Enroll your child in swimming lessons
Select a Topic

Safety

Many children in Saskatchewan get injured every year. Some of these children have to go to the hospital. Some even die. Injuries can result in lifelong health problems. Some injuries cause problems that will affect your child all of his life.

You can take steps to keep your child safe. Injuries can be prevented.

What is an Injury?

An injury is damage to the body. The damage may be visible (a broken arm) or invisible (a concussion). Injuries are caused by energy. There are many different kinds of energy that cause injury.

Causes of Injury Examples
Mechanical (impact) energy Car crash, fall, a punch
Thermal (heat) energy Burns from hot coffee, stove burner, or hot water
Chemical energy Swallowing pills, eating
detergent pods, swallowing a battery
Electrical energy Touching a live wire, sticking a finger in an electrical outlet
Lack of heat Freezing to death, frostbite
Lack of oxygen Choking on food or
balloons, drowning, strangled by a blind cord

Where Injuries Happen

Injuries can happen at anytime and anywhere. Learning the risks for injuries can help you take steps to prevent them. Children are more at risk for injuries when they are growing and developing new skills.

Are Injuries Accidents?

Injuries can be prevented. That means that injuries are NOT accidents.

What Can You Do to Keep Your Child Safe?

  • Pay attention to your child.
  • Be prepared. Think ahead.
  • Stay close to your child until you are sure of her abilities.
  • Make your home safe.
  • Start teaching your child early about being safe.
  • Set a good example.

Click the icons below for common injuries for certain age groups.

Birth to Six Months

Remember that not every child grow at the same rate. This provides a general overview. If you are worried about your child’s development, talk to you healthcare professional.

Development
  • Your baby’s head is large and heavy.
  • Your baby will not have much control over his head movements.
  • Your baby’s skin is very thin.
  • Your baby can make sudden movements, like grabbing and kicking.
  • Your baby likes to put things in his mouth.
  • By three months, your baby will hold his head up and roll from side to side.
  • By three months, your baby can roll off of high surfaces.
  • By three to six months, your baby will be able to hold a toy in his hand.
  • By six months, your baby should be able to sit with very little support.
  • Between three to six months, your baby will be able to roll from his back to his stomach.
Safety Concerns
  • Your baby’s neck can be injured if his head is not supported when you pick him up, hold, or carry him.
  • Your baby can be severely injured in a car crash. A rear-facing car seat can help reduce the risk of injury.
  • Your baby may not be able to breathe if his nose and mouth are covered by pillows and stuffed animals in his crib. Your baby may also suffocate on a soft mattress or couch.
  • Your baby can suffocate if he sleeps in a sitting position.
  • Your baby can fall from any surface such as a table or a counter, even when he is in a baby carrier.
  • Your baby’s skin can burn quickly and at a lower temperature than yours would.
  • Your baby may choke on things he puts in his mouth.
  • Your baby may knock over things within his reach, like a cup of hot coffee.

Six to Twelve Months

Remember that not every child grow at the same rate. This provides a general overview. If you are worried about your child’s development, talk to you healthcare professional.

Development
  • Your baby will learn to crawl.
  • Your baby can travel by himself by creeping, crawling, or pulling.
  • Your baby can roll over, from front to back and back to front.
  • Your baby can sit by himself for short periods of time.
  • Your baby will begin to reach for and pick up objects.
  • Your baby will pull himself up to a standing position using furniture.
  • Your baby will put everything in his mouth.
  • By nine months, your baby will be able to pick up small objects.
  • By nine months, your baby will be able to roll and push objects.
  • By nine months, your baby will be able to crawl up stairs and across floors.
  • By twelve months, your baby may be able to walk.
Safety Concerns
  • Your baby can be severely injured in a car crash. A rear-facing car seat can help reduce the risk of injury.
  • Your baby can fall from heights and out of objects, like strollers, if not strapped in.
  • Your baby can fall down stairs.
  • Your baby can fall out of windows.
  • Your baby can be suffocated by blind cords, ties from hats, and jewelry.
  • Your baby can choke on things he puts in his mouth, including food.
  • Your baby can drown quickly and easily.
  • Your baby can get burned quickly.

1-2 Years

Remember that not every child grow at the same rate. This provides a general overview. If you are worried about your child’s development, talk to you healthcare professional.

