5 Tips for a Safer Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving for many is the optimal chance to spend time with family and reflect on all that they are thankful for. Alongside the joy of this day, there is also a list of tasks to be completed, long lists for the grocery store and an extensive amount of preparation to be done prior. Not only do you need to prepare for the meals you will be cooking, but there are also other areas in which you should prepare for; safe cooking and protecting the children who are around you. Between the constant hustle and bustle of this day there are hot items in the kitchen, adults running around and the need for a close eye to make sure everyone is safe. Let’s keep the thrill of Thanksgiving and submerging yourself in time with your family by going over safety tips for cooking on this day!

Quick reminders to help keep you and your family safe!

  1. Keep children out of the kitchen, although this may be hard it can keep from children being exposed to potential burns, or accidents. You can do this by creating a line with tape or other items and being sure to tell the children they need to stay behind it, for their safety. If you do allow for older children to help, make sure that they are accompanied by an adult at all times.
  2. Test your fire alarms. Prior to beginning all of the prepping and cooking, make sure that your fire alarms work. Not only should you double check them the day of Thanksgiving, but you should also check them regularly.
  3. Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking. It only takes a second for an accident to happen or for something to catch fire. If you need to step away from the kitchen when you are cooking food, ask an adult nearby to take over.
  4. Use the back burners of a stove and turn the handles away from the edges of the stove. If children do find themselves in the kitchen, they may be tempted to touch the stove or grab a pan that is hanging over the edge of the stove, and this can cause serious injuries. If you need to use all burners, try using larger pots on the edge with handles that are smaller and higher.
  5. Keep the floors clean. It may be hard to keep the floors free from clutter, but it is important to do your best on a day like this. When there are people going in and out of the kitchen it can be easy to trip over items that are on the floor and cause an injury. This day is a time to enjoy the presence of those you love and make long lasting memories. To help keep the day as seamless as can be, (aside from all of the cooking madness) enlist the help of these safety tips. Not only can you make sure that you and other adults are kept safe, the children you share this day with can also be protected.

Have a happy Thanksgiving filled with full stomachs, full hearts and most importantly, safety!

Safe Sleep Can Decrease the Risk of SIDS

October is SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Awareness Month. Hearing this topic may invoke fear in parents or caregivers, but it is important to gain more insight on SIDS as well as ways in which we can prevent this from happening to your baby. In 2020 alone nearly 3,500 babies died from SIDS, which is the sudden death of an infant that is younger than 1 year old and cannot be explained.

Although when this occurs there are typically no findings or explanation to determine the cause of death, there is current research on how to reduce the risk of SIDS. These actions include:

  • Use a firm sleep surface or mattress, covered with a fitted sheet and nothing more.
  • Always lay your baby on their back when putting them in their sleep space.
  • Keep objects such as pillows, loose beddings and stuffed animals out of your baby’s sleep space.
  • Share your bedroom with your baby, but not your bed. Your baby should not sleep in your bed with you, on chairs, couches or anyone else. If a baby is sharing a bed with a smoker, they have an even greater chance of SIDS occurring.

After having looked at ways to reduce the risk of SIDS when your baby is placed to sleep, there are also other recommendations on how to reduce the risk of SIDS. Although these will not diminish the chance of this occurring, it can greatly decrease the risk and allow for you to keep your baby safe to the best of your ability.

  • Avoid alcohol, smoking or other harmful activities while pregnant and after you give birth. This also includes keeping your baby away from people while they smoke. 
  • Breast feeding can also reduce the risk of SIDS by nearly 70%. If possible, it is recommended that mothers breast feed exclusively for 6 months. 
  • Sharing a room with your baby can allow for you to be alerted to any abnormal noises your baby may make. Keeping your baby in your room for the first 6-12 months of life is recommended.
  • Swaddling does not decrease the risk of SIDS; it can actually cause your baby to overheat or increase the chance of SIDS.
  • Skin to skin after delivery is recommended and can prevent SIDS.

Although there is not a guaranteed or definitive answer on how to prevent SIDS from transpiring, there are many recommendations to lower the risk. As mentioned, being sure that your baby is sleeping in a safe space, avoiding alcohol or smoking, and engaging in skin-to-skin can lower the chances of SIDS happening.

Home Safety: Creating a Safe Space for Your Children

It is no shock that most families have spent more time at home than usual over the last year. Our homes were transformed in to possible work areas, classrooms, and our safe havens. Although day-to-day life is beginning to look as though normality is near, there is no better time than now to do what you can to encourage safe living spaces.

