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Child’s Safety - Three to Five Years

Father teaching daughter about bicycle and traffic safety.A 3-5 year old child has increased coordination, physical control, and communication skills. He is beginning to make choices, but can’t judge safety, and will often tests limits. Begin to establish and enforce rules for child’s safe behavior.

Safety in Home

  • Keep doors to balconies and fire escapes locked.
  • Keep sharp objects (scissors, pens, knives) in a safe place out of reach.
  • Teach child not to play with matches, lighters and keep out of reach.
  • Do not allow playing with buttons, coins, marbles, plastic bags, or balloons.
  • Keep stairs and play area free of clutter.
  • If there are guns in home, they should be kept  unloaded and locked up.
  • Remove poisons and toxic products from home or keep in locked cabinets out of reach.
  • Keep telephone, electrical, blind or drapery cords outside of child’s reach.
  • Learn first aid and CPR, teach safety skills to the child.
  • Remember that a child with a disability needs more attention to avoid falls and other injuries.

Traffic Safety

  • Use forward-facing car seat properly installed in back seat.
    • If child is over 40 lbs, switch to booster seat.
  • Begin teaching pedestrian skills.
    • Stop at curb or edge of road, look, listen.
    • Never cross street without grown-up.
    • No crossing or darting into street.
  • Bicycle should be correct size and in good condition and child should never ride in street.
  • Always wear approved, well-fitting helmet.

Fire and Burn Prevention

  • Test smoke alarms each month, conduct fire drills.
    • Make fire/escape plans.
  • Keep hot liquids, grease, foods and hot pans on stove out of reach.
  • Teach child safety around kitchen appliances, and hot surfaces (iron, oven, outdoor grill).
  • Have heating systems and fireplace chimneys inspected yearly.

Safety Outside Home and in Public

  • Keep child away from lawn mowers, overhead garage doors and electric tools.
  • Supervise all play near street, driveway, yard
    • Know where child is at all times.
  • Don’t have young siblings supervise child.
  • Avoid use of trampolines until child has good balance and strength.
  • Check that playground is safe and maintained.
  • Teach child not to talk to or go with strangers.
  • Teach child their phone number and address.

Stings and Bites

  • Remove stinger, apply cold compress
    • If child has trouble breathing or extreme swelling, call 911.
  • Spider bite – call doctor and describe spider.
  • Snake bite – keep child at rest with injured part at or slightly below heart and take to emergency department.
  • Ticks – Keep child away from woods, tall grass and brush. If bitten, remove tick quickly and carefully.

Water Safety

  • Never let child swim alone.
  • Do not allow child to play around any water (lake, ditch, pool, ocean) unless adult watching.
  • Never let child swim in canals, rivers, or ponds.
  • Pools must have four-sided fences, self-closing and self-latching gates.
    • Maintain rescue equipment by poolside.
  • Have child use life jackets or personal floatation devices (PFDs) with water activities.
  • Know CPR and how to get emergency help. 
  • Keep emergency phone numbers handy for:
    • Doctor
    • Ambulance
    • Emergency room
    • Hospital
    • Fire station
    • Poison Control
    • Nearest relative

Injury Prevention Service, OSDH, 1000 NE 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117
Revised September 2012

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