Development
  • Your child will want to move all the time.
  • Your child can stand alone and may walk alone.
  • Your child will start to like to climb, throw, push, and pull things.
  • Your child can scribble with a large crayon.
  • Your child can stack and balance two small blocks.
  • Your child can turn two or three pages at a time in a book or magazine.
  • Your child may squat when playing.
  • Your child will copy your body gestures, even if they are new to him.
  • Your child can copy your actions with familiar objects.
  • Your child imitates household routines during play.
Safety Concerns
  • Your child is learning a lot of new skills, quickly. He may be awkward as he learns these.
  • Your child can be severely injured in a car crash. A car seat can help reduce the risk of injury.
  • Your child can fall from heights.
  • Your child can fall down stairs.
  • Your child can fall out of windows.
  • Your child can be suffocated by blind cords, ties from hats, and jewelry.
  • Your child can choke on things he puts in his mouth, including food.
  • Your child can drown quickly and easily.
  • Furniture, like televisions or book cases that are not secured to the wall, can fall on your child if he climbs or pulls on them.
  • Your child’s skin can burn quickly.
  • Your child can get into cleaning products, medications, and other poisons easily.
  • Your child will copy you, even if you are doing something that is not safe.
  • Your child can get injured if using a toy that is not made for his age group.
  • Your child is not able to set his own limits.

3-5 Years

Remember that not every child grow at the same rate. This provides a general overview. If you are worried about your child’s development, talk to you healthcare professional.

Development
  • Your child will be developing his large muscles. This will increase his coordination.
  • Your child can jump up and down really well.
  • Your child can go up and down stairs by holding onto a railing.
  • Your child can throw a ball overhead with more precision.
  • Your child can learn to cut and paste.
  • Your child can learn to put beads on a string.
  • Your child can learn to catch a ball.
  • Your child’s sleep habits will be different. He might not need naps, but will still need rest breaks.
  • Your child can pour liquid into a cup from a small pitcher.
  • Your child will try to test the limits. This is part of growing up.
  • Your child will be curious and want to explore.
  • Your child may want to help you with household tasks.
Safety Concerns
  • Your child is learning a lot of new skills, quickly. He may be awkward as he learns these.
  • Your child may be more awkward or clumsy when he is tired.
  • Your child can be severely injured in a car crash. A car seat can help reduce the risk of injury.
  • Your child is learning to climb. This can lead to falls.
  • Furniture, like televisions or book cases that are not secured to the wall, can fall on your child if he climbs or pulls on them.
  • Your child can fall out of windows.
  • Your child can be suffocated by blind cords, ties from hats, and jewelry.
  • Your child can choke on things he puts in his mouth, including food.
  • Choking is more likely to happen when your child is moving (walking or running) and eating.
  • Your child can drown quickly and easily.
  • Your child can get into cleaning products, medications, and other poisons easily.
  • Your child will copy you, even if you are doing something that is not safe.
  • Your child can get injured if using a toy that is not made for his age group.
  • Your child is not ready to be on his own near any roads and streets.
  • Your child can be injured by many different things in the yard and/or on the farm.
  • Your child is not able to set his own limits.
  • Your child may be getting older, but he still does not know how to control his impulses or figure out the consequences for his behaviours.
  • Your child will try to test his limits.
  • A helmet can protect your child’s head and brain when he rides a tricycle or bicycle.
  • Your child can be injured (e.g., scalded or poisoned) when helping with household chores.

Safety Proofing Your House

Please click here to walk through a house and various steps you can take to safety proof it.

Types of Injuries

For more information on safety topics, please click on one of the buttons below.

Consequence

A consequence is something that happens as a result of something else, like a behavior.

Batteries

Batteries can be dangerous for children, including the batteries in battery-operated toys.

If the batteries are easy to get out of the toy, your child may remove the batteries and put them in her mouth. This can be a choking hazard.

Button batteries can cause damage if they are stuck in the nose or ears. Batteries can cause internal burns.

Batteries are found in a lot of things around the house.

  • Calculators
  • Cameras
  • Toys
  • Talking or singing books
  • Electronic toothbrushes
  • Flameless candles
  • Flashing jewelry
  • Remote controls
  • Flashlights
  • Laser lights
  • Handheld games
  • Hearing aids
  • Key fobs

Why is it dangerous to swallow a battery?

When a battery is swallowed, saliva (spit) causes an electrical current with the battery. This current causes a chemical reaction that can burn internal organs. These chemical burns can happen in less than two hours.

Button batteries are the most dangerous. These are small, round, flat batteries. They are sometimes called lithium batteries. Button batteries have higher levels of power (voltage) than other batteries. Also, they are easy to swallow.

How can you tell if your child has swallowed a button battery?

The scary part is that you may not know your child has swallowed a battery. Children can still breathe and act normally after swallowing a battery. The symptoms that result from swallowing a battery can be difficult to recognize. These symptoms include choking, coughing, drooling, throwing up, not wanting to eat, fever, and pain in the stomach.

