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Are second-hand seats safe?

Second-hand seats are safe unless manufactured before 1981 or have been recalled. Be sure to check second-hand seat against the national recall list. Visit http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/portal/site/nhtsa/menuitem.9f8c7d6359e0e9bbbf30811060008a0c/.

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Childproofing your child's surroundings: How do I keep my baby from getting hurt?

"Baby-proof" your home by looking at things from the height and perspective of you child to see what might be unsafe. Anything that could harm your child should be changed to ensure safety. Start baby-proofing before your baby starts moving around on his/her own. Here are items to take note of:

  1. Cover all electrical outlets.
  2. Secure cords, hanging from drapes or mini-blinds, out of your child's reach.
  3. Install safety gates at the top and bottom of staircases. Use the type that screw into the wall. The pressure-mounted gates provide an additional safety threat.
  4. Tape or otherwise secure electric cord from TVs, stereos, etc.
  5. Store cleaning supplies in a locked cabinet out of your child's reach.
  6. Store all medicines and first-aid supplies out of your child's reach.
  7. Empty all buckets, tubs and pails of liquids when not in use.
  8. Secure cabinets, containing items you do not want your child to get into, with locks and latches.
  9. Use window guards to limit window openings.
  10. Secure fireplaces and space heaters with a screen.
  11. Know what plants in your home are poisonous. Get rid of them.
  12. Secure any free standing furniture to the walls.
  13. Cover sharp corners on tables, counters, desks and other furniture with rounded edges.
  14. Keep all dangerous kitchen utensils out of the reach of your child.
  15. Install smoke detectors in your home; change the batteries annually.
  16. Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home and garage; change batteries annually.
  17. Wrap up cords and store bathroom appliances when not in use. This includes such items as curling iron, electric razor and blow dryer.
  18. Keep the water temperature in your home below 120 degrees F.
  19. Keep any guns and other weapons in locked cabinets.
  20. Store all tools, paints and other supplies out of your child's reach.

Did you know that hundreds of children younger than 1 year die every year in the United States because of injuries — most of which could be prevented?

Often, accidents happen because parents are not aware of what their children can do. Children learn fast, and before you know it, your child will be wiggling off a bed or reaching for your cup of hot coffee.

Car Injuries

Car crashes are a great threat to your child's life and health. Most injuries and deaths from car crashes can be prevented by the use of car safety seats. Your child, besides being much safer in a car safety seat, will behave better, so you can pay attention to your driving. Make your newborn's first ride home from the hospital a safe one — in a car safety seat. Your infant should ride in the back seat in a rear-facing car seat.

Make certain that your baby's car seat is installed correctly. Read and follow the instructions that come with the car safety seat and the sections in the owners' manual of your car on using car safety seats correctly. Use the car safety seat EVERY time your child is in a car.

NEVER put an infant in the front seat of a car with a passsenger air bag.

Falls

Babies wiggle and move and push against things with their feet soon after they are born. Even these very first movements can result in a fall. As your baby grows and is able to roll over, he or she may fall off of things unless protected. Do not leave your baby alone on changing tables, beds, sofas, or chairs. Put your baby in a safe place such as a crib or playpen when you cannot hold him.

Your baby may be able to crawl as early as 6 months. Use gates on stairways and close doors to keep your baby out of rooms where he or she might get hurt. Install operable window guards on all windows above the first floor.

Do not use a baby walker. Your baby may tip the walker over, fall out of it, or fall down stairs and seriously injure his head. Baby walkers let children get to places where they can pull heavy bojects or hot food on themselves.

If your child has a serious fall or does not act normally after a fall, call your doctor.

Burns

At 3 to 5 months, babies will wave their fists and grab at things. NEVER carry your baby and hot liquids, such as coffee, or foods at the same time. Your baby can get burned. You can't handle both! To protect your child from tap water scalds, reduce the maximum temperature of your hot water heater to 120°F.

If your baby gets burned, immediately put the burned area in cold water. Keep the burned area in cold water until he or she stops crying. Then cover the burn loosely with a bandage or clean cloth and call your doctor.

To protect your baby from house fires, be sure you have a working smoke alarm in your home. Test the batteries in your smoke alarm every month to be sure that they work. Change the batteries once a year on a date you'll remember, such as daylight savings time.

Choking/Suffocation

Babies explore their environment by putting anything and everything into their mouths. NEVER leave small objects in your baby's reach, even for a moment. NEVER feed your baby hard pieces of food such as chunks of raw carrots, apples, hot dogs, grapes, peanuts, and popcorn. Cut all the foods you feed your baby into thin pieces to prevent choking. Be prepared if your baby starts to choke. Ask your doctor to recommend the steps you need to know. Learn how to save the life of a choking child.

