December, 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.

Traveling For The Holidays?
Make It A Child-Friendly Visit

We all know the importance of baby proofing at home, but what happens when you’re visiting Great Aunt Sue or Grandma Shirley over the holidays? Are their homes baby proofed? With a few simple precautions, you can make your visit a little more relaxed for both yourself and your hosts.

Take along portable gates
If your child is just beginning to walk or has still not perfected climbing stairs, it’s important to make sure your child doesn’t have access to the stairs. So it’s a good idea to bring a few pressure mounted gates with you that you can install. But remember that you should never use a pressure mounted gate at the top of the stairs because your child can lean on the gate and go toppling over with it. Placing one gate at the bottom of the staircase and one outside the bedroom they will be in, will eliminate access to stairs. It is also a good idea to “transform” any room with fragile or dangerous items into a kid-free zone by installing another gate preventing access to that room.

Remove dangerous products and secure unsafe area
If possible, ask your host to move cleaning products, other potentially toxic substances and dangerous equipment to a basement or a garage while you are visiting and to keep these areas off-limits. Laundry rooms, home offices and exercise rooms can be extremely dangerous to toddlers and young children. Ask that these doors be kept closed at all times while you are there and, if possible, locked.

Beware of kitchen hazards
Suggest that your host use the back burners when cooking and make sure that sharp knives are not left near the edge of kitchen counters. Cabinet drawers that contain sharp and dangerous objects can be secured with rubber bands.  If alcohol is kept in an accessible cabinet, find out if it can be moved somewhere else, or secure that cabinet as well.

Bring along a carbon monoxide detector
One of the most over-looked dangers is carbon monoxide poisoning. Because carbon monoxide will affect small children first, the home you’re visiting should have at least one, but preferably, several carbon monoxide detectors installed. The basement is the most important area to monitor since carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by the build up of carbon monoxide from fuel burning devices that aren't properly ventilated. The most common of these devices are furnaces and boilers which are generally located in the basement. However, carbon monoxide poisoning can also be caused by improperly ventilated dryers, fireplaces, stoves, etc. You may feel silly bringing one with you, but if you and/or your children will be sleeping in a downstairs basement or the children will be playing there it is better to be safe than sorry

Be prepared for an emergency
Get the name of a local pediatrician and locate him as well as the local hospital on a map. If your child becomes ill or is seriously hurt, you want to be sure to have this information available immediately.

Children will naturally be curious in new surroundings so it will be even more important to remain vigilant and constantly aware. In addition, new surroundings make it that much more difficult to be aware of all of the possible hazards your child can find. You might initially get resistance from your host regarding the precautions you want to take, but remember that accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. So maintain an especially watchful eye when you are away from home.

Selecting the Best Toys For The Holidays

They’re making a list. You need to check it twice. Your three year old will have definite wants on their holiday wish list. As parents, though, it is our responsibility to make sure those toys are not only age appropriate, but not dangerous. Before heading out to do your holiday shopping or allowing a child to play with a toy that has been given as a gift, review the following guidelines to ensure that this is a fun and happy holiday season for everyone.

  • Create a “play zone” for older children. It’s particularly challenging when there are older siblings in your home, whose toys may have small parts—a choking hazard for younger children. Create an area in your home to keep toys with small parts where younger siblings will not be allowed.
  • Read the labels on toys: Follow the age guidelines on boxes and select toys suitable for the abilities and skills of the child.
  • Beware of loose parts: Look over all stuffed animals and dolls to make sure eyes, buttons and any other parts are completely secure.
  • Check the size of parts. Children under age three can choke on small parts contained in toys or games. Government regulations specify that toys for children under age three cannot have parts less than 1 1/4 inches in diameter and 2 1/4 inches long. (Source: AAP)
  • Be mindful of pull toys. Strings on pull toys for babies should be less than 12 inches in length. If they are longer they pose a strangulation hazard. (Source: AAP)
  • Only buy battery-operated toys: To prevent electrical shocks and burns don’t give children under the age of 10 any toy that needs to be plugged in to an electrical outlet.
  • Purchase sturdy toys: Beware of toys that are made of brittle plastic that might break off into sharp pieces.
  • Don’t forget protective gear: When buying bicycles or any other outdoor riding toys, remember to buy a safety helmet as well.
  • Be aware of product recalls: Immediately send in product warranty cards and register at the Consumer Products Safety Commission website ( to receive monthly updates on product recalls for children’s products.

Our Picks for Parents

49529 Accu-Touch Forehead Thermometer
When the weather outside turns frightful, a winter cold or flu can easily strike your family. Take your child’s temperature with ease with the Safety 1st Accu-Touch Forehead Thermometer. Just press the Safety 1st Accu-Touch Forehead Thermometer against the temples of your child’s forehead for seven seconds until it beeps for a quick and accurate reading. Ideal for late night temperature taking! Be sure to add this to your registry list.

