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Focus area: keeping your child safe

dad helps his child put on bike helmet properly

​​​​​​​​Every parent worries about their child’s safety. It’s important to remember that most dangers can be minimized by following certain precautions.​

  • Never allow your child to ride a bike, skateboard or snowboard without a helmet and the other proper safety equipment. Lead by example and wear your helmet, too. 
  • Children should always wear a life jacket when on any boating device. Buy a correctly sized life jacket based upon your child’s weight.  Here is a video you can use to help you properly size your child's life jacket.
  • Doc Marsh says "Hello" to child in carseat Children must be in a car seat until they reach age four and weigh 40 pounds. They must be in a booster seat until they reach age eight and weigh more than 80 pounds or are taller than  four feet nine inches. Check out our car seat infographic​
  • Make sure your child always wears a seat belt in the car. Again, lead by example by wearing yours. 
  • Any firearms in the home should be unloaded and locked away. Gun safes, locked cabinets and other options are available for secure  storage. Discuss the dangers of guns with your child, and teach them simple gun safety at an early age.
  • Every household should create a “safe word,” or a secret word or phrase to use in the event that someone else has to pick up your child. Allow your child to come up with this word or phrase so he/she is familiar with it and ​remembers it.​
  • Teach your child to never give out personal information to people he or she doesn’t know. This includes people on the Internet.
  • Keep all medicine and cleaning supplies locked away and out of reach. If an accident occurs  despite all of your precautions, and you find your child holding a half-used bottle of  detergent, contact the American Association of Poison Control​ immediately at 1.800.222.1222.  Experts are on-call to help guide you to the most appropriate first aid and the next step for treatment.​

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