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Fact Sheet


To Prevent Strangulation and Suffocation
 Use a crib that meets national safety standards. Look for a JPMA certification label.
 Choose a crib with no more than 2 3/8 inches of space between the slats or spindles. Ensure there are no missing slats or spindles.
 Use a crib with cornerpost extensions no greater than 1/16 inch.
 Ensure that the crib mattress fits snugly and the side rail is locked.
 Remove all toys, pillows and plastic materials from the crib. Do not use bumper pads; they can be a suffocation risk as well.
 Avoid strings on infant products, including pacifiers and rattles.
 Tie up all window blind and drapery cords, or cut the ends and fit with safety tassels.

To Prevent Falling
 Keep furniture, especially the crib, changing table and chairs, away from windows and draperies.
 Secure tall and heavy furniture to walls and cushion sharp edges.
 Install window guards on all windows unless designated as emergency fire exits.
 Never leave children unattended on furniture or changing tables, even for a second.
 Keep all baby supplies, diapers and toiletries nearby, but out of children's reach.

To Prevent Poisoning
 Test homes built before 1978 for lead-based paint. Cover lead paint with sealant or hire a professional company to remove the paint.
 Install and maintain a working carbon monoxide detector.

To Prevent Choking
 Ensure that children play with age-appropriate toys (indicated on safety labels).
 Use a small parts tester (or the cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper) to determine if a small toy or toy part presents a choking hazard. If it fits through the tester or the cardboard tube, it could choke a child.
 Teach children to put toys away safely after playing. Make sure that toys intended for younger children are stored separately from those for older children.
 Check old and new toys regularly for damage. Make any necessary repairs or discard damaged toys.
 Make sure eyes, buttons and other parts are securely sewn on stuffed animals.
 Make sure toy chests have removable lids or spring-loaded supports.

To Prevent Fires
 Install and maintain a working smoke alarm.
 Make sure children's pajamas are flame-resistant.
 Place safety covers over all electrical outlets.

Safe Kids Worldwide

Contact the South Dakota Safety Council at
or phone 605-361-7785 or 1-800-952-5539.