To prevent possible suffocation and reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), your baby should always sleep on his or her back. NEVER put your baby on a water bed, bean bag, or anything that is soft enough to cover the face and block air to the nose and mouth.

Plastic wrappers and bags form a tight seal if placed over the mouth and nose and may suffocate your child. Keep them away from your baby.

For more information on keeping your baby safe click here.

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Childproofing your child's surroundings: We do not have a pool or live near a canal, so what danger of drowning is there?

A young child can drown in as little as an inch of water.

  • Puddles, bucket, toilets and bathtubs provide the greatest risk to children under one year.
  • Pools and hot tubs provide the greatest risk to children between 1-4 years.
  • Oceans, canals and rivers provide the greatest risk to children 4 years and older.

To prevent tragedy, follow these tips:

  1. Never leave your child unsupervised next to any areas of water-bath tub, hot tub, river bank.
  2. Empty all containers of water and other liquids when not in use.
  3. Secure pools and hot tubs with appropriate fencing at least five feet high.
  4. Know where rescue equipment and personnel are when at pools and beaches.
  5. Learn CPR. Call the American Red Cross at (305) 644-1200 for information about training.
  6. Enroll your child in swimming lessons. Call the site closest to you.
    • County of Miami-Dade; 305-633-4064
    • City of Aventura; 305-466-8556
    • Biscayne Village Park; 305-893-3711
    • City of Coral Gables; 305-460-5366
    • Town of Golden Beach; 305-932-0744
    • City of Hialeah; 305-687-2650
    • Village of Key Biscayne; 305-365-8901
    • City of Miami Beach; 305-673-7533
    • City of Miami; 305-416-1308
    • Miami Shores Village; 305-758-8105
    • City of Miami Springs; 305-887-4484
    • City of North Miami Beach; 305-948-2957
    • City of North Miami; 305-893-6511
    • City of South Miami; 305-663-6319
    • Town of Surfside; 305-866-3635
    • Virginia Gardens Village; 305-871-1120

Did you know that hundreds of children younger than 1 year die every year in the United States because of injuries — most of which could be prevented? Click here for more information

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Childproofing your home: What can I do to make my home a safe place for my child?

Family Challenges

Children are naturally curious and active, so parents need to take measures to prevent accidents from happening in the home. Before your child reaches each stage of mobility -- crawling, standing, walking -- baby-proof each room.

Start by getting on your hands and knees and looking around your home from your baby's point of view. Walk from room to room; try to be one step ahead of your child's next move.

Question: What can I do to make my home a safe place for my child?

  • Keep babies away from electrical outlets and electrical cords.
  • Keep floors free of toys and clothing to prevent tripping. Toys with small parts should be kept out of reach of infants and toddlers.
  • Keep plants, large cleaning buckets, cleaning supplies, medicines, hot drinks, small toys, coins and candies out of the reach of babies and toddlers.
  • Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Keep children on riding toys away from stairs, porches, cars and swimming pools.
  • Keep children away from balconies and open windows.
  • Don't leave a baby alone on a sofa, bed or changing table while you answer the phone or door. Never leave your children in the bath without supervision. Take them with you if you must leave for even an instant.
  • Install smoke detectors in each level of your home and outside each sleeping area. Test the batteries and change them yearly.
  • Develop a fire escape plan and make sure all family members know what to do in case of fire. Practice your plan.
  • Use night lights in children's rooms, hallways and the bathroom.
  • Always close doors securely behind you, and teach your older children to do the same, so that a small child cannot follow you outside unsupervised.
  • Keep playpens and children away from curtain cords.
  • Pad the corners of furniture with sharp edges or remove such pieces.
  • Keep balloons out of the reach of small children who might choke on burst balloon pieces (a major cause of choking deaths).
  • Talk with children about why certain things are dangerous.
  • Place telephone numbers for police, fire, ambulance and poison control next to each telephone.

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How do I choose the best car seat?

  1. Choose one manufactured after 1981.
  2. Ask friends and relatives for preferences.
  3. Visit a retailer and try out several seats. Be sure it is easy for you to fasten and unfasten.
  4. Send in registration card to be sure to receive notification on future recalls.

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How do I install my car seat correctly?
Car seats must be snuggly installed.

Visit http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/portal/site/nhtsa/menuitem.9f8c7d6359e0e9bbbf30811060008a0c/ for specific instructions. Training and classes are offered in Miami-Dade County. For further information, call:

  • Miami Children's Hospital; 305-666-6511 - ext. 2516
  • William Lehman Injury Research Center; 305-355-4954

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Lead poisoning

What is lead poisoning?

Lead is a metal found in many things around us (paint, ceramics, water, soil and dust). You or your child can eat, drink or breathe in lead. When too much lead gets into your body, it is called lead poisoning.

How do children get lead in their body?

