Test Your Kid-Safety IQ

by - 10/22/2009

PhotobucketYou know you have to make sure your child is wearing a helmet before she rides her bike, but some hazards aren’t so obvious. Is your kid-safety IQ as high as you think? You might be exposing your child to dangerous situations without even realizing it.

The November 2009 issue of ShopSmart, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, tests your knowledge of some major dangers:

True or false: It’s OK to let kids ride in the front seat of a car when they’re 12 years old.
Answer: FALSE
Even with a seat belt, all kids under age 13 should ride in the back seat. Crash statistics showed that children under 13 were up to 35 percent less likely to be killed in a crash if they were riding in the back seat. Front seats equipped with an air bag are especially dangerous.

True or false: At 60 pounds, your grade-schooler no longer needs a booster car seat.
Answer: FALSE
Children should stay in a booster seat until adult belts fit correctly, usually when they reach 4 feet 9 inches, between the ages of 8 and 12. Height, not weight, is the key.

True or false: Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be poisonous.
Answer: TRUE and FALSE
The small drop your child puts on her hand evaporates on contact, but the ethanol content can be dangerous if enough sanitizer is ingested. Keep easy-to-open bottles out of your child’s reach. If she puts hand sanitizer into her mouth, call the Poison Help Hotline at 800-222-1222.

True or false: It’s safe to follow the “5-second rule” when picking food or a pacifier up off the floor.
Answer: FALSE
Five seconds is enough time for bacteria to latch onto something you drop on the floor. No matter how fast you are, toss the food or wash the pacifier (at least with water) and dry it thoroughly with a paper towel before giving it back to your child.

True or false: Kids older than 6 can safely sleep in the top bunk.
Answer: TRUE and FALSE
Every year almost 36,000 children are injured in bunk-bed accidents. Kids under age 9 have the most injuries, but accidents happen at all ages.

True or false: Thick grass under the backyard jungle gym provides enough padding to protect kids if they fall.
Answer: FALSE
Each year about 50,000 children end up in an emergency room because of injuries on home playground equipment. The best way to prevent injuries is to cushion the area with wood mulch or chips, engineered wood fiber, or shredded/recycled rubber mulch under equipment up to 8 feet high and sand or pea gravel under equipment up to 5 feet high. The padding should be at least 9 inches deep and extend 6 feet in all directions from the gym.

Those are some really good tips. I admit, I didn't get them all correct. What about you?

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