Health Tip: Prevent Your Children From Choking
For small children, even the most seemingly harmless objects can pose a choking threat.
The U.S. National Safety Council offers these suggestions to reduce your youngsters' risk of choking:
- Never allow a baby or young child to play with a toy that has a cord or string attached.
- Don't feed your baby foods that could get stuck in the throat, such as bites of hot dogs, hard candy, uncooked vegetables, nuts, raisins, fruits or vegetables with pits, popcorn or grapes.
- Never allow your child to eat while lying down.
- Keep anything that can fit in your child's mouth out of reach, including coins, batteries, jewelry, nails or thumbtacks.
Health Tip: Check Your Child's Car Seat
Use of a car seat can save a child's life, but it must be installed correctly.
The U.S. National Safety Council offers this checklist for making sure that a car seat is properly located and secured:
- Make sure the car seat is installed in the backseat -- never in the front.
- Children less than 1 year old or less than 20 pounds should ride facing the back of the car; older or heavier children can ride facing the front.
- Make sure the safety belt is securely holding the seat. Ensure that the seat is snugly strapped in and that the belt has been placed correctly.
- The harness must fit snugly, too. The clip should fit at about the level of your child's armpits.
- If your child is 40 pounds or under, continue using the car seat. Switch to a booster seat once your child weighs more than 40 pounds. The child probably will need a booster seat until he or she is about 4'9" tall and weighs about 80 pounds.