pounds or more and is in a vehicle with lap-only belts.
NOTE: Doctors and safety experts recommend that children ride in booster seats until the lap and shoulder belt fit right, usually when they are at least 4’9″ tall, or around 8 years old. Using child safety seats in the rear of the car, not the front seat. For more information on choosing the safest seat for your child, please call 1-800-BUCK-L-UP toll-free.
Safety at Home:
There may be child hazards even in your own home. Avoid more common childhood injuries and accidents by following these steps:
- Have bright lights installed on your stairs and landings.
- Keep walkways and areas near stairs free of clutter. Designate a space for your children to keep their toys, and enlist their help when picking them up and putting them away.
- Keep cleaners, medications and other potentially harmful substances out of reach of children.
- Use child safety locks on cabinets.
- Have the number for the Poison Control Center readily available (1-800-222-1222).
Fires and Burns
- Test smoke alarms regularly.
- Hold drills with your children so they know what to do in case of fire.
- Stay by the stove when you are cooking to dissuade children to touch hot burners or open ovens.
- Use back burners and turn pot handles towards the back of your stove.
- Keep your hot water heater set at 120°F.
- Make sure there are outlet covers on all outlets small children have access to.
Choking and Suffocation
Some foods are difficult to chew such as hot dogs, hard candies and nuts and cause 40% of all childhood choking deaths
- Keep coins, small batteries, latex balloons and hard round foods where children cannot see or touch them.
- Place babies to sleep on their backs. Don’t place pillows, or soft toys in cribs with babies.
Supervision: Children are active explorers of their environment. No matter how safe we try to keep our home, our children may find things that could potentially lead to accidents or injury. The greatest step we can take to keeping our children safe is supervising them. Adults must be proactive in child safety. Consider ahead of time what dangers your child may be in, and don’t wait until a dangerous situation occurs to deal with it. Think and plan ahead to keep your child safe!