Monday, March 02, 2009

Health Tips for March 2

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.

Health Tip: Help Prevent Toy Injuries

Toys are associated with thousands of injuries every year, mostly because of misuse or because the toys are too advanced for the children playing with them.

The Lucile Packard Children's Hospital offers these suggestions to help reduce your child's risk of injury when playing with toys:

  • Never let your child play with a toy that is not safe or appropriate for his or her age. Before your child plays with a new toy, always read the label and safety instructions.
  • Watch your child to make sure toys are used appropriately.
  • Make sure your child uses toys in appropriate settings. For example, keep bikes and wheeled toys away from stairs.
  • If you have an older child, keep those toys away from younger children.
  • Inspect your child's toys frequently for damage that may injure your child, and be aware of toy recalls.
  • Check your young child's toys with a "small parts tester," which can evaluate possible choking hazards.

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