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. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest


    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  2. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other


    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  3. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  4. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.