Health is a close partner to safety. By following good health
practices, you keep your child safer and help him to avoid certain
illnesses. Always consult with your child's doctor when making health
- Always place infants on their backs when sleeping. It's been
shown that back sleeping reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death
- Keep the baby's crib free from pillows, stuffed animals or other soft materials
Keep your child current on immunizations. Immunizations have
proven to protect infants from once-typical and dangerous childhood
- According to South Carolina State Law, children less than six
years of age who attend a licensed public or private child day care
facility, a registered church or religious child day care facility, or
child development program for K4 and younger must present to the day
care facility (or school if the program is in a school setting) a South
Carolina Certificate of Immunization (DHEC form 1148), which assures
they are "up-to-date" or "catching-up" on the childhood immunizations
recommended and routinely provided by South Carolina.
- Contact your local Department of Health & Environmental Control for more information.
- Use proper hand-washing techniques when diapering and toileting,
before and after meal preparation, and teach your young child to do the
- Use soap and warm water while washing your hands for a full
minute to reduce the dangers of contamination and infection from germs
and bacteria. If you sing the "happy birthday" song twice while
washing hands, you will have spent enough time in the soap and water.
- Healthy eating and fitness habits are important for healthy
development in children. Make sure your child is getting a variety of
foods appropriate for his age. Your pediatrician will help you with
your food choices, but they should include: fruit, vegetables, and
- Children are naturally active, but depending on your child's
personality and your family life habits, the amount of daily activity
will vary. Be sure your child gets to move muscles every day.
Preventing Injuries to Children
Most injuries to children occur at home. You can help protect your
child and your family by following standard safety practices in the
home and when outdoors.
Pandemic Influenza and You: Planning Tips
pandemic occurs when a new flu virus emerges among humans and spreads
easily from person to person. Because the virus is new to humans,
people have little or no immunity to it and the virus spreads
worldwide. It is not possible to predict with certainty when the next
flu pandemic will occur or how severe it will be, but the time to plan
In a severe influenza pandemic:
- Many people would become sick and would be unable to go to work or to public gatherings;
- Many others would have to stay at home to care for sick family members; and
- Many people would die.
As a result, businesses and schools might close, and basic services,
including transportation and food delivery, may be disrupted.
It is important that families and communities be prepared for an influenza pandemic.
You can take some simple steps NOW to prepare:
By taking these steps, you will be better prepared for a pandemic
and other emergency. It's important for everyone to know what to do
about pandemic flu. For more information on how to protect yourself and
your family, visit PandemicFlu.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and
water. Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Stay away from others
when you are sick. Developing good hygiene habits now could help in
the event of an influenza pandemic.
- Be ready for an emergency. Store a two-week supply of water and
food. Have prescription and nonprescription drugs and other health
supplies on hand, including pain relievers and cold medicines.
- Know your community and workplace plans. Find out what your
elected officials, workplace, school, congregation and other community
groups are doing to prepare for an influenza pandemic.
- Clean play area outdoors: Remove debris and any unsafe material from the yard or child's play area.
- Use of playgrounds: Use playground or play areas with equipment
on cushioned ground area to reduce injury in case children fall.
- Wear helmets: Use helmets when riding bikes, skateboards or other moving toys.
- Use car safety: Have your child in approved car seats and make
sure he is in the back. For older children, sitting in the back of the
car is still the safest spot. And always have children use seatbelts.
Safety in Child Care
As a parent, the safety and
well-being of your children is your primary concern. It takes a great
deal of trust to leave your children in child care, and when disasters
occur, this trust takes on a new dimension. Knowing what safety and
health practices will benefit your child and family is the first step
to keeping your child safe in child care.
To help you ensure
that your children are safe, NACCRRA (National Association of Child
Care Resource & Referral Agencies) has published What's the Plan?:
Ask Your Child Care Provider Before A Disaster for you to use when
asking questions of your child care provider about their emergency
preparedness. (Naccrra brochure)
Safety in the Home
- Child-proof your home: Cover electrical outlets, and lock household products and flammable liquids out of way from children.
- Use oven and stove locks in the kitchen: Turn pots on stove so handles are facing away from you when cooking.
- Install and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in all levels of your home.
- Have a fire extinguisher(s) in your home and know how to use it in case of containable fire.
- Make a home emergency plan: identify emergency exits in your
home and plans you and your family have for reacting to emergency
Emergencies can range from inconvenient to devastating, but you can
take some simple preparedness steps in advance to minimize their impact
on you and your family. (Excerpts from Ready America)
Get an Emergency Supply Kit (.pdf)
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think
first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and
Make a Family Emergency Plan (.pdf)
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is
important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you
will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.
Before an emergency happens, sit down together and decide how you will
get in contact with each other, where you will go and what you will do
in an emergency.
Be Informed about Different Types of Emergencies
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as
making an emergency supply kit and developing a family communications
plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency.
However, there are important differences among potential
emergencies that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you
take. Learn more about the different types of emergencies that could
happen where you live and the appropriate way to respond to them by
visiting Homeland Security's ready.gov Web site