Safety Tips

  • Know which objects in your home have batteries.
  • Store all batteries and objects that use batteries in a locked cabinet or a container that is out of reach of young children.
  • Do not let your child play with batteries.
  • Check all objects that have batteries to make sure they have a screw in the battery cover. If there is no screw, you can use strong tape to secure the cover.
  • When buying new batteries, choose packaging that is hard for children to open.
  • Only adults should change batteries.
  • Discard old batteries by safely storing until recycling or by throwing in an outside bin out of reach of children.
  • When visiting family members and friends, be aware that their homes may have batteries that are easily accessible to young children.

Getting Help

  • If you think that your child has swallowed a battery, go the hospital or call 911.
  • Tell the admitting staff about the battery.
  • Do not make your child vomit.
  • Do not let your child eat or drink anything.

Bicycles

Learning to ride a bike can be fun!

There are several ways you can make sure that your child is safe while bike riding.

  • Make sure that both you and your child always wear a helmet.
  • Adults need to supervise their young children when they are riding.
  • Maintain your family’s bicycles.
  • Follow the rules of the road.

For more information about bicycle safety, click here.

Burns

Young children’s skin burns easily. There are some things that you can do in your house to prevent burns.

  1. Be Careful When Cooking
    1. Never leave food unattended on the stove.
    2. Place pots and pans at the back of the stove where your child cannot reach them.
    3. Supervise your child in the kitchen.
    4. Do not let a young child use a microwave.
    5. Place your child’s highchair out of reaching distance from the stove.
  2. Turn Down Your Water Heater
    1. Turn down your water heater to 49°C or 120°F.
    2. Remember that the water heater may be set higher at other homes and hotels.
  3. Check the Temperature
    1. Always check the temperature of liquids and food before feeding them to your child. When dropped on your wrist, liquids should feel warm but comfortable.
    2. Test the temperature of bath water before putting your child in it. It should feel comfortably warm but not hot.

For more information about first aid and burns, click here.

Burns

Burns make the skin look red and there may be some swelling. There will also be some pain. Some burns can be treated at home while others need medical attention right away.

If there are any blisters, take your child to a healthcare professional. After a few days, if your child’s burn changes colour, has blisters, has pus, or your child gets a fever, take him to a healthcare professional.

The following steps will help you take care of your child if she is burned.

  1. Run cold water over the burn. This should stop the pain.
  2. Put an antibiotic cream on the burn.
    Put an antibiotic cream on the burn

Car Seats

When in a correctly installed car seat, your child is the safest person in your car. In Saskatchewan, children must be in a car seat (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster) until they are at least 7 years old. Please click here to find out how to choose a car seat and how to install a car seat.

For more information please go to car seats.

Choking

Choking happens when a child’s throat is blocked by something. Children can choke on many things that we might not think are a risk. Young children are at risk of choking because they like to put everything in their mouths.

Examples of What Children can Choke On

  • Food like lollipops, apples, meat, nuts, seeds, popcorn kernels, grapes, sausages
  • Household items like coins, batteries, tops from pens and markers, jewelry
  • Toys and toy parts like marbles, eyes from stuffed animals, balloons
  • Things that children find outside

Balloons are a major cause of choking for children. Balloons are not recommended for use for children under the age of 5. Uninflated balloons or pieces of broken balloons can stick in your child’s throat. The surface sticks to the moist skin in the child’s throat and blocks off the air passage.

Tips for Choking Prevention

  • Always have your child sit while eating.
  • Cut food into small pieces.
  • When feeding a young child, wait until she swallows to give her more food.
  • Cook, grate, or mash foods for infants.
  • Keep small objects out of reach of children.
  • Use toys that are made for your child’s age.
  • Keep toys for older children away from younger children.

Click here for more information about first aid for choking.

Drowning

During the summer months, many of us head to the pools, lakes, and beaches with our families and friends. This is an excellent way to have fun, get exercise, play, and stay cool. However, it is very important to understand the risk of drowning and how we can prevent it.

Children can drown quickly and quietly; in less than 5 cm (2 in.) of water and in only 10 seconds. Drowning can happen in ponds, rivers, lakes, bathtubs, dugouts, sloughs, pails, and water barrels. Children often cannot call out or signal that they need help.

There are a lot of things that adults can do to keep children safe so that they can have fun in the water. All children should wear Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) when they are at the beach, lake, or pool. Teach your child how to roll on her back when wearing a PFD so that her face will be out of the water if there is an emergency.

Children should be supervised at all times when around water

Children should be supervised at all times when around water, even if the child knows how to swim. You should be within arm’s reach of your child until she is over the age of 5. Older children and adults should always use the buddy system and never swim alone.

