Opinion

Tips to keep children safe

As we head into the holiday season, Safe Kids Snohomish County and Marysville Fire District want to help you keep your family safe. Kids are often injured at home, where they should feel safest.

There are even more dangers lurking this time of year, injuries range from burns and scalds, poisonings and home fires. Keep this in mind: Nothing is as important as parental supervision for children. As they develop through life, they will need different levels of supervision as they come up against different dangers. Here are just a few suggestions:

While in the kitchen turn pan handles inward to prevent accidental burns to yourself and children. “Keep children away from cooking and heating appliances. Never leave the kitchen while you are cooking,” adds Shawneri Guzman, Safe Kids Snohomish County Coordinator.

Keep medications and cleaners out of reach of children. Many medications look appealing to children they have bright colors and can look like candy. With out of town guests this holiday season, they might be out of the habit of having young children around, keep medications out of reach.

While shopping for toys for children, pay close attention to the suggested ages and stages. Remember, anything that will fit in a toilet paper roll is too small and can be a hazard for a child under three to choke on.

Never leave a burning candle unattended. Place candles in a safe location away from combustible materials and where children or pets cannot tip them over.

Keep lighters and matches out of reach of children. Kids are naturally curious about fire, but it is not natural for them to experiment with fire. If you are unsure about your child’s curiosity about fire, contact your local fire department or Safe Kids at 360-363-8507.

Never overload extension cords. It is easy to get caught in the excitement of holiday lights. It doesn’t take much to overload an extension cord.

Close bedroom doors. A closed door can act as a barrier, providing valuable time for a rescue from outside the home.

Only working smoke alarms save lives! Smoke and fire spread quickly – you may only have minutes to escape! Make sure you have smoke alarms in every room where someone might sleep and on every level of your home. Many local fire departments have smoke alarms available and would be more than happy to install them in your home.

Have and practice your home fire escape plan. There is no time like the present to determine if your children will awaken to a smoke alarm. It has been determined many children do not wake to traditional smoke alarm sounds. We would rather you find out during a drill if your family may need to purchase a smoke alarm with voice recording capability. Chances are higher they would wake to your voice.

Call 9-1-1!

Get out – Stay out! Once you are out do not go back into your house for anything.

Consider a home sprinkler system. The combination of smoke alarms and sprinklers can reduce your chances of dying in a fire by 82 percent.

Remember nothing is as important as you when it comes to keeping your child safe, keep an eye on the children in your life.

Have a safe & happy holiday season. For more information visit www.snosafekids.org.

Kristen Thorstenson is the Public Information Officer/Education Specialist for the Marysville Fire District.

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