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Preventing Child Dangers and Coping with Stress while Staying Safe at Home

 
 
 

Potential dangers could be lurking around every corner of your home for small children. As local and state governments work to restart the economy in phases, odds are your family will be spending a bit more time at home in the coming weeks. Here’s a short guide to help keep your little ones safe in every room of your home.

Bedroom: Make sure the crib’s mattress is firm and fits tightly so that there’s no way for your child to get stuck between the mattress and crib. Use a fitted bottom sheet specifically made for your crib and keep pillows, stuffed toys, blankets and bumper pads out of a crib.

Stairways: Look for safety gates that can be screwed into the wall and meet current safety standards.

Laundry Room: Small kids may mistake brightly colored detergent pods for candy. Keep the container stored in a locked cabinet.

Living Room: Mount flat-screen TV’s on the wall and keep top-heavy furniture like bookshelves secured to the wall with screws. Use outlet covers and outlet plates to protect kids from electrocution.

Dining Room: Keep your child’s highchair far enough away from other surfaces so that a baby can’t touch them with his or her feet and tip over. Use all the safety straps, all the time.

Kitchen: Use your stove’s back burners only and keep pot handles turned in. Know where your child is when you’re walking with hot liquids so that you don’t trip. Install safety latches or locks on all cabinet drawers.

Bathroom: It takes only a few inches of water for a child to drown. Never leave a baby or young child alone in the tub, even for just a moment. Keep everything you need for bath time, such as shampoo and soap within arm’s reach.

Coping with Stress and Anxiety

Whether you’ve experienced unemployment, food shortages, or are working from home while your entire family is begging for entertainment, odds are you’ve likely felt pretty stressed out at some point in the past month. Feeling stressed is completely normal but how it impacts your behavior can leave a lasting impression on children. Witnessing a parent in a state of anxiety can be more than just momentarily unsettling for kids. They look to their parents for information about how to interpret certain situations.

If you are dealing with stress and anxiety and notice your child exhibiting anxious behaviors, the first important thing is not to get bogged down by guilt. The second important thing to do is implement strategies to help ensure that you do not pass your stress on to your kids. That means managing your own stress as effectively as possible, and helping your kids manage theirs.

Here a few ways to cope and relax quickly;

·         As often as you can, relax your body by doing things that work for you. For example, take deep breaths, stretch, meditate, pray, or engage in activities you and your family enjoy.

·         Pace yourself between stressful activities and do something fun after a hard task.

·         Talk about your experiences and feelings to loved ones and friends, if you find it helpful.

·         Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.

·         Try to maintain a sense of hope and positive outlook.

While you should avoid allowing your kids to witness every stressful moment, you do not have to constantly suppress your emotions. It’s healthy for children to see their parents cope with stress every now and then but make sure to explain why you reacted the way you did.

Additional Resources:

Mental Health and COVID-19 Information and Resources

American Academy of Pediatrics’ Parenting Website