There are many items within a home that to many may appear to be harmless, but to children of young ages there may be potential for harm or danger. Many pieces of furniture within the home can present as safety hazards if they are not used correctly of if the proper tools are not equipped with them. Let’s take a look at 3 home safety tips.

  1. Use safety gates on stairs and be sure that they are being used correctly. Many young children have the ability to somehow appear in the areas they should not be, or the spaces that are not safe. Using safety gates can allow for you to limit young ones from gaining access to areas of a home that could pose as a safety issue. When using baby gates, it is important to be sure that you are following the instructions from the manufacturer.
  2. Be sure that flat screen TVs are mounted to the walls and if using box-style televisions, put them lower and closer to the ground. Heavy box-style tv’s can be a safety hazard as they are not typically secured. Being sure to use wall straps or braces can allow for them to be secured more safely. These types of TVs also tend to tip over easier, allowing for children to pull them over easier.
  3. Use window guards and keep climbable items away from windows or balconies. At a young age children curiosity begins to peak. This can also lead children to exploring windows and balconies, which can often be a safety risk. Using window bars or guards can better keep children from falling. Being sure that there are no easy to climb items nears windows or balconies can also keep children from reaching them.

There are always more ways in which you can make your home a safer place for both you and your family. Check out sklarimer.org for more safety tips.

Baby Safety Month

As a parent your top priority is keeping your children safe, and there are never enough chances to educate yourself on ways to do so. With the arrival of September, you are now in luck, because it is Baby Safety Month. What better time than now to take action to keep your baby safe?

These are simple, quick, and effective tips you can easily put into action to better protect your baby.

  • When putting your baby down for a nap or for the night, lay them on their back and there only needs to be a firm mattress with a fitted sheet. As tempting as it may be to put cute stuffed animals or extra blankets in the crib with your baby, these can actually cause more harm than good.
  • Always keep an eye out for broken toys that may be scattered on the floor or near your baby. These items can pose as a choking hazard to young children and babies. Anything smaller than a
  • Be sure to keep your baby’s bed away from windows or furniture. Having cords, strings or high surfaces can be a strangulation or fall risk.
  • Utilize baby gates! Having baby gates around your home can help to keep your baby away from harmful items or rooms that may be unsafe for your baby.
  • When bathing your baby, be sure to have the water no hotter than 120 °F to ensure the water is at a safe temperature, so you do not burn or injury your baby.
  • Keep your child rear facing in their car seat at least until 2 years of age, longer if the car seat allows it. This protects their head, neck and back in a crash much more than forward facing.

Want to dive deeper into keeping your baby safe? This booklet has tons of great information. Or, make a list of these and put it somewhere you will see it often so you can be sure to remind yourself on how to keep your baby as safe as can be!

Walk Safely This School Year

Whether you are excited or not, school is right around the corner! It is time to start thinking about how your child is going to get there. Walking is a great way for them to get exercise! You may ask yourself; how can I keep my children safe as a pedestrian? The idea of not always being there to make sure your child is crossing a street safely or being able to ensure that cars are driving safely may be scary, but you can do your part and educate your child on pedestrian safety.

Eliminate Distractions

  • Take headphones off or turn down the volume on electronics before crossing a street.
  • If you see a friend that is not paying attention or that is distracted, get their attention to keep them safe.
  • If your kids bring a cellphone with them on walks, be sure to teach them that they need to be in a safe location before using the phone.

Putting it into Action

  • Teach children to look left, right then left again before crossing a street and keep scanning as they cross the road.
  • It is safest to remain on sidewalks, paths, or areas designated for pedestrians. Avoid walking on the road or in the bike lane.
  • Teach children not to run across streets or in parking lots.
  • If children are walking when it is dark out, encourage them to wear bright or reflective clothing, or even LED lights you clip on to your clothing.
  • Children should not cross-roads alone if they are 10 years old or younger, as they are not typically able to judge the distance or speed of oncoming traffic.
  • Teach your children what different traffic lights mean, so they can better understand what is going on around them.

Keeping Others Safe

  • When you are in the car be sure to look out for pedestrians, just as you’d like people to look out for you.
  • When driving put your phone or other electronics away so that your attention is on the road.
  • Be a good role-model. If there are children or other adults in your car, be sure to practice safe habits so that they too can practice them.

Start the conversation now and practice walking the route to help both you and your child feel more comfortable as school begins.