Super Bowl Party Child Safety Tips

www.KimberleeMitchell.com

Child Safety Tips for the Super Bowl Party Host or Hostess

 By Kimberlee Mitchell, Child Safety Expert

 

 

On Super Bowl Sunday, many families attend a party or they will host one to watch the big game.  Making sure you have your safety bases covered is the responsible thing to do so this blog will serve as a reminder to tackle outstanding safety issues so kids can play safely while you enjoy peace of mind while watching the game. Below are some often-neglected areas that require the attention of any new mom, dad or care provider.

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1) TV Safety – Nothing says Super Bowl like a huge flat screen panel TV and the bigger the better. However, this can also be a danger to your kids as the average size flat panel weighs as much as 3 bowling balls.  Have an old box TV still around? Recycle it. Greener Gadgets Appliance Recycling Centers will direct you to a site near you. If you use it, anchor the TV to the wall and anchor the furniture on which it stands to the wall (in a stud or behind dry wall with butterfly toggles and bolts) as well.

PROBLEM: According to TV Safety.org, every three weeks a child dies from a tipping TV.

SOLUTION: Safety tips

  • Mounting your flat-panel TV is the safest, most secure way to avoid injury.
  • A wide variety of TV wall mounts on the market, you’re sure to find a perfect mount for your exact need.
  • Anchoring TV with a childproofing device is another option to prevent tipping.
  • If TV is freestanding on a piece of furniture (i.e. dresser, table, shelving unit, etc.) be sure to anchor the furniture as well.
  • Recycle your old box TV’s.

DIY-station-back12) Power Cords/Charging Cables – We‘re living in a digital age with handy wireless technology, but we’re still buried in electrical cords. Our cellphones, laptops, iPads, video games, tablets, iPods — you name it — all have charger cords to which babies should never have access. Little ones are creative outside-of-the-box thinkers and like to play with these items in imaginative and often unsafe ways. I’ve had many parents share stories of their babies getting entangled so quickly. When your guests come to spend the day to watch football they will also bring their charge cords.

PROBLEM:

Since these electronics are such a close part of our lives, often an extension of us, like another limb, most disassociate the cords with danger.  Strangulation or cutting off circulation in extremities is a potential hazard along with electrical shock so being sure your baby does not have access to these cords  is key to his or her safety.

SOLUTION: Safety Tips

  • Wrangle ALL electronics and create a out-of-reach charging station for your family and for guests.  Let guests know where station is when they arrive.
  • Bundle all electrical cords into a cord control kit.
  • Make sure all cords in the home are out of reach of babies or have cord molding.
  • Be aware that babies can reach up higher than they can see, so keep items pushed far back on counters or to the center of a table.
  • Also keep in mind that kitchen appliance cords should be trained out of little hands’ reach.

VTech-Monitor3) The Baby Monitor – You can babyproof your home like Fort Knox, but supervision is still the best way to ensure your child’s safety. Baby monitors are a parent’s best friend and new innovations in technology allow parents immense peace of mind because this device allows them to keep eyes on their baby at ALL times—even in the dark and when baby moves out of camera shot and VTech’s Safe&Sound® Pan & Tilt Full-Color Video & Audio Monitor allows you to do just that. New infrared LED lights allow for better viewing even in the dark with the pan & tilt features allow you to remotely move camera when baby moves. Have multiples? Connect your monitor to as many as four cameras in different rooms. Use camera to supervise in game room with older children! These innovations allow mom to have eyes in the back of her head…in every room, which is additionally handy when entertaining.

PROBLEM:

Many parents don’t realize that the monitor itself needs to be childproofed and  should never fall into the hands of the baby. According to BabyMonitorSafety.org, since 2002, seven children have strangled due to             entanglement in baby monitor cords. I’ve seen monitors placed into the bassinet and crib or on the crib rail right next to baby, which is a strangulation risk. By installing your monitor according to the manufacturers instructions and the tips below you can childproof your monitor.

SOLUTION: Safety Tips

  • Install the monitor more than 3 feet away from crib, bassinet, play yard, etc. and adjust as your child grows; you’ll move it further away over time.
  • Never place monitor in or on the side of the crib giving your baby access to cords.
  • Plug the monitor into an outlet that has been childproofed with an auto-close sliding outlet cover. Often outlets are hidden behind cribs.
  • Use wire cover molding to conceal excess electrical wire to prevent entanglement. Or use a monitor with a cord wind up feature.

Packets Rotating4) Laundry Room – Deem the laundry room area “off limits” to little ones and ALWAYS lock it off while entertaining. As a second measure of safety, keep all cleaning products stored up high and out of reach behind locked or childproofed cabinets.

PROBLEM:

In the last year, over 9,000 children 5 years and younger have been exposed to single-load liquid laundry packets. 

SOLUTION: Safety Tips

  • ACI, aka The American Cleaning Institute, launched the KEY Pledge campaign in order to educate parents, caregivers, and consumers on the importance of protecting children from harm by storing detergent packets and containers out of reach and sight.
  • Lock laundry room door and never allow children to play in the laundry room.
  • Store all cleaning products in a childproofed and out-of-reach cabinet.
  • Educate your family about proper use, handling and storage of the laundry packets.
  • Never let children handle laundry packets or any cleaning supplies.
  • Do laundry when children are not present.
  • Install locks on front load washer/dryer appliances to prevent children from climbing in.

5) Second Story Windows – I see too many kids in my neighborhood with their sweet little faces pressed up against window screens. A window screen is NOT a childproofing device. It’s freezing cold in some parts of the nation in January but windows are open out West, plus spring is around the corner and windows will be opening everywhere.

PROBLEM: Many folks mistakenly think screens will provide protection from falls.  According to Safe Kids, window falls account for approximately eight deaths and 3,300 injuries among children ages 5 and under annually. The only way to  properly childproof a window is with a window guard or lock.  Guards are installed like gates into the window jamb but choosing the correct guard can be  challenging. Guardian Window devised a great online tool to help consumers   match a specific window type and size to the correct guard(s). You also can opt  to use a window lock (or two), but keep in mind not all locks work on all windows. If you find a lock that works for your window, my recommendation is to install two.

SOLUTION: Safety Tips

  • Address all 2nd story and higher windows in any home where your child plays.
  • Choose a window guard with an emergency release mechanism so you can get out of window in case of an emergency.
  • Install the guard according to the manufacturer’s instructions. No rigging!
  • If you prefer to use window locks/stops, install two, but only allow window to open 3”- 4” max.
  • Keep furniture (including cribs), or anything children can climb, away from windows to prevent easy access to window.

imagesInjury prevention education and implementation is an ongoing job for all parents until we send them off to college! Becoming a practitioner of injury prevention through all stages of your child’s growth is key. But remember, when you get stumped with a safety conundrum, indecision is the worse decision. Act now, before your Super Bowl party, and address the forgotten or outstanding safety issues in your home. We can’t prevent every bump or bruise in 2014, however, a proactive safety perspective can help prevent unnecessary visits to the ER.

 

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