Keeping your baby, toddler safe

By Melanie Speicheer -

SIDNEY — September is Baby Safety Month and Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart is recognizing all babies in Shelby County.

“We need to keep our babies safe, not only in September, but all year long,” said Lenhart during his weekly interview.

Hie is sharing some safety tips which should be implemented at home and also when the baby is traveling in a car seat.

“Make sure the baby’s crib is in a safe place,” he said. “It should not be close to blinds, curtains or the cords which open and close the blinds and curtains. There should only be one sheet on the mattress and it should be tight on it.:

When traveling, make sure the car seat is age appropriate for the baby.

“We as parents and grandparents use hand-me downs for babies and children,” said Lenhart. “It’s just a suggestion but we need to spoil the child and get new stuff such as car seats.

All parents and grandparents should baby proof their homes, he said.

“Make sure your cabinet doors are secure,” he said. “Make sure the toilet seat is always down.

“With babies and grandbabies, if it’s not locked, it won’t keep them out of it. You need to secure everything as best you can.”

He encourages everyone to secure chest of drawers and book shelves by attaching it to the floor board so a baby or toddler can’t pull it over on them.

“”If you have a younger baby, don’t toss them into the air,” said Lenhart. “That can cause brain damage or even blindness.”

Check the toys over periodically for broken pieces or small pieces the baby can put in their mouths. Throw away toys that are broken.

Lenhart said all toys should be age appropriate for the child. Small toys should be kept out of the reach of children under the age of three.

Make sure all electrical outlets have a cover on them so a baby or toddler cant put their finger or another object into it.

“Make sure their snacks or soft and easy to swallow,” he said. If you’re giving them grapes or tomatoes, cut them in quarters to avoid choking.”

And “medicine is not a spoonful of sugar” like the Marry Poppins movie suggests, he said.

“Don’t talk about medicine tasting like sugar or candy,” said Lenhart.

Children and falls can be a deadly combination, he said.

“Ten children die from falls each year,” said Lenhart. “They might fall from a balcony or down the stairs. Forty percent of all injuries are due to falls. The most common thing is for a child to trip over a toy and fall down. Some also fall out off windows.

“And some injuries can be attributed to horseplay,” he said. “Kids like to shove each other and wrestle and that can lead to someone getting injured.”

Lenhart encourages parents to put safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs in their homes. Make sure the stairs are well lit.

“Don’t put anything near a window that a baby can crawl up on” said Lenhart. “Also, make sure all your appliances are secure. Keep matches and lighters out of sight from children.

“The best tip I can give you is to watch your children and spend time with them,” he said.

By Melanie Speicheer

The Sidney Daily News conducts a weekly interview to update readers with news from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, 555 Gearhart Road, Sidney.

The Sidney Daily News conducts a weekly interview to update readers with news from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, 555 Gearhart Road, Sidney.