Summer Safety Tips for Grandparents
Published: June 26, 2022
By: Courtesy of Children’s of Alabama
With school now out for the summer, many grandparents are preparing to spend more time taking care of their grandchildren. But if you’re a new grandparent, the safety guidelines for childcare likely have changed a lot since you last had to care for kids. Children’s of Alabama understands that and has a video that will help you understand the latest safety strategies.
Download link: Infant & Baby Safety for Grandparents
The video, which was made for a virtual course called Infant & Baby Safety for Grandparents, features child safety experts from Children’s of Alabama and Safe Kids Alabama. They offer advice on some of the most common situations caretakers might experience. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, preventable injuries are the No. 1 killer of kids in the U.S. By following the guidelines below and others mentioned in the video, you can make sure your grandchildren stay safe.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is one of the biggest concerns for caretakers of infants. But if you think “A-B-C,” then you can remember how to keep your grandchild safe.
- Alone – Infants should always have their own sleeping space. They should never share a sleeping space with anyone else, including caretakers or siblings.
- Back – Caretakers should always place infants on their backs when sleeping – even if it’s only a nap. Tummy time is important, but it should take place only when the child is awake.
- Crib – Infants should never sleep anywhere other than a crib or a pack-and-play – not on adult beds, couches or inflatables. A crib should look plain, containing a tight-fitting sheet and nothing else. This means no blankets, quilts or crib bumpers. Remember: the crib is for sleep, not storage.
Children, by nature, are curious, creative and clever. And the everyday household items they may get their hands on – from cleaning products to medications – can be harmful. Poisoning is the third leading cause of death by unintentional injury among children in the U.S. Experts say safe storage is the key to injury prevention.
- Cleaning products
- Include: bleach, liquid laundry packets and other products
- Store them up and away from where your child might be. It’s best to keep them out of your child’s sight and reach.
- Leave them in their original container, and store according to the label.
- For medications and vitamins
- Store them in a lock box
- Avoid keeping them in purses, nightstands or on counters
Every day, nine children across the country are injured by gunfire, and about one-third of homes contain guns. Storing them properly ensures that your grandchild is safe from injury. Experts recommend lock boxes. They say you should hide the keys and frequently change the location of the lock box. You can also use trigger locks on the weapons themselves. And it’s wise to store the guns and the ammunition in different locations. Also, tell your grandchild not to touch anything that looks like a gun and to notify an adult if they see one.
Car Seat Safety
If your grandchildren will be riding in the car with you, it’s important to understand how to use all types of car seats: infant, convertible, combo and booster seats. If you’re not sure how to properly install a car seat, Safe Kids Alabama offers free car seat checks. They’re available in person at Children’s of Alabama’s campus and virtually. To make an appointment, call 205-638-9900 or 800-504-9768. For more details about car seat checks, click on the video above.
Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4, and a child can drown in as little as 1-2 inches of water. Experts advise grandparents to take safety precautions in the bathroom (and other areas of the home), in the yard (especially if you have a wading pool), on boats and in pools. They recommend enrolling kids in swim classes as early as 18 months old. And when kids are swimming – whether in a pool, lake or any other body of water – you should designate someone to monitor them.
Toys can be fun, but they can also be dangerous if not used properly. Experts say you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure the toys are age appropriate. It’s also smart to buy toys that are not easily broken or that don’t have small parts that a child could easily choke on.
About Children’s of Alabama
Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient, outpatient and primary care throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s serves patients from every county in Alabama and nearly every state. Children’s is a private, not-for-profit medical center that serves as the teaching hospital for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pediatric medicine, surgery, psychiatry, research and residency programs. The medical staff consists of UAB faculty and Children’s full-time physicians as well as private practicing community physicians.