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Grandparents: Safety First (Fun and Cookies Next!)

As a grandparent, one of the greatest joys is spending time with your grandkids. Of course, keeping them safe while they’re with you is also at the forefront of your mind. Although you have experience raising kids, it’s probably been a while since you took care of an infant or child. Plus, many of the safety guidelines you followed with your own children may have changed.

To clear away confusion, here’s what you need to know about keeping your grandkids safe so you can get back to what really matters: showering them with love and having plenty of fun along the way.

Childproof Your Home in 6 Steps

When preparing your home for your grandkids’ visit, all you have to do is keep this acronym in mind: SPEGOS.

  1. Smoke detectors: Check that they’re placed in proper locations throughout your home and are functioning.

  2. Pets: Teach your grandkids how to stay safe around household pets. Kids should know to not pet a dog or cat while sleeping or eating and not tease or taunt them. If you have pets that don’t behave well with kids, keep them separate. Store pet food and treats in places kids can’t reach.

  3. Escape plans: In case of a fire or emergency, have a clear plan in advance.

  4. Gates: Place them at the top and bottom of stairs.

  5. Outlets: Cover outlets to prevent an electrical shock.

  6. Soft covers: Position covers or bumpers around sharp furniture to prevent bumps and bruises.

Brush Up on Child Safety

If you’ve saved cribs, playpens, toys, strollers, or other items that your own children used, they’re probably no longer considered safe. Replace them with new models that meet current safety standards. Seal your cabinets with “kiddy locks” and move any dangerous chemicals in your home—such as those used for cleaning, gardening, treating your pool, and even medications—out of little ones’ reach.

Here are two more tips to keep everyone happy and healthy:

  • Sleep safely. At bedtime, place infants to sleep on their back to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). And remove blankets, stuffed animals, and bumpers from infant cribs.

  • Buckled up on the go. When taking your grandkids to the zoo or the beach, make sure you have proper car seats. Children should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, up to the limits of their car safety seat. This will include virtually all children under 2 years of age and most children up to age 4. Once they have been turned around, children should remain in a forward-facing car safety seat up to that seat’s weight and length limits. Most seats can accommodate children up to 60 pounds or more.


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