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Your Seven to Eight Year Old - What You Need To Know

Safety and your Seven to Eight Year Old


Updated March 27, 2011


Accidents are the leading cause of death for children. Most of these deaths could easily be prevented and it is therefore very important to keep your child's safety in mind at all times. Here are some tips to keep your seven to eight year old safe:
  • According to the latest car seat guidelines, kids should sit in a belt-positioning booster seat when they reach the weight and height harness strap limits of their forward-facing car seat. The move to regular seat belts should not occur until kids are "old enough and large enough" for the seat belts to protect them properly, which usually isn't until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall (57 inches) and are between 8 and 12 years old.
  • Do not allow your child to ride in the cargo area of a pick up truck, even if it is enclosed. In an accident, children in the back of a pick up truck have little protection from serious injury or death.
  • Always wear a bicycle helmet and avoid bicycling near traffic.
  • Practice sports safety: teach your child to always wear all of the appropriate safety equipment made for each sport (helmets, mouth guards, pads, etc.).
  • Teach pedestrian (crossing streets, etc.) and playground safety (including not playing on trampolines).
  • Teach stranger awareness (review scenarios that predators may use, including offering candy or toys to get in the car, asking to help look for a lost pet, or being told they are picking your child up because you are sick).
  • Avoid exposing your child to too much sun (use sunscreen).
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and use flame retardant sleepware. Have an escape plan in case of fire in your home, use flame retardant sleepwear and teach your child about fire safety (never play with matches, etc.).
  • Practice food safety: wash fruits and vegetables, do not eat undercooked meats or poultry or drink unpasteurized milk or juices.
  • If you must have a gun in the house keep it and the bullets in a separate locked place.
  • Practice water safety: teach your child to swim, do not let your child play around any water (lake, pool, ocean, etc.) without adult supervision (even if he is a good swimmer), always wear a life preserver or safety vest when on a boat, and childproof the pool by enclosing it in a fence with a self-closing, self-latching door.
  • Be cautious of certain dog breeds (Rottweilers, pit bulls, German Shepards) that account for over fifty percent of fatal dog bites and closely supervise children when in the presence of animals.
  • Encourage your child to brush his teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day and have regular dental checkups (every six months).
  • Limit television and encourage reading and storytelling.
  • Supervise your child's use of computers (a child at this age should not have unsupervised access to the Internet), computer games, movies, and know what they have access to at their friend's homes.
  • Child Proof the House (Set the temperature of your hot water heater to 120 degrees F, use covers on electrical outlets and latches on cabinets, keep household cleaners, chemicals and medicines completely out of reach and always store them in their original container and know the Poison Control Center number (1-800-222-1222), do not carry hot liquids or food near your child and do not allow your child near stoves, heaters or other hot appliances (especially curling irons), and when cooking, use the back burners and turn pot handles inward, to prevent drowning, never leave your child alone near any container of water, keep a list of emergency numbers near the phone, and lock rooms that are not child proof).
  • Teach your child how to dial 911 (if available in your area).
  • Be a good example for your child by always using a seat belt, helmet, etc.
For more information on your seven to eight year old's safety:

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