(0-6 months)
00224 Safety 1st Deluxe Baby View Mirror
The Safety 1st Deluxe Baby View Mirror allows you to keep an eye on your baby while driving – and is the perfect accessory for long road trips. This multi-use mirror securely suctions to the back or side car window. With a unique, swivel feature you can adjust the mirror to clearly see all of your baby’s actions and expressions. And once your child is big enough and old enough to sit facing-forward (after 1 year of age) the Baby View Mirror will clip to your rear view mirror or visor for easy visibility. Now there is no reason to ever let your little one out of your sight.
Click here for more product information.

(7 – 12 months)
41824 Safety 1st Perfect Fit Gate
While the stairs may seem like an exciting new journey to your child, they can be very dangerous and lead to serious tumbles and injuries. Help protect your little ones by installing gates at the bottom of staircases and other “no play” zones. Take the Safety 1st Perfect Fit Gate with you while traveling as it adjusts to fit base moldings and also uneven doorways! With pressure or swing-open mounting options, this climb-proof gate will keep your explorers in secure territory.
Click here for more product information.

(13– 24 months)
21021 Deluxe Care Booster Seat
During the holidays, family bonding often occurs around the dining room table - with good food, good conversation and good company. Let your little one be a part of the festivities by sitting with you at the adult table. The Safety 1st Deluxe Care Booster Seat folds up for easy travel convenience and also features a removable insert tray for feeding and easy clean up. Perfect for dining out at restaurants too!

(25-36 months)
22531 Apex 65
As your travels take you over the river and through the woods this holiday season, make sure your child is properly secured in the car. Every state has different requirements for child safety seats so it’s important to make sure your child’s seating adheres to that of each state you may pass through. (Click here for a state by state map of booster legislation.) The Safety 1st Apex 65 Booster Car Seat is the perfect option for your growing passengers. The only booster seat with an internal harness that can be used until your child hits 65lbs, this seat also accommodates your child up through 57” in height and includes a detachable cup holder and extra padding for added comfort and support.
Click here for more product information.

Tip of the Month:
I want to make sure my car seat is installed correctly. Where can I go to have my car seat checked?

Please visit to access the Child Passenger Safety Contact locator. Just type in your zip code and you can receive information on a Child Safety Seat Inspection Station in your local area.

A Note From The Author

Our daughter has finally arrived! I was so smug throughout this pregnancy – assuming, like her brothers and sister, that she would arrive at least one to two weeks early and that she would be tiny like her sister. Well, she had other ideas! She was born exactly on her due date weighing one pound more than her sister did. By the end of the pregnancy both my kids were asking if their sister was ever going to come out and most of my friends wouldn’t even call for fear of incurring my wrath. I began to joke that she had decided to stay in until she was sixteen! But it does go to show that each one of our precious little angels has their own agenda as well as personality right from the beginning and no matter what we plan or do it’s not going to change anything. Dr. Ferber was recently in the news explaining that he was softening his approach to getting babies to sleep through the night by crying themselves to sleep. He now states that he has never advocated just one method for getting children to sleep, but that teaching a baby to sleep should be handled on a case by case basis. This is something that I have always believed and tell other moms constantly – there is no set method when it comes to caring for your baby. Every child is different and the best experts are mom and dad, who know their baby better than anyone. So trust your instincts and do what you feel is right for your baby and you will never go wrong. Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Meet Our Author

Let me introduce myself. My name is Alison Rhodes and I live in Wilton, CT with my husband, three 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, my daughter Kelsey just turned 3 and we just had a little girl, Hannah 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. Click here to read more.

When Kelsey turned three (she constantly reminds me that “she is a big girl now!”) we were able to remove some of the baby proofing items around our house such as the toilet locks and the baby gates. But now that our new daughter Hannah has arrived, it’s back to the drawing board. It’s amazing how quickly we forget all the things babies can get into when they start crawling! Check out this month’s articles to see what you might not have thought about. And the one thing I realize now as a “veteran mom” is to never put “to-do” items off until tomorrow, because tomorrow inevitably brings strep throat, extra homework or the trip to the store for the team uniform you forgot about. Since my husband Kenny and I are baby proofers you would think it would be easy to get everything done in time but it’s always the case of the shoemaker’s children. So, I’ve started giving him the ultimatum now that if he doesn’t get the gates back up he will be in charge of all diaper changes! I remember when I was pregnant with Connor – my baby registry included the layette, stroller, high chair and all of those beautiful blankets. But I never considered registering for the most important items – baby safety products. Wouldn’t it be great to have your entire house set up before the baby arrived, not just the nursery? So this time, after I buy Kesley’s “big girl” furniture and set up the new nursery with her old furniture I’m going to have everything else in place as well.

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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