November, 2005

Get On Board!
Did you know that unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for children 14 and under? The National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions and Safety 1st are working together to raise awareness about child injury prevention. Learn how you can make a change and prevent injuries before they start. Visit
for your free Essential Home & Travel Childproofing Guide.

Ten Tips For Creating a Child-Safe Holiday Season
Easy Things You Can Do To Keep Your Child Safe During The Holidays PRINT THIS ARTICLE

The holiday season is a magical time for toddlers and children.  Presents, decorations, lights and food are all part of the magic that makes up the season.   These are also things that can present a danger to youngsters.  However, with a little planning and thought, parents can make it a fun-filled time for the entire family.  The following are a few safety tips that parents can follow to ensure children stay safe throughout the holiday season.

  • Keep gifts for older children that might contain small pieces out of reach from younger children as they can pose a choking hazard.
  • During parties people might leave their handbags on the floor in an area your child can reach.  Everything from medication to loose coins and perfume could be dangerous if ingested.  Be sure to keep all purses in a secure location.
  • Candles are used more often than usual during the holiday season.  Be sure to keep them out of children’s reach along with matches and lighters.  Place all candles in holders with large diameters to contain any wax dripping.
  • Elegant table settings can easily become a heap of china and crystal if a toddler inadvertently pulls a tablecloth off the table.  Use a festive runner in the center of the table with matching place mats instead. Make sure nothing hangs over the table.
  • Holiday punches and eggnog can look enticing to a child.  During parties be on the look out for abandoned, half-empty glasses that might be within a child’s reach.
  • Be aware that both poinsettias and mistletoe are poisonous plants.  Opt for silk alternatives that can be equally as festive.
  • Secure Christmas trees to a wall to prevent them from toppling over.  Simply install heavy-duty screws into the wall and loop green ribbon through the branches to tie.
  • Glass ornaments can easily slip from a tree and shatter into dangerous splinters.  Help children create homemade decorations or use plastic and wooden ornaments.  Additionally, keep the lower branches of the tree ornament-free so that your little one can’t pull them down.
  • Be mindful of gift baskets full of food and desserts that might contain items that would pose a choking hazard to your child.  Carefully check for nuts, popcorn and other choking items before allowing your toddler to sample these treats.
Most importantly, please do not drink and drive!  Your children rely on you for a safe ride home.

“I’m Lost!” – Protecting Your Children
In Malls and Stores


While online shopping has become a wonderful way to save sanity around the holidays, the inevitable trip to the mall or large store is always going to happen.  Nothing can get you out of the holiday spirit faster than crowds, lines and overheated stores.  But, there are always last minute gifts to pick up and of course there’s always the mandatory picture with Santa.

As children love to be curious explorers, one of a parent’s biggest fears is that their child will take off on their own and become lost in a large mall or store. While you will probably find your child in a matter of seconds, there are those instances where absolute panic sets in and your child is indeed lost.  The most important thing is to stay calm however you should immediately find a store clerk and notify him or her that your child is lost. Don’t hesitate!  

It’s important to discuss safety issues with your child before an incident can escalate to this level.  Repetition is helpful as children won’t always remember these things.  Make it a habit as soon as you get into a parking lot to turn off the car, get your children’s attention and review “the rules” with them right before you walk into the store.

  • “Find a mommy or a female store clerk if you get lost” – Remind your children to immediately call out for you, using your full name rather than “mommy.”  More than likely you’re just around the corner or down the aisle but if you don’t respond tell them to either look for a store clerk or a woman with children.  (Statistically a woman is going to be the least likely to be a predator and it’s safer to have your child select someone to ask for help rather than someone approaching them.)
  • “Never leave the store where you become lost” – Reassure your children that you will never leave the store where you were separated until you find them.  They should not assume you went back to the car and should not go outside the store by themselves or with anyone else.
  • “What’s your name, home phone number and mommy’s cell phone number?” – Be sure that your child can repeat his or her first and last name, your home phone number, but most important, your cell phone number since you will actually be in the store when he or she gets lost.
  • “Don’t let anyone take you out of the store” – Children usually recognize adults as persons of authority and follow their lead.  Teach your children that they have the right and should say no if an adult is making them feel uncomfortable or asking them to do something they don’t feel is right.  If someone, including a store employee, tries to take them out of the store, teach them to scream as loudly as possible “You’re not my mommy or daddy!  Help, police!”  Encourage them to kick, hit and bite if the person does not let go of them.
  • “What’s the code word?” – Decide on a code word that the entire family remembers.  A predator could convince a child that he is going to take him or her to mommy who is outside of the store.  If the child knows that everyone must use the code word it will make the child resist.
The great majority of the time, a child is lost for only a few minutes, but it is always a good idea to be prepared and vigilant.  As unlikely as it can be, child abductions do happen and are far more likely in busy stores where crowds can provide cover.  But with calm and consistent safety reminders to your children - your shopping expedition can be a little less stressful.