Enroll your child in swimming lessonsEnroll your child in swimming lessons or a Swim to Survive program. Check out the Canadian Red Cross and Lifesaving Society’s websites for more information. Your local pool and regional park may have more information on their websites.

Electrical Shock

Injuries happen when you come into contact with a source of electricity. This is called electrical shock. Electrical shocks cause burns and can cause death. Electrical shock can also affect your brain, heart, and other organs.

When electricity moves through your body, you can get burns that you cannot see. You may think that you are not injured but there can be lots of injuries inside your body.

Cover all empty electrical sockets. The best socket covers are ones that slide over the socket instead of stick in the socket. Avoid using power bars if you can. If you need one, make sure that it has safety covers over the sockets.

Cover all empty electrical sockets

Tuck wires out of a child’s reach. Young children like to play with or chew cords.

Make sure that all small appliances, like toasters and hair dryers, are unplugged when they aren’t being used. Electricity travels through water. If an appliance drops into water that you or your child have contact with, this can result in an electrical shock.

If your child has an electrical toy, plug it in for him and supervise him when he is playing with it.

Falls

Often, children get hurt by falling. Sometimes, the injury can be serious. The following information is about some of the ways that you can protect your child from falls.

Safety Proofing Your House

Your child will explore his environment. He can roll off a bed, try to crawl up the stairs, and climb on everything. Watch your child carefully. For more information, click the Safety Proofing Your House button.

Crib

When your child can sit and stand, move his crib mattress to the lowest position.

Furniture

Use proper hardware to secure heavy furniture to the wall. This includes bookshelves, dressers, and televisions. This will prevent these heavy objects from falling onto a child.

Make sure furniture is not top heavy. Use the bottom shelves or drawers for heavy objects.

High Surfaces

Don’t leave your baby alone when he is on any surface above floor level. Keep one hand on your baby when he is on a high surface like a change table.

Diaper Rash Treatment

Playgrounds

Falls can happen at the playground. For more information, click the Playground button.

Stairs

Falls often happen on stairs. Stairways need to be blocked off at both the top and the bottom with either a closed door or a wall-mounted safety gate.

Safety Gates

There are two types of safety gates: pressure-mounted and wall-mounted. You can use either type at the bottom of your stairs. This will prevent your baby from crawling up the stairs. Use a wall-mounted gate at the top of stairs. This will stay in place if your child falls against it.

Make sure that all safety gates meet current safety regulations.

Toys

Supervise your child when he uses a riding toy. These toys should be used outside and away from stairs. Your child does not have control over his movement and can fall down a flight of stairs. He can also fall off the toy.

Windows

Put latches or window guards on all windows and patio/balcony doors.

Farm

Farms offer excellent opportunities for children to grow and learn. However, farms also have a lot of hazards. The best way to keep your young child safe on the farm is to have a designated play area for children. This area should be surrounded by a fence with a self-locking latch.

Accompany your young child at all times when she is not in this play area.

Accompany your young child at all times when she is not in this play area

Teach your child what areas and equipment on the farm are off limits. Keep in mind that sometimes areas that are safe one day may not be safe the next day. For example, being near a field during seeding, spraying, or harvest would be more dangerous than at other times.

Dangers on the Farm

  • Machinery/Equipment
    • Rollovers: The machine rolls over and child flies out or becomes trapped.
    • Run-overs: Children can be run over when they fall from a machine or are playing in an area where the vehicle operator cannot see them.
    • Cuts, burns, and amputations can occur when playing around farm equipment.

Drowning

  • Dugouts, lakes, rivers, sloughs, ponds, manure pits, and lagoons are all potentially dangerous for drowning.
  • Click here for more information about Safety: Drowning.

Livestock

  • Remember that calm and domestic animals can be dangerous when they feel threatened.
  • Farm animals will be protective of their babies.
  • Young children can be easily knocked over and trampled by farm animals.

Pesticides/Chemicals

  • Pesticides/chemicals that are not locked away from children can be a poisoning hazard.

Grain

  • Children can get trapped in flowing grain in just a few seconds; this includes grain in bins, trucks, and wagons.

Fire

Having a smoke detector that works properly and knowing what to do when the alarm goes off will help keep your family safe if there is a fire.

Preventing Fires

  • Put lighters and matches out of reach of children.
  • Supervise children around fires, inside and outside.
  • Do not teach children how to use a lighter or matches.
  • Supervise children in the kitchen. Do not let young children use the stove.
  • Create a fire escape plan for your home. Make sure babysitters and others know this plan as well.
  • Make sure the smoke detector in your home works properly. Do not remove the battery or disconnect the wires.

Fire Escape Plan

Make a fire escape route from your home. This route will help family members get out of the home safely during a fire.

