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13 Donts on Child Safety

For years, we have been taught that 13 is an unlucky number: Don't go up to the 13th floor of a building and don't go out on Friday the 13th, our grandmothers used to say. But 13 is also a sacred number due to its secret knowledge, mystery and tangible powers.

This last revelation has been brought masterfully down by a professional who is known for her experience in the study of child safety. Author Debra Smiley Holtzman brings a particular expertise of the number 13 to the pages of "The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety."

With this do-it-yourself manual, parents and thinking-to-be parents will learn the essentials of protecting the baby. I took this from the release of the book. Here's Debra Holtzman's List of 13:

1. Balloons: More children have suffocated on uninflated balloons and pieces of balloons than any other type of toy. Balloon related deaths are more common among children ages three and older than among younger children. Keep balloons away from children under eight years of age.

2. Storage chests: Suffocation deaths occur in such places when children crawl inside and cannot escape. The best choice is one without a lid or one with a lightweight, removable one. If a chest closes, make sure it has ventilation holes.

3. Bunkbeds: To prevent entrapment, all spaces between the guardrail and the bed frame and in the head and footboards should be less than three-and- one- half inches and there should be guardrails on both sides. Children under the age of six should never sleep on the top bed.

4. Stuffed toys: Be aware that seams can separate and allow stuffing or plastic pellets to be released, presenting a choking hazard to young children. Check also for small detachable parts, security of eyes, nose and mouth of stuffed toys.

5. Art Supplies: Always look for this label: ASTM D-4236. This label means the product has been reviewed by a toxicologist. If it is necessary, cautionary information will be included with this label. Children under age 12 should never be allowed to use hazardous art materials, which can expose your child to toxic substances, including lead, cadmium, nickel and organic solvents.

6. Garage Door: Watch out for automatic garage doors. If your garage door does not already have one, install a sensor such as an 'electric eye' for the garage door. It signals the door to reverse its motion if anything is in the way.

7. Entertainment Center: Use angle braces or anchors to secure larger furniture-which presents a tipping hazard-to the wall.

8. Baby Walkers: Each year, an average of 2 children die as a result of baby-walker related injuries. Holtzman recommends using a stationary activity center instead.

9. Water faucet: Water with 140 degrees Fahrenheit will produce a third-degree burn on a child in just 3 seconds! Set hot water heaters no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A lower water temperature will reduce the chance of scald burns. Always check the water temperature before giving a small child a bath.

10. Mouthwash: Many brands contain alcohol. Children are much more sensitive to the toxic effects of alcohol than adults.

11. Window Treatments with hanging cords: Those that were manufactured before 2001 may pose a strangulation risk to small children. Consider replacing them with today's safer products or repairing them.

12. Antifreeze: It has a sweet taste. Children or pets will drink large amounts of it if it is left out in an open container or if it is spilled on your driveway.

13. Plants: As beautiful as they appear, decorative plants may not be safe as you think. Two common household plants that are frequently ingested by children are Dieffenbachia and Philodendron. Both of these plants can cause very serious symptoms. These plants contain oxalates, small crystals that get released into the mouth when the plant is chewed, causing extreme pain and inflammation.

A popular Flower Garden plant is the beautiful Oleander.

Alma De la Cruz, a staff mystic employed by http://www.psychicrealm.com, has a profound personal history where she has unabashedly delved deep into the heart of occult mysteries for an extensive period of her life. Her name literally means "Soul of the Cross" in Spanish. Currently she is working publishing a manuscript that delves into the mysteries of Hispanic new age beliefs incorporating old insights with new spiritual methodologies. Check out her bi weekly metaphysical column: http://www.newagenotebook.com where she takes a new twist, incorporating Latin shamanistic philosophies with leading edge occult beliefs.

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