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Columbus, Ohio
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Filtering by Category: 15 minutes to 1 hour

Buy battery-operated candles for your holiday decorations

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Holiday decorations are all about setting the mood for warmth and good cheer, but nothing ruins the fun faster than an emergency. According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles cause two out of every five decoration-related fires. Keep the festivities safe by using flameless battery-operated candles in decorations and around your home. (Just remember to only buy candles with child-resistant battery compartments. More info on battery safety here.)

 

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Protect little hands: put up a safety gate around fireplaces and stoves

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Your fireplace or wood stove may have doors or glass to keep children from reaching the flames, but that does not mean that they're safe from burns. The glass can reach temperatures has high as 1000 degrees, so protect little hands by putting up a safety gate around fireplaces and stoves. 

From the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's On Safety blog:

"If you already have a fireplace, buy a protective retrofit barrier to protect your little ones from being burned. Barriers can include attachable safety screens, safety gates and fireplace safety screens....  If you choose an attachable safety screen, check with your fireplace manufacturer to get the right one for your fireplace. You can buy safety screen barriers at fireplace retailers and hardware stores and purchase safety gates at big box and/or baby product stores."

More information here and here.

 

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Take the Lock Your Meds® Pledge

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Most parents of young children know to keep medications up, away, and out of sight, but what about the parents of teenagers? In some cases, teens aren’t looking to drugs like marijuana to get high—they’re looking in their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinet. Research shows that the number of teens who abuse prescription medication continues to rise. Take the Lock Your Meds® Pledge and secure the medications in your home.

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Talk to your teen about "5 to Drive"

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Car crashes are the #1 cause of death for our country’s teenagers. The “5 to Drive” campaign takes on some of the biggest risk factors for teen drivers, such as distracted driving, extra passengers, and speeding. Click here to learn more about the program, and then talk to your teen about following the rules of the road.

 

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Make your kid shine

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More kids are hit by cars on Halloween than any other day of the year, so make them shine! Add glow-in-the-dark or reflective tape (often found in the bicycle aisle or hardware section) to your kids' costumes so that drivers can see your little witches,  goblins, and vampires. Glow necklaces and flashlights are also good choices to help your kids stand out at night.

More information about Halloween safety here.

 

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Install a working smoke detector in every bedroom

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It's simple: smoke detectors save lives. You probably have one installed near your stove and maybe in the hallway. But did you know you also should have a smoke detector in each bedroom or sleeping area? Having enough smoke detectors will give your family the best chance to get out of the house safely.

Click here for more information about where to place smoke detectors.

 

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Show your kids how to safely meet new dogs

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Dogs are everywhere: at the park, on the sidewalk, at your neighbor’s house, maybe in your own home. Teaching your kids the right way to greet dogs will keep their experiences fun and safe.

The tips in the links below will help you and your child understand when it's okay to pet a dog and what signs show that the dog is too excited or overwhelmed--a prime time for bites.

National Dog Bite Prevention Week (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Dog Safety for Kids (Doggone Safe)

Safe Kids Safe Dogs

What I Learned (Too Late) About Keeping Kids Safe Around Dogs (The New York Times)

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Learn and enforce your state’s graduated driver’s license laws

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Many states made changes to graduated driver's licensing laws in the past few months. Stay up-to-date on the rules your teen must follow to stay safe--and legal--on the road. Click here for a complete list of state laws on graduated driver's licensing.

Once you know the law in your state, enforcement is the next step. Talk to your teen about why the laws are important, and have your teen sign a driving agreement (such as this one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) that lays out rules, expectations, and consequences.

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Give your school’s playground a safety checkup

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Kids all over the country are heading back to school, which means more kids running, jumping, and climbing on your local playground. Before the summer turns into fall, take a few minutes to do a quick check-up on the playground’s surfacing, equipment, and general safety using this top-10 list from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

If you see safety issues, report them to your local parks department, school district, or other organization that maintains the playground. Don’t have a playground or looking to update it? Start with this complete guide to playground planning and safety from Kaboom!.

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Find a safe route to school and practice the trip with your child

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Walking, riding, rolling, or busing? No matter how your child gets to school, safety is always a top concern. Before the start of the new school year, take some time to figure out the safest way for your children to get to and from school or the bus stop--and then practice the trip with them. Point out any safety hazards, like busy intersections and distracted walking.

Bonus: You can use these checklists to identify safety issues in your community, and then let school and elected officials know how they can create safer routes to school for everyone.

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Celebrate July 4 with glow sticks instead of backyard fireworks

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There is no safe way to use backyard fireworks. Even sparklers, considered “safe” by some people, burn as hot as 2000 degrees. That’s a temperature that can melt metal and set clothes on fire. About 25 percent of the people injured by backyard fireworks every year are bystanders. A child only has to watch an adult using fireworks to be hurt.

 

What to do? Well, even young children can have fun with glow sticks. They’re available at most toy and party supply stores, and they are pretty inexpensive. Best of all, they can look like sparklers without burning like sparklers.      

 

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