In the following video, Sparky the Fire Dog will help you talk to your child about having a fire escape plan.

Here are some easy steps to follow in making a plan:

  1. Draw a simple floor plan of your home.
  2. Plan two ways out of each room.
  3. Choose a special meeting place outside the home where all family members will meet after escaping. This place could be by the back fence, beside the garage, or at a neighbour’s house. Mark this place on the escape plan.
  4. Have a fire drill at least twice a year. During the drill, make sure that:
    • everyone understands the planned escape routes
    • doors and windows can be opened easily
    • if an escape ladder is necessary, it is where it should be and that everyone knows how to use it
    • someone is assigned to help small children and the elderly

Make sure that everyone in your family knows what to do if there is a fire.

In case of a fire, teach family members to:

  • never risk their lives to take possessions with them
  • always crawl under the smoke to escape a fire
  • never go back into a burning building
  • stop, drop, and roll if their clothes are on fire

Helmets

Helmets decrease the risk of head injuries. Helmets should be used with all wheeled transportation, such as biking, rollerblading, and skate boarding, and several sports, like hockey.

Below is information about bicycle helmets.

To get information about helmets for skiing and snowboarding, please click here.

For information about other winter sports, please click here.

Bike Helmets

Before purchasing a bicycle helmet, check the inside of the helmet to make sure it meets safety standards. If it does, it will say CPSA, CSA, ANSI, ASTM, or Snell approved.

Follow the 2 V 1 Rule below to make sure the helmet is being worn correctly.

Make sure that the bicycle helmet is fitted to the top of the head. Once the straps are done up, there should be very little movement.

Tie long hair at the base of the neck below the helmet. Do not wear ball caps or winter hats under the helmet.

If you or your child has a crash or fall, you will have to replace the helmet.

Playground

Play helps children grow, learn, and develop. Playgrounds are important places because they give children opportunities to play and interact with other children. Playgrounds are also places that children can take risks, try new things, and develop problem-solving skills.

Playgrounds are also a place where injuries can happen. Fractures, scrapes, cuts and bruises, head injuries, strains and sprains, friction burns, and pinches are the most common injuries due to playground equipment. The most serious injuries on playgrounds are due to falls, getting caught in equipment, and collisions.

Supervision is important.

Keeping Children Safe at the Playground

  1. Check Your Children
    • Remove drawstrings from your child’s clothes. These might get caught in equipment and strangle your child.
    • Remove your child’s helmet when she is in the playground. Helmets are larger than your child’s head and can get caught in equipment openings. The straps of the helmet may also strangle your child.
    • Do not allow your child to play with skipping ropes or other ropes and cords on the play equipment. This can cause your child or other children to be strangled.
  2. Check the Playground
    • Check playground equipment for parts that are loose, worn out, or broken.
    • The surface under the playground equipment should be soft. Wood chips and shredded rubber should be 15-30 cm deep (6-12 in). Grass and hard-packed dirt are not good surfaces under the playground equipment.
    • Check for glass or garbage and other debris in the play area.
    • All equipment should have both handrails and guardrails.
    • Advocate that new and existing playground equipment follows Canadian Safety Association (CSA) standards.
    • If your child has special needs, playground equipment can be adapted so that your child can have a safe experience.
  3. Supervise and Teach Safety Habits to Children
    • Let your child play actively. This will help her develop skills and confidence.
    • Children less than 5 years of age require constant and active supervision on play equipment.
    • Encourage your child’s safe play habits including:
      • Wait your turn
      • No pushing
      • Feet first down the slide
      • Sit on swings and slides
      • Look before jumping
    • Ensure play equipment is age-appropriate. Playgrounds are designed for two age groups: 18 months to 5 years, and 5 years to 12 years. Playgrounds designed for 5 to 12 year old children have heights that are unsafe for younger children.

Risks of Active Play

Being active and exploring the world comes with some risks. For example, your child might trip over some rocks when running outside and skin his knee. It is important for your child to take risks during play. This pushes his limits and helps to develop skills.

Active Play

Your child will benefit from active play in the following ways.

  • Build self-confidence
  • Build resiliency skills
  • Develop a belief in himself
  • Explore independence
  • Develop sound judgement
  • Develop risk assessment skills
  • Develop social skills
  • Understand that it is safe to test limits
  • Feel a sense of accomplishment
  • Try new skills and new behaviours

As an adult, your role is to make sure that the environment is free of hazards. For example, making sure there is no glass in the sandbox before your child plays.

your role is to make sure that the environment is free of hazards

You can support your child to be active, explore his world, and take risks by:

  • providing supervision when your young child is playing
  • making sure the place where your child is playing has no hazards in it
  • encouraging your child to be independent
  • making time for your child to play with other children
  • encouraging your child’s desire for joy and excitement
  • helping your child learn how to understand risks and figure out how to manage them
  • encouraging your child’s imagination
  • making sure that your child gets a lot of rest so he has the energy to be active
  • allowing your child to have free time

Poison

Poison is a substance that can cause illness or death when it is swallowed or touched.

