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Keeping toddlers safe can be a challenge

Someone once said that silence is golden unless you have a very young child and then it is suspicious. Keeping this age safe is a 24/ 7 job. Here are tips from the Department of Health and Human Services and emergency physicians.

Water

Stay with young kids every minute they are around water. Records show they can drown in as little as one inch of water.

Use flotation devices that fit since water wings and noodles can create a false sense of security. Teach children not to dive head first, instead they can jump into our arms. Dunking is never allowed.

Learn CPR and first aid for young children. YouTube has many good videos of how to perform CPR on babies and young children. Pediatricians suggest showing them to baby sitters, refreshing, and practicing.

Double check that pools and spas have the proper drains that will not trap hair and loose clothing. Empty a play pool when finished and turn it upside down.

When you feel your children are ready, enroll them in Red Cross approved or university swim classes and keep taking them until they pass tests, then refresh skills. Make sure they know how to float and tread water. Have an extra flotation device handy and watch for signs of dangerous tides. Teach children to keep their head, hands, and feet inside boats.

Accompany little ones to public bathrooms and outdoor portable bathrooms because older siblings may not be strong enough to hold little ones securely.

Sports

Encourage children to drink water before, during, and after active playtime. Stick around to ensure a safe playing environment and enforcement of safety rules including well- fitting helmets and other gear.

Cars

Safety experts ask families never to leave children in the car while going shopping or doing other errands. Children get over heated, too cold, or enjoy pressing dangerous buttons and turning switches.

Batteries and tech

Keep small electronics or devices especially those with small button batteries out of reach. Remote controls, musical greeting cards, and flameless candles are common hazards. Keep in mind that children are natural explorers and can climb unbelievable high. If you think a child has ingested any kind of battery to not induce vomiting. Take your child to the emergency room. The national battery hotline is 800- 498-8666.

Families are watchful for small pieces that toddlers love to put into their mouths and possibly choke on. We sometimes forget that now scientists warn that families must be watchful for what toddlers are putting in their minds. Interacting with technology may be actually changing the functioning of their developing brains. For ten years a source of information for families: see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com; wnmufm.org/Learning Through the Seasons live and podcasts, Facebook and Pinterest.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Grandparents Teach, Too is a non-profit organization of elementary and preschool teachers from Marquette, Michigan. The writers include: Jan Sabin, Mary Davis, Jean Hetrick, Cheryl Anderegg, Esther Macalady, Colleen Walker, Fran Darling, and Iris Katers. Their mission since 2009 is to help parents, grandparents, and other caregivers of young children provide fun activities to help prepare young children for school and a life long love of learning. They are supported by Great Start, Parent Awareness of Michigan, the U.P. Association for the Education of Young Children, Northern Michigan School of Education, the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum and the Northern Michigan University Center for Economic Education.