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Categories > Aging Well > Grandparenting

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Making grandkid time carefree

» Protecting cabbage patchers

» Foiling falls

» Stopping snoopers

» Avoiding ‘hot’ hazards

» Keeping airways clear

Keep this important information posted on your refrigerator or near the phone. You’ll have ready access in case of emergency.

  • 1-800-222-1222 for poison-control center (this national toll-free number can be used to connect to a local poison-control center)
  • 911 for police
  • 911 for fire department
  • Parents’ work numbers, cell phone numbers and pager numbers

Assemble a first-aid kit to keep on hand. Include:

  • bandages
  • thermometer
  • antidiarrheal preparations
  • ice packs
  • children’s acetaminophen

These days, plenty of grandparents are on day-care duty. But whether you’re babysitting or simply hosting family gatherings, childproofing your home will allow you to relax. For peace of mind, consider these tips:

Protecting cabbage patchers

  • If you’ve set up a crib at your house, make sure the slats are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart and that the mattress fits snugly.
  • Never leave an infant unattended on a changing table, in the bath or on the middle of a bed.
  • Prevent scalds by lowering the water temperature to between 120•F and 125•F.
  • Make sure high chairs are sturdy and “tip-proof.” Keep babies securely fastened.

Foiling falls

  • Install gates at the top and bottom of stairs, and don’t use baby walkers.
  • Lock all windows or install safety guards.

Stopping snoopers

  • Install childproof fasteners on kitchen and bathroom cabinets, where poisonous items may be stored.
  • Choose trash receptacles with secure lids.

Avoiding ‘hot’ hazards

  • Make sure matches are out of reach.
  • Cover electrical outlets with safety plugs.
  • In the kitchen, use the back burners on the stovetop and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove.

Keeping airways clear

  • Inspect toys for small, loose or moving parts that could present choking hazards.
  • Don’t give preschool-age kids hot dogs, nuts, popcorn, raw carrots, hard candy or any other foods that could easily get stuck in the throat.
  • Store plastic garbage bags in a protected spot, and discard dry-cleaning bags immediately.

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