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Preschooler Safety

Car Seats

When your child weighs 40lbs, they can ride in a booster seat. Booster seats are for children who are too big for convertible car seats but too small for a vehicle seat belt system. The booster seat helps the seat belt fit properly over your child’s body. Children are always safer riding in the back seat of a car, better known as the “kid zone”. Children will stay in booster seats until they are 4 feet 9 inches or 80lbs, or 8 years of age. The Please be Seated Car Seat Safety Committee recommends that children stay in booster seats until they can sit in the vehicle with their legs comfortably bent over the edge of the seat, the lap belt fits snug over the hips (not abdomen) and the shoulder belt lies flat across the chest between the neck and shoulder (NOT TOUCHING THE NECK OR FACE).

Falls

Falls are by far the leading cause of injuries in children aged 0-4 years. Common ways children are injured include falling down stairs and falling off of or into furniture. Injuries often result from striking hard surfaces, large objects, or sharp corners. Common injuries due to falls include head injuries, fractures, sprains, cuts and bruises. Actively supervise children, never leave them unattended. Stay close to your child when they are playing on play equipment.

Road Safety/Helmets

Preschool children 5 years of age and under should always be supervised by an adult when they ride their tricycle/bicycle. Do not allow your preschooler to ride on the road. Make sure your child wears a helmet designed for their age group. To protect your child’s head, a helmet must fit properly and it must be worn properly. Let your child help pick out the helmet and tell them how important it is wear one. Check for a label that says the helmet is approved by Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Snell, or ASTM. Reward your child for wearing their helmet. Set a good example by wearing your helmet.

Water Safety

Each year many children drown in backyard swimming pools and in small kiddie pools. Children are vulnerable because they like to play in water, they move quickly and can drown in only a few centimetres (1 inch) of water. Drowning can happen when a pool is not fenced in all the way around, the backyard gate is not shut all the way or locked, or a young child gets to the pool through a patio door, or garage door that opens into the backyard. Check with you local town or city regarding pool bylaws and your responsibilities. Children under 3 years of age and children who cannot swim must wear a life jacket or Personal Flotation Device (PFD). Always supervise children in and around the pool, keeping them within arms reach AT ALL TIMES.

Burns and Scalds

Children are particularly vulnerable to burns because their skin is thinner than adults’ skin. A child’s skin burns four times more quickly and deeply than an adult’s at the same temperature. Due to their rapid physical growth, children are particularly susceptible to scarring and contracting of the skin and underlying tissue as they heal. Many children are left with disfigurement, permanent physical disability and emotional difficulties. Children under 5 years of age are at highest risk for all types of burns, scalds account for 73% of the burn related hospitalizations. Make sure appliance cords and pot handles are out of reach. Lower your water temperature to 49 C. Keep hot liquids away from children, use a cup with a lid when drinking hot beverages. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home.

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