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New Research Reveals the Majority of Parents Overlook Key Steps to Keep Curious Toddlers Safe at Home

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, July 27 New research by the national, nonprofit Home Safety Council (HSC) reveals that the vast majority of parents (83 percent) admit that they have left their toddler unsupervised in the home -- for a few moments, or even longer. The survey polled parents of children between the ages of 2 and 4 and found that while almost all had taken some steps to childproof their home, very few have successfully kept their toddlers from getting into dangerous situations.

Keeping-up with curious toddlers isn't easy. In fact, nearly nine out of ten parents surveyed report that their toddler has gotten into trouble the moment their back was turned, underscoring the necessity for constant and close supervision. The survey shows that nearly three-quarters of toddlers have climbed on furniture, and more than half have been caught taking items from a purse or climbing out of the crib.

"Toddlers are smarter, faster and more curious than they were as babies. Things in your home that didn't pose a threat to your infant could injure your toddler in the blink of an eye," said Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council. "Staying one step ahead of your child is the key to preventing injury. As soon as your baby starts standing-up in the crib or attempting those first steps, it's time to get down on your hands and knees and take a second look at the safety of your home from your toddler's point-of-view. Inspect each room to spot the hazards that need to be fixed."

Toddler Safety Tips

To help parents stay one step ahead, the Home Safety Council recommends taking a room-by-room approach to fix potential dangers before toddlers are fully mobile. At the first signs of sitting and pulling-up, parents need to take a second look at the safety of their home. Baby-proofing was a good start, but toddler-proofing is different and just as critical. Follow the simple safety steps below to keep toddlers safe -- from the nursery to the backyard and all of the rooms in between.

Parents can test their safety knowledge online and create a customized home safety checklist by visiting www.mysafehome.org.

Nursery Safety Tips:

Kitchen Safety Tips:

Bathroom Safety Tips:

Backyard Safety Tips:

For additional tips to keep toddlers safe at home, please visit: www.mysafehome.org.

About the Home Safety Council

The Home Safety Council (HSC) is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to preventing home related injuries that result in nearly 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits on average each year. Through national programs, partnerships and the support of volunteers, HSC educates people of all ages to be safer in and around their homes. The Home Safety Council is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization headquartered in Washington, DC.

-- Keep cribs and other furniture away from windows. Have window guards or window stops on upper windows. Make sure an adult can open the window fast in case of a fire. -- Secure tall pieces of furniture by anchoring them to the wall stud so they don't tip over if your child tries to climb on them. -- Use safety gates at the nursery door and at the tops and bottoms of stairs. For the tops of the stairs, gates that screw to the wall are more secure than "pressure gates." -- Window blind cords should not have a loop. Cut any loop in two pieces and place them up high where children cannot reach them. -- Pick up small items like buttons, coins, jewelry and small toys. If something is small enough to fit in a toilet paper tube, it is not safe for little children. -- Make sure a smoke alarm is inside or near every bedroom. Test each smoke alarm every month. Push the test button until you hear a loud noise. Put new batteries in your smoke alarms at least one time each year.

SOURCE Home Safety Council
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