Our Picks for Parents

22450 Safety 1st Enspira Convertible Car Seat
For comfort, versatility and convenience, there’s no better choice than the Safety 1st Enspira Convertible Car Seat. Available in both five-point and overhead barrier models, the Enspira converts from a rear-facing infant seat (starts at 5lbs) to a forward-facing toddler seat and then even into a belt-positioning youth booster (for use all the way up to 100lbs) – all with extraordinary ease! This is the one car seat that adapts to your needs. It’ll be the only one you’ll ever need!

(0-6 months)
44002 Safety 1st Comfy Duck Bath Center
The playful Safety 1st Comfy Duck Bath Center is sure to turn bath time into a fun event. A secure base combined with a whimsical duck sling for sponge baths includes a built-in accessory tray with rinse pitcher and handy temperature strip. This is a complete station with everything you’ll need for washing your baby.

(7 – 12 months)
00116 Safety 1st Cabinet & Drawer Latches
Keep little explorers away from harm by locking up medicines, matches and other household dangers with Safety 1st Cabinet Latches. Make your child’s play area a safer one and put your mind at ease.

(13-24 months)
48651 Safety 1st Clear Grip Door Knob Covers
As your toddler is getting taller, he can now reach up and open doors. Help create secure zones in your home by keeping an entire room off limits with Safety 1st Clear Grip Door Knob Covers. It’s also a good way to help prevent your child from wandering outside too!

(25-36 months)
Safety 1st In-Reach Child Tracking System
In the blink of an eye, does your curious child wander off to explore? If yes, the Safety 1st In-Reach Child Tracking System is just what you need to monitor their adventures. This child proximity device utilizes wireless technology that enables parents to monitor their child’s proximity and alerts them when the child leaves a pre-set boundary (determined by the parent). You can take the In-Reach anywhere to help you keep tabs on your toddler at all times. Great for the mall, the park or even your own backyard!

A Note From The Author

You learn something new every day.  This month my 3-year old daughter Kelsey is going on her first class trip with her nursery school.  She’s so excited that she gets to go on the “big girl school bus.”  Mommy, however, was not as excited when I spoke with her teachers and realized that on a school bus they do not require her to be in a car seat.  I was quite surprised by this.  I always considered a bus to be no different than a car in terms of passenger safety.  So I set out to do a little research on my own. I talked to my local police department and found out that school buses are considered livery vehicles and exempt from the laws covering automobiles – therefore making car seat usage not mandatory! My daughter is small for her age, and I feel that a lap belt does not secure her enough. So I decided to follow my gut instinct and send Kelsey on her school trip with her car seat.

After hearing about the car seat I packed for Kelsey’s trip, other mothers from her class told me it had never occurred to them to even inquire about the use of car seats.  Once it was brought to their attention, even though it concerned them, they felt that since this was the way the school had always done it then it must be safe.  But we as mothers must question rules and procedures and not just “go with the flow” when it comes to our child’s safety.  It’s our job to be our children’s advocate and question standards and laws that we feel uncomfortable with. 

For more information on child passenger requirements in livery vehicles such as school buses please contact your local police department.

Meet Our Author

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Alison Rhodes and I live in Wilton, CT with my husband, two children and two dogs.  My first child, Connor, died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in 1997 – he would have been 8 years old.  My son Spencer is 7 and my daughter Kelsey just turned 3.  I’m expecting another baby this November.  Needless to say, my life is crazy sometimes!  I’ve teamed up with Safety 1st to develop this newsletter because I wanted to provide parents with important information on child safety.  After Connor’s death, infant and child safety became my passion.  I might not be able to prevent SIDS but if I can help prevent one childhood accident I’ve done something in honor of him.

Alison is the founder of Peek-a-Boo Babyproofing, a baby-safety company servicing Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.  The company partners with parents to create a safer environment for infants and toddlers through education and installation of baby safety products.  For additional baby safety tips visit their website at

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