SGCAD Banner Link to home page



Ste. Genevieve County Ambulance District
P.O. Box 401
Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670


Injury Prevention-Childproofing Your Home

Birth to 3 Months
  • Use a crib that meets current safety standards, with bars no more than 2-3/8” apart so baby can’t get head stuck.
  • Keep sides up to prevent falls. Drop sides should only lower partway, with double action latch for safety.
  • Use a firm mattress that fits snugly so baby can’t slip between it and sides. Use bumper guards, but no pillow or harness.
  • Check often to see that baby’s face is not covered with blankets, clothing or anything that could suffocate.
  • Keep carriage free of pins, buttons and plastic bags that baby could grab and put in mouth or over face.
  • Fasten hanging toys and mobiles firmly so baby can’t pull down strings and get them caught around neck.
Bassinet, Bath, or Infant Seat
  • Keep hand on baby when dressing and bathing. Never change baby with open safety pins in mouth. Pins could fall in baby’s mouth.
  • Check bath water temperature with elbow or thermometer.
  • To prevent burns or shock make sure no electrical units are nearby.
  • Never put baby in seat on high surface, unless you’re with baby, because seat can fall or tip over
  • Hold baby. Avoid propping bottle because baby can spit up or inhale liquids. Use 1-piece, sturdy pacifier on short cord.
  • Check that nipple isn’t too large, soft or torn because baby might get too much liquid too fast. See that liquids aren’t too hot.
  • Never feed baby in bed because you may fall asleep, roll over and injure baby. Never smoke near baby.
4 - 6 Months
  • Use wooden one with smooth slats close together or mesh one with small holes and metal locks on outside. Pad sides and bottom.
  • Avoid tying toys to sides because baby can grab or get entangled on tapes or strings. Check for sharp edges and loose screws.
  • Keep at least 2 feet away from objects like glass, and units like stoves, that baby can reach. Put where you can always see.
  • Use wooden one with smooth slats close together or mesh one with small holes and metal locks on outside. Pad sides and bottom.
  • Avoid tying toys to sides because baby can grab or get entangled on tapes or strings. Check for sharp edges and loose screws.
  • Keep at least 2 feet away from objects like glass, and units like stoves, that baby can reach. Put where you can always see.
Stairs, Heaters, & Outlets
  • Place safety gates with vertical slats or plastic mesh on top and bottom of stairs so baby can’t crawl up or down.
  • Put safety guards, screens or insulation around heaters, radiators and fireplaces. Secure them so they can’t be pulled down.
  • Install safety caps or plugs on all electrical outlets so baby can’t stick fingers or metal objects inside
  • Use only nonflammable, washable, nonbreakable toys painted with lead-free paint. Read package to see if age-appropriate.
  • Make sure there are no rough or sharp edges, points or protrusion.
  • See that there are no small parts to remove and swallow, inhale or put in nose or ear. Never give child an uninflated balloon.
7 - 11 Months
  • Remove long drape cords and tablecloths that baby can pull, and move objects on shelves and drawers out of reach.
  • Keep pails of water off floor so baby doesn’t fall into them.
  • Keep electrical appliances off floor so baby won’t handle.
  • Have home inspected for lead-based paint, esp. if built before 1978. Wash floors and windowsills weekly.
High Chair or Car Seat
  • Select high chair with a wide base that won’t tip easily and fall over if baby rocks or moves.
  • Lock folding mechanism carefully so chair doesn’t collapse when baby leans, climbs or rocks.
  • Use straps or safety harness to secure baby in chair or car seat. Make sure car seat is for baby’s age and weight.
  • Avoid feeding nuts, raw vegetables, foods with seeds and bones and big pieces until 4 years old.
  • Use only unbreakable glasses and bottles for baby.
  • Watch that baby doesn’t climb to reach handles of pots on stoves. Turn handles toward back of stove.
  • Never leave baby unattended.
1 - 3 Years
  • Buy battery-operated, not plug-ins. Avoid toy chest for child under 3-lids, corners and hinges pose dangers.
  • See that wooden toys are screwed together, not nailed or glued. Fix broken toys or discard when broken.
  • Check that there are no small removable pieces or exposed pins, wires, nails or holes to catch hair, fingers or toes.
Fire Hazzards
  • Keep child away from matches, lighters and open fires.
  • Buy flame-resistant nightwear, clothing and fabrics for furnishings.
  • Keep flammable objects at least 3 feet away from heat-generating sources, e.g. heating or cooking units.
  • Store oily rags, barbecue charcoal and flammable liquids in labeled metal container with tight lid, in cool, dry place.
  • Check house for toxic products and plants and keep them out of reach. Keep drugs in child-resistant containers.
  • Never store toxins near food or utensils for preparing food or medicines.
  • Never transfer toxins to another container without labeling.
Doors & Windows
  • Put locks or safety latches on doors leading to stairs, swimming pools, driveways and storage areas. Use safety glass with decals for glass doors.
  • Be sure all windows have a lockable safety catch and are always locked. (Screens won’t keep a child from falling out a window.)
  • On all upper floors install child-safety bars that can be removed in case of fire.
4 - 6 Years
  • Never let child tease pet, hold face close to its mouth, pull tail, take away food or toy or overexcite.
  • Avoid letting child give food to pet unless child is used to animals. After playing with pet, make sure child washes hands thoroughly before eating.
  • Teach child to avoid strange animals and always ask pet owner if it’s OK to pet any animal before doing so
Sharp Objects & Cutting Tools
  • Tell child not to run when carrying scissors and to carry them away from body and turn them around when handing them over.
  • Never leave used razor blades, broken glass or can lids in indoor trashcans. Wrap these items and discard outside.
  • Keep play areas free of sharp items and glass. Never let a child play with cutting tools or sharp objects.
Steps, Floors, & Bathtub
  • Keep steps free of clutter and well lit so child doesn’t trip.
  • See that polished and waxed floors are not too slippery.
  • Secure rugs so child won’t trip.
  • Put handrails or treads on steps and mats or strips in bathtub to keep child from slipping
Poison Prevention
  • Are all medicines and cleaning products in their original containers with original labels?
  • Is medication put away after use, and not left out on a counter top?
  • Are household products that are in low cabinets guarded with safety latches or locks?
  • Are bathroom cleaners, cosmetics and toiletries out of reach or locked up?
  • Is medication kept in child-proof containers?
  • Do you periodically clean out your cabinet of old and unused medications? (Flush pills and liquids down the toilet – DO NOT toss them into a garbage pail where a child can get them.)
Laundry Room & Garage
  • Are soaps, bleaches, detergents, drain cleaners, and diaper pail deodorizers kept on a high shelf at all times?
  • Do you thoroughly rinse out fabric softener and bleach bottles before tossing them into the trash?
  • Are pesticides, anti-freezes, charcoal lighter fluid, paint, paint thinner, gasoline, oil and other poisonous products kept in their original containers and stored out of reach?
Living Room & Bedroom
  • Is liquor locked up? Are alcoholic drinks kept out of reach?
  • Have you checked all your houseplants to be sure they are not the toxic variety?
  • Are matches, lighters and tobacco stored away?
  • Are ashtrays kept clean?
  • Are walls in good shape – with no peeling paint in evidence?
  • Do you make it a point to keep medications and contraceptives off the bedroom nightstand and stored in a high cabinet?

Return to top of page