Tips for keeping your kids safe

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Preventable injuries kill almost 1 million children around the world every year (SafeKids.org).

Safety measures in the house are important. They keep your children safe in your new neighbourhood and home.


Home safety

Your new home may be different from the one you had before. It will have new features like thermostats, fireplaces, or water heaters. You will need to know how to use them. More safety tips:

  1. Check locks and latches on doors and windows. Use window guards and window stops.
  2. Keep electrical cords tidy so people do not trip on them. Cover electrical outlets when not in use.
  3. Make sure young kids cannot open doors, drawers, stoves and cupboards. They must not reach balconies and windows especially if you live in an apartment building.
  4. Use anti-burn or shut off devices on faucets. Reset your water heater to 49C (120F).
  5. <li<Keep hot liquids out of children's reach. Keep kids at a safe distance when cooking.

  6. Lock all medication, cleaning products and other toxic chemicals in a cabinet.
  7. Keep cribs and beds away from windows.
  8. Put safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs.
  9. Ask your landlord about the utilities and safety features of your unit.

Child care

  1. You can leave your child at home without adult supervision at 12 years old.
  2. But make sure that your child is ready. Some children may not be mature enough at 12.
  3. Prepare supplies if you are leaving them alone at home. There should be enough food. They should know what to do in an emergency. Have a first-aid kit. Call them to check in once in a while.
  4. The Canada Safety Council has a Home Alone Program. It teaches kids 10 or older the basics of staying safe at home. Kids also learn basic first aid and internet safety.
  5. Schools are rarely cancelled in Manitoba in winter even in extreme weather conditions. Read How to keep school kids safe in extreme weather to know how to prepare for such cases.

Street safety

Children like to play outside. They may also walk to school and need to cross the street. Teach them pedestrian safety. Explain that cars belong to the road and people belong on sidewalks. These street safety tips are from the CMAS Canada Street Safety for Children brochure:

  1. Teach your kids to Stop, Look and Listen before crossing the street.
  2. Supervise them when crossing the street. You or an adult caregiver should cross with them. Tell them to cross at intersections with traffic signals, marked crosswalks and stop signs.
  3. Tell them NEVER to run into the road after a ball or pet.
  4. Set a good example and obey the pedestrian rules.
  5. Plan a safe route when your child is old enough to walk to school alone. Walk with them until they know it.
  6. Dress them in bright colours and reflective items so they can be seen by drivers.
  7. Tell your child to avoid train tracks, busy intersections, or areas where cars travel at faster speeds. These are dangerous places.
  8. Teach your child to always use the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, they should walk facing traffic. They should walk as far away from the street or roadside as possible.
  9. Children should wait until all traffic stops when crossing. Teach them to wait for the image of a person walking to light up on the sign. They should look to the left and right before crossing the street.

Regulations for booster seats and child car seats

  1. Manitoba law says that babies and children must use booster seats when in motor vehicles.
  2. There are rules about what booster seat to use and how to put them in the car. It will depend on the age, weight, and height of the child.
  3. Children need to use booster seats until they are at least 145 cm (4’9”) tall, 36 kg (80 lb), or 9 years old.

Go to Manitoba.ca for more instructions on booster seats and child car seats.

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