HOW CAN WE PROTECT OUR CHILDREN?
In the Kitchen:
* Shorten the cord of the electric kettle (by means of a
rubber band) and push it away from the edge of the
counter to prevent a child from pulling it upon him.
* Store medicines/vitamins and cleaning supplies on a
high or locked shelf, far from the reach of children AND
NOT UNDER THE SINK!
* Don't leave anything with hot food, i.e. pots, cups,
soup plates, near the edge of the table, on the floor or
anywhere accessible to a child.
* Use the back burners whenever free and make sure that
all pot handles are turned inward.
* Do not leave a hot drink, food or a cigarette near the
reach of a child, even when you are seated with them at
the table or holding a child on your lap. A slight move
can result in burns.
* Do not serve popcorn, hard candies, olives, nuts or
seeds to children under five. Cut franks lengthwise, not
into rings. Cut grapes in half.
In the Bathroom
* Adjust the thermostat of your hot water boiler to a
maximum temperature of 50 degrees C. If you have a solar
heater, you must be extra careful lest children open the
hot water tap by themselves.
* Put a rubber mat or rubber stickers on the floor of
the bathtub to avoid slipping. Available in household
* In the bathroom, use only electric heaters that are in
excellent condition and keep them out of children's
* Keep medicines and cleaning supplies up high and/or
* Never leave a child under five untended in the bath,
not even for a moment. Drowning is fatal and takes place
very quickly and noiselessly. Sixty seconds is a very
* Empty out anything that contained water immediately
after use. This includes bathtubs, pails, basins.
In the Children's Room
* Heat the room only with radiators or convectors.
* Choose a crib and mattress for your baby that has the
stamp of government approval.
* As soon as the baby is able to pull himself up, lower
the crib to its lowest level.
* Do not hang heavy objects or glass-framed pictures
above a baby's bed.
* Never ever leave a baby untended on a high place like
a dressing table, highchair or carriage.
* Never leave plastic bags, unblown balloons or pieces
thereof or any dangerous objects that can be swallowed
within reach of children.
In the Car
* Correct usage of safety seats reduces child mortality
and severe injuries from car accidents by 70%. On every
trip, even short or at slow speed, make sure to strap
children into safety seats according to manufacturer's
* Back seats are safer than front seats.
* Make sure before each trip that the infant car seat is
well anchored in place so that it cannot be moved more
than 2.5 centimeters in any direction, also that the
straps are secure and tight -- so that no more than a
finger can be inserted between.
* Make sure the seat fits the age of the child, its
weight and height, and that it bears some government
approved seal (American, European, Israeli) and that it
is comfortable and convenient to use.
* Infant seats that were involved in accidents or that
have been in use for more than six years must be
Small Changes that Save Lives
Some more simple ideas from Beterem, an
organization promoting child safety and accident
Staircases within homes should have sturdy gates at the
top and bottom.
Do not leave irons (off or on) or ironing boards
standing where there are children. Make sure the cords
of all appliances are well insulated.
Electric outlets should be protected with simple plastic
covers. Electric wires should be shortened or stapled to
the wall beyond reach of children.
Heavy pieces of furniture like bookcases and dressers
should be anchored to the floor or to walls so that even
if a child climbs on them, or pulls at a drawer, the
whole thing won't come toppling down on him.
Smoke detectors can warn if a child has lit a match and
started a fire.
Examine the toys your children play with. A three-year-
old girl was given a plastic toy containing a sealed
liquid. She fell asleep with it and it cracked, its
dangerous contents causing severe chemical burns all
over her body!
A bill was introduced to subsidize the installation of
window bars in depressed neighborhoods, which would have
saved the country thousands of dollars in hospital bills
and payments -- but it never passed. At any rate,
windows that don't have bars can be fixed to open to a
maximum of ten centimeters to prevent falls. Awareness
is the key, says Michal Klein, spokeswoman of the
organization, that is, dynamic awareness that demands
action whenever something seems to be faulty, like
swings in a playground etc.
We hope that these ounces of prevention will save many a
pound of flesh...