Child Safety – Keeping Your Home Safe for Your Baby
If you are having any symptoms or have any questions, please call 811 to speak with a registered nurse 24 hours a day.
How can I make my baby’s crib safe?
A CSA-approved crib is always the best option. It should include a permanent label and detailed manufacturing information, instructions and a warning statement about mattress size and proper use. Never use a crib that is missing this label or made before 1987. Check that the bars of the crib no more than 6 cm (2 3/8 inches) apart.
Check that all the crib bars are present and secure.
The crib should not have corner posts that stick up. Corner posts can be catch‑points for items placed around a child’s neck or clothing worn by the child. Unscrew the corner posts or saw them off.
The mattress should be firm, flat and fit tight within the crib frame. You should not be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and crib bars. Sheets should be smooth and tight-fitting. Do not use bumper pads, pillows, lambskins, quilts, stuffed toys or comforters in the crib.
What else can I do to keep the bedroom safe?
Remove any cords that could get around the baby’s neck. Keep the crib away from electric cords, drapes and curtain cords, or tie up the cords so they are less than 6 inches (15 cm) long and out of your child’s reach. Mobiles and hanging crib toys should also be kept out of your baby’s reach. Remove strings on crib toys and pacifiers. Remove your crib mobile when your baby is 4 months old or when he starts pushing himself up on his hand and knees.
How can I make the kitchen safe?
Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Use the back burners on the stove for cooking.
Keep hot foods and drinks out of reach – away from the edge of a counter or table. Keep knives and other sharp objects out of reach or in locked or “childproof” drawers or cabinets. Wind up appliance cords and keep them out of reach.
How can I keep medicines and poisons out of reach?
Keep medicines, vitamins, cleaning supplies and other poisons in locked cabinets. Children can’t tell the difference between medicine and candy.
If your child swallows something he or she shouldn’t, call your poison control center at 1-800-565-8161 right away. Keep the telephone number by your phone.
How can I make bath time safe?
Because children can drown in very little water, you should always stay with your child when they are in the bathtub. NEVER leave your child alone or with an older child in the bathroom or tub – not even for a minute. If you have to answer the phone or doorbell, take your child with you.
Always test the water before putting your child in the tub. Young children have tender skin and are easily burned if the water in the sink or bathtub is too hot. Set your water heater to 48.9°C (120°F) or less. To check the temperature of the hot water from the faucet, run the water over a meat or candy thermometer for 3 minutes.
Keep electrical items such as hair dryers away from the water. Unplug them when you aren’t using them. They can cause an electric shock if they fall into the sink or bathtub while they’re plugged in.
How can I be sure toys are safe?
- Choose carefully when shopping for toys. Look for toys that are well made and appropriate for your child’s age.
- Watch out for toys that have sharp edges, small parts or sharp points.
- Young children pull, prod and twist toys. Look for toys with tightly secured parts.
- Look for safety information on the toy or label such as “Not recommended for children under 3 years of age,” or “nontoxic” on toys likely to end up in little mouths. Look for “washable/hygienic materials” on stuffed toys and dolls.
- Avoid marbles, balls, games with balls and other toys that have parts smaller than 4.5 cm (1 3/4 inches) in diameter or smaller than 5 cm (2 inches) long. These products can choke young children if swallowed.
- Keep toys meant for older children away from babies and toddlers.
What about houseplants?
Plants should be placed out of your child’s reach. Some houseplants are poisonous. Call your local poison control center at 1-800-565-8161 to find out if your plants are poisonous.
How can I make stairs safe?
Use toddler gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Do not use gates with big spaces between the slats – children can get trapped in the openings.
How can I make windows safe?
Keep children away from windows to prevent falls. Screens are made to keep bugs out ‑ not to keep children in. Use window guards to keep children from falling. Keep chairs and other furniture away from windows so children can’t climb up. If possible, open windows from the top, not the bottom.
Other safety tips
- Keep plastic bags and deflated or burst balloons away from young children.
- Use plastic inserts to cover electric outlet openings that are not being used.
- Keep alcohol and cigarettes out of reach.
- Keep guns and other firearms out of the house. If guns are in the house, unload them, put them in a locked place and keep the keys out of your child’s reach. Store the gun in a separate place from the bullets.
- When your baby is placed on anything above the ground, like a changing table, always stand close with your hand on your baby.
- Lock matches and lighters in a cabinet that is higher than your shoulders.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Child Safety Link
Caring for Kids (Canadian Pediatric Society)
Adapted with permission from a booklet produced by the Injury Subcommittee of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition.