Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Age-specific safety tips help keep your child safe

It's impossible to put your child in a safety bubble, but the American Academy of Pediatrics would like to help, and offers a set of age-specific safety sheets listing precautions parents should take during the first 10 years of their children's lives.

Birth to 6 months

Make certain that your baby's car safety seat is installed correctly. Read and follow the instructions that come with the car safety seat and the sections in the owner's manual of your car. Use the car safety seat every time your child is in the car.

6 to 12 months

Use gates on stairways and doors. Install operable window guards on all windows above the first floor. Do not use a baby walker. If your child has a serious fall or does not act normally after a fall, call your doctor.

1 to 2 years

Children in homes where guns are present are in more danger of being shot by themselves, their friends or family members than of being injured by an intruder. Ask if the homes where your child visits or is cared for have guns and how they are stored.

2 to 4 years

Keep safety caps on substances at all times or find nontoxic substances to use. If your child does put something poisonous in his or her mouth, call the Poison Help Line immediately. Attach the Poison Help Line number — toll-free 1-800-222-1222 — to your phone.

5 years

Your child is learning to do many things that can cause serious injury. Bike, street, fire, car, firearm and water safety are key. Even if your child knows how to swim, never let him or her swim alone.

6 years

Children aren't good at judging sound, distance or the speed of a moving car. Teach your children to stop at the curb and to never cross the street without a grownup. Make sure your child wears a helmet every time he or she rides a bike.

8 years

Your child should use a booster seat in the car until the lap belt can be worn low and flat on the hips and the shoulder belt can be worn across the shoulder rather than the face or neck (usually at about 4 feet 9 inches tall and between 8 and 12 years old). The safest place for all children to ride is in the back seat.

10 years

Ask your doctor which sports are right for your child's age. Be sure your child wears the protective equipment made for that sport, such as shin pads, mouth guards, wrist guards, eye protection and helmets.

on the web

Injury prevention

The TIPP Injury Prevention Program from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends these online resources:

• The Department of Health and Human Services child safety resource guide:; search "child safety."

• Safety and first aid tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web pages on injuries among children and adolescents:


Age-specific safety tips help keep your child safe 01/26/09 [Last modified: Monday, January 26, 2009 4:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars


    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Late night update: Second wave follows Tropical Storm Harvey


    UPDATE: At 11 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  3. Stealth anti-Jack Latvala group tied to Adam Putnam campaign


    Politico reports:

     A longtime political consultant for Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is behind a website calling one of his rivals in the race, state Sen. Jack Latvala, a “liberal.”

  4. Council gives in to pension dispute with St. Pete firefighters

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council was forced to consider its first labor dispute in years Thursday when it gave the firefighters union most of the pension enhancements it has long asked for.

    The firefighters’ union won a pension victory at Thursday’s City Council meeting. [SCOTT KEELER    |      TIMES]
  5. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half



    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.