Ordinary dust and dirt may contain lead. Children can get lead in their bodies if they swallow or breathe dust contaminated with lead. If they play in dust or dirt and then put their hands or toys in their mouth, they will put lead in their bodies. When children eat paint chips and chew things painted with old paint, lead gets in their bodies. When children play with toys covered with lead dirt, they also bring lead in their bodies. Food and water may also contain lead.

How can lead hurt my child?

Lead poisoning is harmful to your child’s body and may cause many serious long-term problems to your child’s learning, growth, attention, hearing -- and his or her brain. Those problems can be limited if caught early by preventing lead from getting in your child’s body and getting medical treatment for your child.

How can I know if my child has lead poisoning?

There may be lead around your family and you may not know it because you cannot see, taste or smell lead. Children with lead poisoning do not look sick. Even children who look and act healthy may have high lead levels. The only way to know if your child has lead poisoning is to have him or her tested. The harm caused by lead poisoning may never go away. Your child should be tested.

What does the test for lead consist of?

A health care worker will take only a small amount of your child’s blood. The test takes only a few minutes.

Do children of all ages need to be tested?

Children who are 1 to 6 years old are at higher risk for lead poisoning and should be tested. Children should be tested before the age of 2 because at this age lead is most harmful to the brain. Children who receive Medicaid or any other type of public assistance, live in or regularly visit a house built before 1950, live in or regularly visit a house built before 1978 that is being remodeled, arrived in the U.S. within one year, or have a sibling or playmate with lead poisoning should be tested for lead poisoning when they are a year old and again when they are 2. Children who live in or attend child care in any of the following ZIP codes also should be tested at a year old and again at age 2: 33125, 33126, 33127, 33128, 33129, 33130, 33131, 33132, 33133, 33134, 33135, 33136, 33137, 33138, 33139, 33140, 33141, 33142, 33144, 33145, 33147, 33150.

How can I keep my child safe from lead poisoning?

There are several things you can do to keep your child safe from lead poisoning. Always wash your child’s hands before meals, before bedtime, and after your child has been playing outside. Have all family members remove their shoes before coming in the house to avoid tracking in soil that may have lead in it. Feed your child foods high in calcium and iron. Keep your child away from peeling paint. Use caution when doing repairs on houses built before 1978 because paint in these houses may contain lead. Consider moving your child out of the house while repairs are being made. Remember, the only way to know for sure if your child has lead poisoning is to have him or her tested.

What are some jobs or hobbies that may expose me to lead?

If you work in auto repair, battery repair, painting, construction, steel welding and cutting, plumbing, police work or work on boats, you may be exposed to lead while doing your job. If your hobbies include fishing, working on cars, painting, stained glass, soldering, shooting guns, building model cars or boats, or working with pottery you may be exposed to lead. If you work in any of these jobs or have these hobbies, you should change your clothes and shoes before you come home and wash your hands well to avoid bringing lead home and making your family sick.

How can I get more information as well as a free lead screening for my child?

For more information, contact the Miami-Dade County Health Department’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at (305) 324-2414. Free screenings are available for children 6 months to 6 years old who do not qualify for Medicaid and do not have private insurance.

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What car seats have been recalled?
Second-hand seats are safe unless manufactured before 1981, have been in a crash or have been recalled. Be sure to check second-hand seat against the national recall list. Visit http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/portal/site/nhtsa/menuitem.9f8c7d6359e0e9bbbf30811060008a0c/.

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What do I need to know about car seats?
  • Infants ride facing the rear of the vehicle and semi-reclined until age 1 and 20 pounds.
  • Never place a rear-facing infant car seat in front of an airbag.
  • Children ride forward-facing and upright from age 1 to 40 pounds.
  • Children through age 3 must be secured in a federally approved, separate child safety seat or a built-in car seat at all times.
  • Children use a belt-positioning booster seat from 40 to 80 pounds.
  • Children may use adult lap and shoulder belts when they reach 80 pounds and are at least 4½ feet tall.
  • Always use a lap and shoulder belt whenever possible. Using only lap belts can cause serious injury in a motor vehicle crash.

  • Infants ride facing the rear of the vehicle and semi-reclined until age 1 and 20 pounds.
  • Never place a rear-facing infant car seat in front of an airbag.
  • Children ride forward-facing and upright from age 1 to 40 pounds.
  • Children through age 3 must be secured in a federally approved, separate child safety seat or a built-in car seat at all times.
  • Children use a belt-positioning booster seat from 40 to 80 pounds.
  • Children may use adult lap and shoulder belts when they reach 80 pounds and are at least 4½ feet tall.
  • Always use a lap and shoulder belt whenever possible. Using only lap belts can cause serious injury in a motor vehicle crash.

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Brought to you by The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation and United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education


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