50. Better Safe Than Sorry

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Every year a great number of babies and young children die or are injured in fires. One out of every five fires is caused by careless smoking or by children playing with matches and lighter. Don’t tempt children by leaving marches or lighters around a room.

Never leave a child along in a house. In just a few seconds they could start a fire. Or a fire could start and trap them. A child will panic in a fire and will not know what to do. Unless a parent is around to help, a child may try to hide under a bed or in a closet. Home fire drills are a sound idea. The best way to stop panic in case of fire is to know what to do before a fire breaks out.

Your first thought in a fire should always be escape. Far too many people become victims because they do not know the killing power and speed of fire. If a fire is very small and has just started, you can put it out yourself. Do this if you have the proper tools on hand. In any case always send the children outside first. Smoke, not fire, is the real killer in a fire. According to studies, as many as eight out of ten deaths are due to inhaling fumes long before the flames ever came near the person.

Burns are another hazard to tots. Fireplaces, space heaters, floor furnaces and radiators have all caused horrible burns to babies. Since you cannot watch your child all the time, you must screen fireplaces. Put guards around heaters and radiators.

Some people use a vaporizer or portable heater in a child’s room. If you do, be sure you place it out of reach. Be sure, too, that it is not placed too close to blankets or bedclothes.

Use care in the kitchen. It is not safe to let an infant crawl or a small child walk around the kitchen while you are preparing meals. There is danger of your tripping and spilling something hot on the child. There is even danger of a child pulling a hot pot off the stove on the herself. Also, do not use tablecloths that hang over the table edge. Children may grasp the cloth and pull hot foods down upon them. Be aware of these dangers and protect your child.

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