How can Someone be Poisoned?

Poison can enter the body in four ways:

  • Ingested by swallowing the substance.
  • Inhaled by breathing in the substance.
  • Absorbed by contacting the skin.
  • Injected such as through insect bites or needles.

What Things in the Home are Poisonous?

Below is a list of poisonous items that can be found in the home. Walk through your home to make sure these items are properly stored. They should be locked up in a cupboard, out of sight, and out of reach of your child.

Bathroom:

  • Cleaning products
  • Lotions and creams
  • Personal hygiene products and cosmetics
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Medicines, vitamins, and herbal products
  • Air fresheners

Bedroom:

  • Cosmetics, air fresheners, and perfumes

Laundry Room:

  • Detergent and fabric softener
  • Laundry pods
  • Bleach and cleaning solutions

Living Room:

  • Plants
  • Tobacco, cigarettes, and butts
  • Crafts and hobby supplies
  • Batteries

Kitchen:

  • Cleaning products
  • Medicines, vitamins, and herbal products
  • Alcohol
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Spray oils
  • Pet medications

Basement/Garage/Storage Room:

  • Weed killer, insecticides, and fertilizers
  • Paint and paint thinner
  • Charcoal lighter
  • Gasoline and motor oil
  • Antifreeze
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Lime
  • Mothballs

Keep the number for poison control on your fridge 1-866-454-1212. It is free to call this number from anywhere in Saskatchewan.

Talk to Your Older Child

  • Help him understand what poisons are and what they can do to his body.
  • Remind your child that he should always ask an adult before eating or using an unknown substance.
  • Show your child warning labels so he can identify which products are dangerous.

Lead Poisoning

Lead is a heavy bluish-grey metal. Lead is created naturally and can be found everywhere in our environment. Many products we use every day may contain traces of lead. Traces of lead enter the body through the mouth, the lungs, or the skin. Large amounts of lead are dangerous and can cause negative health effects.

Never allow a child to suck or chew on metal jewelry

Children are at greater risk of ingesting lead because they may chew on objects that contain lead.

Here are some tips on how to reduce lead poisoning in your family:

  • Clean your house regularly to remove dust and particles that may contain lead.
  • Do not keep food or drinks in lead crystal containers.
  • Discourage children from putting things into their mouths unless the object is intended to be put in the mouth (like food and pacifiers).
  • Never allow a child to suck or chew on metal jewelry.
  • If you are concerned about exposure to lead, speak to your healthcare professional.

Poisonous Plants

Adapted from Poison and Drug Information Services, Government of Alberta

Proofing Your Home

Sleep

Click here for information about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Second-Hand Furniture

Second-hand cribs, cradles and bassinets may not be safe. The following safety features are important.

A. Bassinet

A safe bassinet needs:

  • a label that has the model name and number
  • an instruction manual
  • a date when it was made
  • posts that are not higher than 1.5 mm (1/16 in)
  • bars that are 6 cm (2 3/8 in) or less apart
  • a solid frame
  • sides that lock into place
  • a firm mattress that is no thicker than 3.8 cm (1½ in)
  • a mattress that is tight against all four sides of the bassinette
  • a fitted sheet that is tight on the mattress

B. Cradle

A safe cradle needs:

  • a label that has the model name and number
  • an instruction manual
  • a date when it was made
  • posts that are not higher than 1.5 mm (1/16 in)
  • bars that are 6 cm (2 3/8 in) or less apart
  • a solid frame
  • sides that lock into place
  • a firm mattress that is no thicker than 3.8 cm (1½ in)
  • a mattress that is tight against all four sides of the crib
  • a fitted sheet that is tight on the mattress

C. Crib

A safe crib needs:

  • a label that has the model name and number
  • an instruction manual
  • a date when it was made
  • posts that are not higher than 1.5 mm (1/16 in)
  • bars that are 6 cm (2 3/8 in) or less apart
  • a solid frame
  • sides that lock into place
  • a firm mattress that is no thicker than 15 cm (6 in)
  • a mattress that is tight against all four sides of the crib
  • a fitted sheet that is tight on the mattress

Lowering Crib Mattress

When your child can pull herself up into a standing position, move the crib mattress to the lowest level. This will prevent her from falling out of the crib. Remove any mobiles or rail toys that your baby will now be able to reach.

