You know you have to make sure your child is wearing a helmet before she rides her bike, but some hazards aren't so obvious. Is your kid safety IQ as high as you think? You might be exposing your child to dangerous situations without even realizing it.
- True or false? It's safe to follow the "5-second rule" when picking food or a pacifier up off the floor.
Answer: FALSE. Five seconds is enough time for bacteria to latch onto something you drop on the floor. No matter how fast you are, toss the food or wash the pacifier (at least with water) and dry it thoroughly with a paper towel before giving it back to your child.
- True or false? It's OK to let kids ride in the front seat of a car when they're 12 years old.
Answer: FALSE. Even with a seat belt, all kids under age 13 should ride in the back seat. Crash statistics showed that children under 13 were up to 35 percent less likely to be killed in a crash if they were riding in the back seat. Front seats equipped with an air bag are especially dangerous.
- True or false? At 60 pounds, your grade-schooler no longer needs a booster car seat.
Even with a seat belt, all kids under age 13 should ride in the back seat.
Answer: FALSE. Children should stay in a booster seat until adult belts fit correctly, usually when they reach 4 feet 9 inches, between the ages of 8 and 12. Height, not weight, is the key.
- True or false? Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be poisonous.
Answer: TRUE and FALSE. The small drop your child puts on her hand evaporates on contact, but the ethanol content can be dangerous if enough sanitizer is ingested. Keep easy-to-open bottles out of your child's reach. If she puts hand sanitizer into her mouth, call the Poison Help Hotline at 800-222-1222.
- From the November issue of ShopSmart