Kids Safety Alert Day live chat

Experts from Safe Kids Palm Beach County will answer your questions.

  • What steps do you suggest grandparents take to prepare for the arrival of grandchildren?
  • Hi Frank, Great Question! There are many things to consider. The first thing is you must consider their age. Make sure you are considering safety in and around the home, the water, and the car. For more specific information please visit www.whatifpbc.org for detailed information regarding the ages and stages and safety tips!
  • Is there a free checklist somewhere that lists hazards in the home?
  • Hi Robert! Yes there is a free home safety checklist that you can use to make sure your home is safe for children. You can obtain the checklist at either www.whatifpbc.org or www.safekids.org. It is really important to make sure that you walk through your home and make sure every room is safe for your child. Thanks for writing in! Great question!!!
  • We have a 2 year old. My husband wants a home with a pool, but I think it's too risky. He says there are alarms and gates, but I'm not sure I trust these things. What do you advise?
  • Hello Eva! When it comes to pools, it's about layering protection. Such protective measures you can take are: 1) a pool fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate, 2) alarms on all doors and windows leading to the pool or 3) ensuring all doors have a self-closing, self-latching device no lower than 54 inches above the floor. The Florida Department of Health recommends using a combination of such barriers.
  • Hi Eva! I completely understand your concern. There are many things that you need to consider. First of all, you want to consider water safety lessons for your child and your family, in addition to CPR training to both you and your husband. If you do purchase a home with a pool you want to make sure you are using multiple barriers of protection. That means that you want to use pool gates that surround the pool all the way around, also you want to use alarms and locking mechanisms. For more information you can go to www.whatifpbc.org and look up water safety. Also, Drowning Prevention Coalition of Palm Beach County is a great resource. However, most important always talk to your family about water safety! Its everyone's responsibility!
  • I read the story on the website about so many kids dying because of co-sleeping. I co-slept with both of mine until they were around two, and I think it was one of the best bonding things I could have done. And I'd do it again. I think too many people drink before they go to bed and that's the real problem.
  • Hi Rochelle, Thanks for writing in and asking this question. I think many parents have the same question. As many parents want to bond with their baby, co sleeping has become a popular choice. However, co sleeping has become the leading cause of death to children birth to age 1. It is not true that it is due to a parent drinking or drugs but more of an issue of suffocation or a term called positional affixation. Babies in a bed with a parent do not have the ability to turn their head if they are not getting air in their airway. It is really important that they have their own sleeping space. When a baby is in a bed with a parent they risk the chance of suffocating from sheets, pillows, or even a parent against their nose or mouth. There is now devices that a parent can use to create that bonding experience but still keep baby safe in their own sleep environment. This is the recommended way. With over 130 babies in Florida alone last year lost to co sleeping, it is important for all parents to understand that it is not a drug and alcohol issue but a concern for all families. I hope this helps in your decision for the future!
  • Hithe kids in the park have to be safe too right
  • What's your opinion about those detergent pods... I've read articles that some children think they are candy
  • Hello Bill, Detergent pods need to be kept out of children's reach and out of sight. The first documented death related to detergent pods actually happened in Florida last year when a child in Kissimmee put one in his mouth.
  • Please address the dangers of leaving children/pets in cars; especially as we enter the hot South Florida summer season. Also backover awareness - so many children are still be injured or killed due to people not watching where they're backing up. Thanks for you time - great live chat! Appreciate all your comments.
  • Hello Charlene! Last year, 44 children in the United States died of heatstroke after being left alone in cars. Four of those deaths were in Florida. When it comes to leaving children/pets in car, don't do it any time of the year. Even when the temperature is in the 70s outside, the temperature can be more than 20 degrees warmer in a car. About half of all deaths of children in cars are the result of parents forgetting they are back there. There are a couple ways you can avoid this happening. 1) Always glance in your backseat when you are exiting your car. 2) Put something in the backseat that you will need (like a purse, briefcase, phone or wallet) to ensure that you will always look in the backseat before leaving.
  • Shelves , book shelves etc. should be anchored to the wall to keep them from falling on children.
  • In addition, when it comes to backovers, more than 1,150 children have died in the United States since 1990 after cars have backed over them in driveways. Almost all of the children were under the age of 5 and in many cases, it was a family member driving. There are a few easy steps that parents can take to ensure their child doesn’t become another statistic, that includes:
    * Make sure an adult is monitoring any children outside when you leave. Don’t allow children to play in parking lots unattended.
    * If there is anything in the driveway that might attract a child’s attention such as a bicycle or toy, move it away.
    * Accompany little children when they get in and out of vehicles.
  • Hi Laila, Yes you are absolutely correct! Any furniture that is a tip-over concern should be anchored to the wall. Children love to climb and furniture offers a great climbing opportunity. Use brackets, braces or wall straps to secure unstable or top-heavy furniture to the wall. Install stops on dresser drawers to prevent them from being pulled all the way out. Multiple open drawers can cause the weight to shift, making it easier for a dresser to fall. Keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers. Avoid placing remote controls, food, toys or other items in places where kids might be tempted to climb up or reach for them. For more information please go to www.whatifpbc.org or www.safekids.org.
  • I just moved to Florida and found out my 4 year old is no longer required to be in a booster seat under state law. Is my child safe riding with just a seat belt???
  • Hey Janie, Great question! It's recommended that you use a booster seat until your child is about 4 feet, 9 inches, 8 to 10 years old and around 80 to 100 pounds. A booster seat and seat belt rather than a seat belt alone greatly reduces the risk of injury. There is a bill making its way through the Legislature that would require booster seats for 4-year-olds and 5-years-olds.
  • My son ate the little packet that comes in shoe boxes. Throw that out Peeps!
  • Hey Laura- Great tip! Definitely throw out those packets! Always consider things from a child's vantage point. For example, if someone puts her purse on the floor, whatever is in it is within a child's grasp (i.e. prescription pills, cosmetics).
  • Hi Janie, Yes, you are correct! Unfortunately, Florida currently has the weakest child passenger safety law in the nation! We are very excited to announce that Florida legislators are close to passing a booster seat law that will ensure children are riding in a booster seat. However, we can still use your help! Please contact your local legislatures and thank them for passing our Florida Booster Seat Law! Remember good laws help support good public health! All children have the right to ride safe in a car!
  • Where can I get my son's car seat checked? It seems loose?
  • Hi Bob, Most car seats are installed incorrectly and it is best to have it checked to ensure it is installed correctly. To find a location to have your seat installed you can visit www.whatifpbc.org or call Palm Beach County Fire Rescue at 561.616.6033. Safe Kids Palm Beach County and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue check car seats every week!
  • Thanks for taking part in our web chat today. More resources at wptv.com/safekids. Have a good night!!
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