When to Use a Bassinet, Cradle, or Crib

  • If you are using a bassinet or a cradle, move your child to a crib when she can roll over. This happens between 3 and 4 months.
  • Move your child into a bed when she can climb out of the crib. This happens between 18 and 24 months.

Check the crib, cradle, or bassinette:

  • space between the bars must not be more than 6 cm (2 3/8 inches)
  • there should be no bumper pads, quilts, pillows, or stuffed animals
  • Drop sides. Cribs with drop down sides have been banned for sale by Health Canada.
  • No splinters or burrs
  • No sharp edges and points
  • No loose nuts or bolts

Put your crib, cradle, or bassinet away from:

  • Lamps
  • Curtains
  • Windows
  • Blind cords
  • Patio doors
  • Electrical plugs
  • Electrical cords

Beds

Move your child to a bed when she can crawl out of her crib. A fall from a crib can cause a serious injury.

To prevent falls from the bed at night you can:

  • use side rails.
  • place the box spring and mattress directly on the floor.
  • get a toddler’s bed.

Do not use the wall as a way to keep your child from falling out of bed. Make sure that the side of the bed is not against a wall, as your child can become trapped between the bed and the wall.

Make sure the mattress that you buy fits the size of your bed frame. There shouldn’t be any gaps between the mattress and the headboard, footboard, or rails.

Teach your child that beds are not for jumping on. Jumping on a bed can lead to broken arms and legs if the child falls off the bed.

Continue to put your child’s bed away from radiators, blinds, windows, and wires, e.g., lamp cords.

Bed Rails

You may choose to use bed rails to prevent your child from falling out of bed.

If you use bed rails, the following safety guidelines can help keep your child safe:

  • There should not be a gap between the bed rail and the mattress.
  • Read all warnings and carefully follow instructions.
  • Railings should not be more than 8.4 cm apart.
  • The bed rail should not have any sharp edges, points, or small parts.

Bunkbeds

Children under the age of 6 should not sleep on the top bunk. The safety rails for top bunks are made to prevent children above the age of 6 from falling. Younger children can get caught in this rail.

Sometimes the top bunk can be taken off. Unless you need the top bunk, store the top bunk until it is needed.

The mattress should fit without any spaces between the headboard and footboard and mattress.

Teach your child that neither bunk is to be played on. This can lead to injuries from falls.

If you have an older child using the top bunk, teach him to always use the ladder and to never have more than one person on the top bunk.

When you purchase a bunkbed, ask if it meets ASTM International Standards (American Society for Testing and Materials International). These are standards that manufacturers have to meet when building the bunkbed to ensure safety.

Storage

Storage bins and boxes can be dangerous. They can trap a child inside. If the bin/box does not have air holes, the child will not have enough air to breathe. Place storage bins/boxes where your child cannot get to them.

Provide safe storage for toys. If your toy box has a lid, be sure the box has air holes and a “no-latch lid. This will prevent your child from suffocating if she gets trapped in the box. You can also use storage toy boxes that do not have lids.

Use separate toy boxes for younger and older children’s toys.

Suffocation/Strangulation

Suffocation means that the child is not getting enough air because something is covering his nose and mouth.

Strangulation means that the child is not getting enough air because something is squeezing his neck.

Blind and curtain cords can strangle a child if he becomes tangled in the cord. Tie curtain and blind cords out of reach of children by using a safety device, clothes pin, hook, or nail. Cut the bottom loop off of curtain and blind cords. This video demonstrates safety tips for blind cords.

Keep cribs, beds, tables, couches, and chairs away from windows with curtain and blind cords.

Keep stuffed animals, quilts, pillows, and bumper pads out of your baby’s crib. These objects can cover your child’s nose or mouth and cause suffocation. Plastic bags, plastic wrap, and latex balloons can also cause suffocation. Keep these out of reach of your child.

Sun

Your child’s skin can burn just like yours. It doesn’t matter what tone your skin is; you can still burn. Burned skin can be very uncomfortable. It also puts your child at risk for skin cancer.

Your child’s skin can burn in just 15 minutes. Your child’s skin can burn in every season. Clouds do not protect your child from getting a sun burn.

When your child is outside, the following sun safety steps are recommended.

  • Put sunscreen on all of your child’s skin that is not covered with clothing.
  • Re-apply sunscreen frequently, especially if your child has been swimming or sweating.
  • Dress your child in long sleeves and long pants even if it is hot outside. There are a lot of fabrics that your child can wear that will keep him cool.
  • Your child should wear a hat that has a wide brim.
  • Have your child play in the shade between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun is the hottest.
  • Make sure that your child is drinking water frequently to avoid dehydration.

