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Safety Tips for Babysitters: Keeping Indoor Play Areas Safe
- Remove strings of toys from across the top or sides of the playpen. They can cause strangulation.
- If the playpen has drop sides, they should always be up and locked securely in position when a child is in the playpen.
- Do not put any toys in the playpen that the child can stand on to climb out.
- Make sure any safety belts or straps on the high chair are securely fastened.
- Make sure the tray is properly secured.
- Don’t let the child stand up while in the chair, and keep other children from climbing on it.
- Keep the chair away from areas in the house where there is a lot of traffic, such as doorways.
- Keep the chair away from stoves.
- Keep the chair far enough away from walls so that the child can’t push the chair over.
- Check to see how much space is between the mattress and the side of the crib. If the space is larger than two fingers, an infant’s head could get caught in between and the infant could suffocate. Roll up a couple of towels and place them in the space.
- Check the slats in the side of the crib. Make sure they conform to current safety regulations.
- If the child is old enough to stand up, the parents should set the mattress at its lowest position, with the side rail at its highest position.
- Check the mattress support frequently to make sure it hasn’t become unhooked from the end panels.
- Do not leave toys in the crib that could be used to help the child climb out.
- Do not use crib toys that may have strings or elastic attached to them—they can strangle and choke a child.
- Beware that cribs with decorative knobs on the corner posts can lead to strangulation. Children’s clothing and strings or necklaces can catch on them, especially if the child is trying to climb out.
Safe Kids Worldwide http://www.safekids.org
US Consumer Product Safety Commission http://www.cpsc.gov
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Babysitting: the basics. KidsHealth—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/teen/babysitting%5Fcenter/getting%5Fstarted/babysit.html. Accessed March 2013. July 21, 2014.
The super sitter. US Consumer Product Safety Commission website. Available at: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/243.html. Accessed July 21, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 07/2014
- Update Date: 07/21/2014