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November is National Child Safety and Protection Month

November is National Child Safety and Protection Month, a nationwide effort to promote awareness for the potential hazards that children may face in everyday situations, as well as how to react to—or prevent—emergency situations.

Tips from the National Network of Child Care to prevent injury or death include:
• Use safety gates. Even before your baby crawls, install safety gates to match your home and protect curious children from harm. Hardware mounted gates should be installed at the top and bottom of the stairs.
• Prepare for bedtime: Remove all soft, fluffy and loose bedding from the baby’s sleep area. This includes pillows, blankets, quilts, bumper pads, sleep positioners, sheepskins, stuffed toys and other soft products.
• Be mindful of plants. Choose decorative plants that are nontoxic. Common household plants can often cause serious sickness.
• Update your exterior. Place a welcome mat outside your home or apartment. Pesticides and other toxins may be carried inside on the soles of people's shoes.
• Keep things tidy. Storage bins offer a great way to store toys and baby supplies, preventing anyone from tripping.
• Get creative. Hand paint electrical outlet covers to blend into walls. Install door knob covers as a means to keep little hands from opening doors.
• Lock it up. Put locks on anything and everything that can open.
• Be cautious of choking hazards. Be vigilant about coins, marbles, keys, jewelry, paper clips, water bottle tops, safety pins, removable rubber tips on doorstops, jeweled decorations on children's clothing, crayons, and hard and round foods.
• Check out your furniture. Use angle braces or anchors to secure large furniture to the wall. Place TVs, DVD players, and stereo systems on lower furniture, as far back as possible.
• Hot water: Set hot water heaters no higher than 120 degrees F. A lower water temperature reduces the chance of scald burns.

Even with the best planning, emergency situations do happen. Parents should make every effort to understand their child’s schedule, as well as any secret places he or she may go with friends.

Maintaining current photo identification, records, and other pertinent information will increase a family’s –and law enforcement’s - odds in locating a lost child.

Take advantage of this National Child Safety and Protection Month to create a plan and protect your child in an emergency.