Until your baby is 6 months old, she cannot wear sunscreen. It is important that babies under 6 months of age are kept in the shade when outside.

Toys

Most children’s toys are recommended for a particular age of child. This recommendation can be found on the packaging of the toy. The suggested age levels on toy packages are based on safety and the child’s development. It is important to follow the recommendations. If you are given toys that are for an older age than your child, put them away for later use.

A child under the age of three has a tendency to put everything in her mouth. Toys with small parts can get stuck in her throat and choke her. A child can even choke on a broken crayon. Any object that can fit through a toilet paper roll can be a choking hazard.

Throw out broken toys.

Check toys for moving parts. Avoid buying toys with springs, gears, or hinges that could trap a child’s fingers, hair, or clothing.

Be sure toys do not have sharp edges or pointed pieces. Avoid toys with parts made of glass or rigid plastic. These can shatter and cause cuts.

Limit the use of noisy toys. Loud noises can hurt your child’s hearing.

Projectile toys, like darts, are dangerous for young children. They can cause eye injuries.

Many toys contain batteries. Please click here for important safety information about batteries.

Walking Outside

There are certain skills a child needs to cross the street safely by herself. Under the age of 5, your child will not have these skills yet. Commonly, it is stated that children will not have these skills until age 9.

There are lots of reasons why supervising your child is important.

  1. Children often focus on only one thing at a time. These are things that they are interested in. This does not include traffic.
  2. Children are easily distracted.
  3. There is a lot of information that you need to work through to cross a road safety. Children are not able to process this information when they are young.
  4. Children who are less than 4 feet in height might not be able to see cars. Also, drivers might not see small children.
  5. A child’s ability to see what is going on at the side of their vision (peripheral vision) is not developed. When a child is looking straight ahead, she may not be able to detect movement to the side.
  6. Children may not recognize the sound of a car.
  7. Children may not be able to tell whether a sound is coming from her right or left.
  8. Children do not have the skill to figure out how fast a car is going.
  9. Children have difficulty understanding how far away a vehicle is or how much space is between two vehicles.

Helping Your Child Cross the Road Safely

Model the correct behaviour and teach your child how to safely cross streets. Make sure you accompany him across.

  1. Stop at the corner.
  2. Look left for any cars coming in the left traffic lane.
  3. Look right for any cars coming in the right traffic lane.
  4. Look left again to make sure there are still no cars approaching.
  5. Turn head back and look over shoulder to see if cars are coming from behind.
  6. Look forward to see if any cars are coming from in front of you.
  7. Make eye contact with drivers so you know that they see you and they know that you see them.
  8. Make sure that any cars have come to a complete stop before you start to cross the street.
  9. Hold your child’s hand. Carefully cross the street, still looking left and right.

Hold your child’s hand

Winter

Sometimes parents think that they have to keep their children indoors during the winter. However, children need time outside; whatever the season. Children can play safely in Saskatchewan winters. Here are some tips for winter safety.

Dress your child in warm clothing when outdoors in cool and cold temperatures.

  • Layer your child’s clothes.
  • Cover as much skin as possible.
  • Change wet clothes and boots if your child is planning to stay out.
  • Remove wet clothes as soon as your child comes inside.

Layer your child’s clothes

Car Seat

  • Using a winter coat under the harness of a car seat can make the harness loose. In order to work properly, the harness needs to be tight.
  • Instead of having your child wear his coat, put him in the harness first and place the coat on the child backwards. You can also use a blanket to keep your child warm.

Remove strings and cords from children’s clothing.

  • Strings or cords can get caught on playground equipment, in doors, on sleds, or on other objects. If this happens, your child can be strangled.
  • Use a neck warmer instead of a scarf. If a scarf is used, tuck the ends into the child’s jacket.
  • Attach mittens to a child’s jacket with clips on the end of the jacket sleeve, rather than a long string.

Get Enough to Drink

  • Give children lots of water or warm drinks to help their bodies stay warm.

Provide young children with constant supervision while they are outside.

Winter Activities

  • It is important to ensure safe equipment is used and safe practices are followed to keep children safe during winter activities such as tobogganing, skiing, snowboarding, and skating.

Frostbite

  • Frostbite happens when a child’s skin freezes.
  • Frostbite can happen if skin is not covered in cold temperatures.
  • The most common body parts to get frostbite are the cheeks, ears, nose, hands, and feet.
  • Click here for more information about frostbite.

Hypothermia

Quiz

If you would like to receive a certificate for completing this program, you need to complete the quizzes for each section of this resource. Once you have completed all 18 quizzes, you will be able to download your certificate.

You also need to register to get a certificate. If you’re not yet registered, please press go here (connect to register).