5 Essential Seasonal Safety Tips for Kids This Fall

5 Essential Seasonal Safety Tips for Kids This Fall

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Every season of the year brings its own delights–and challenges. As we welcome fall, here are a few safety tips for parents and guardians to keep in mind.

Space Heater and Electric Blanket Safety

When you want to warm up without cranking up the heat in the entire house, a space heater can be great. But they are also potentially dangerous.

Never leave a space heater unattended. The same rule applies to heating pads and electric blankets. These devices can cause burns or even house fires if used improperly. Never lay a baby on a heating pad.

Be Careful with Leaves

For little kids, jumping in a leaf pile is a lot of fun. Just make sure that the freshly-rake pile is free of branches and other hidden debris.

Don’t let kids play in a leaf pile that has been sitting for a while, as snakes and other critters might have decided to call it home. Leaf piles can also develop mold or parasite issues that can be harmful to kids.

If you plan to burn your leaves, be very careful. Make sure that kids know to stay far back from the pile. However, it’s much better for the environment–and the neighborhood–to mulch or compost instead.

Talk to Teen Drivers

As the days get shorter, teen drivers may need to drive before dawn or after sunset. Driving in the dark is a lot more challenging, and you should talk to them about the challenges.

That includes using their high beams correctly, scanning the road for hazards, and avoiding driving while tired.

Fall days may also bring poor visibility due to fog. In addition, wet leaves on the road can be just as slippery as ice. Make sure that your teen knows to drive more slowly in these conditions.

Change Your Batteries and Your Clocks

When was the last time you checked the batteries in your smoke detectors? What about your emergency flashlights?

Make a habit of changing out batteries when Daylight Savings Time ends. For 2020, that’s November 1!

It’s easier to remember to check batteries on the same day you turn back your clocks. It shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes–and it could save your life.

Brace for Cold and Flu Season

Cold and flu season this year will be even more stressful than usual. Know the differences in symptoms between the common cold, the flu, and COVID-19.

Make sure you have basic supplies, such as tissues and a thermometer, well in advance since you can’t rely on stores being fully stocked.

Although a coronavirus vaccine is still in development, that doesn’t mean you can skip your flu shot. Make an appointment to get this year’s vaccine sooner rather than later.