Child Safety for All Ages

Some safety hazards apply to all children. But many problems are especially dangerous for children at a particular age or stage of development.
It is important to be aware of the different injury risks that come with each developmental stage.
Birth to 8 months

Birth to 8 months

  • Never leave a child alone on a changing table, bed or sofa. Children can fall as soon as they can roll over.
  • Use gates on stairways and install window guards on all windows above the first floor as soon as your baby can crawl.
  • Never leave small objects within your baby's reach.
  • Put your baby to sleep face up to prevent suffocation and reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Never carry hot liquids or food while holding your child.
  • Verify the water temperature before putting your child in the bathtub. The safest temperature is below 37C (100F)
8 to 12 months

8 to 12 months

  • Keep pins and other sharp objects off the floor and out of your baby's reach.
  • Install safety plugs in wall sockets.
  • Remove easily overturned lamps and dangling electrical cords.
  • Place soft adhesive bumpers on the corners of sharp-edged furniture.
  • Place a gate across stairways to keep the baby from falling downstairs.
  • Keep medicines and poisons in a locked cabinet. Install child locks on cabinets.
  • Be sure baby furniture and toys are painted with lead-free paint. Buy age-appropriate toys that are too large to swallow.
  • Keep blind and drapery cords out of reach
  • Place furniture away from windows.
  • Secure furniture such as bookshelves, wall units and televisions to the wall.
  • Never leave your baby alone in the bath; keep one hand on the child at all times.
12 to 36 months

12 to 36 months

  • Secure doors that lead to stairways, driveways and storage areas.
  • Never leave a child alone in a bathtub or wading pool or other body of water.
  • Lock medicines away immediately after use.
  • Lock kerosene, pesticides and toxic cleaning products in a safe place.
  • Buy age-appropriate toys that are too large to swallow.
  • Don't leave your child alone around burning fireplaces, heaters or other hot appliances.
  • Provide constant supervision.
  • Store dangerous tools and gardening equipment in a locked shed or cabinet.
  • Keep matches and cigarette lighters locked up and out of sight.
  • Maintain adult supervision around backyard play equipment.
  • Remove drawstrings from your child's clothing.
3- to 6-year-olds

3- to 6-year-olds

  • Teach your child the right way to use simple kitchen tools and appliances.
  • Teach bicycle safety rules and traffic dangers.
  • Start swimming lessons. Never leave a child unsupervised around a pool or other body of water, even if the child has had swimming lessons.
6- to 12-year-olds

6- to 12-year-olds

  • Insist that your child wear a helmet when cycling or other appropriate times. Children should wear helmets and wrist and kneepads while inline skating and skateboarding.
  • Teach proper use of more complex kitchen appliances.
  • Be sure your child uses well-fitting, well-maintained sports equipment when practicing or playing a game.
  • Teach your child basic first-aid and what to do in an emergency.
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Reviewed by Trauma specialists at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Last updated: January 2014, october 2015


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