General Safety Tips

Medication Safety

  • Put all medicine and vitamins up and away, out of children’s reach and sight.
  • Use only the dosing device that comes with the medicine.

Poison Safety

  • Store all household products, cleaning solutions and store poisonous items out of children’s sight and reach or use safety locks on cabinets within reach.
  • Read product labels to find out what can be hazardous to children.  Hazardous household items include, makeup, personal care products, plants, pesticides, lead, art supplies, alcohol and carbon monoxide.
  • Add this phone number to your contact list: 800-222-1222.
    From anywhere in the United States, this toll-free number will connect you to the local Poison Control Center. Call this hotline if anyone has ingested any substance that isn’t food but if the person is choking or having trouble breathing, call 911.

Safety from Fire

  • For the best protection, install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area.  Test smoke alarms every month and replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Teach children to never play with matches and lighters.
  • Create and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room in case of a fire. 
  • Children should know how to respond to the sound of a smoke alarm.  Teach them to get low and get out when they hear it. 
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire, such as dish towels or wooden spoons, away from the stovetop. 
  • Blow candles out when you leave the room or before you go to sleep.
  • Store gasoline in locked locations where children cannot access it.  Keep gasoline away from any source of heat, spark or flame.  Even common household appliances such as water heaters and clothes dryers can start a gasoline fire. 

Safety from Carbon Monoxide

  • Make sure your home has a carbon monoxide alarm. As with smoke alarms, install a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas. Keep them at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.
  • Don’t use a grill, generator or camping stove inside your house, garage or near a window.  Don’t use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.
  • If you need to warm your vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it.  Don’t leave a vehicle or motorcycle engine running inside the garage.

Burn and Scald Prevention

  • To prevent accidental scalding, set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or the manufacturer’s recommended setting.
  • To prevent hot food or liquid spills, use the back burner of your stove and turn pot handles away from the edge.  Keep hot foods and liquids away from the edge of counters and tables.
  • Don’t carry a child while cooking on the stove. 
  • Keep an eye on appliances such as irons, curling irons and hair dryers that can heat up quickly or stay warm.  Unplug and safely store these items after use.
  • Place matches, gasoline and lighters in a safe place, out of children’s reach.  Avoid novelty lighters or lighters that look like toys.

Sleep Safety

  • Make sure babies sleep on their backs. 
  • Because most infant suffocation occurs in the sleeping environment, babies should always sleep in a safe crib, bassinet or pack-n-play.
  • A firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet is all you need for your baby’s crib.  Avoid using soft-bedding, pillows, stuffed animals and all those cute accessories.
  • Room sharing is safer than having your baby sleep in your bed with you.  Place your baby’s crib, pack-n-play or bassinet in your room for more convenient feeding and close contact.
  • Always return your baby to their own crib when you’re ready to go back to sleep. 

TV and Furniture Tip-over Prevention

  • Secure TVs.  Mount flat-panel TVs to the wall to prevent them from falling off stands.  Place older, box-style TVs on low, stable furniture that can hold the weight.
  • Attach furniture to the wall.  Use anti-tip brackets, braces or wall straps to secure unstable top-heavy furniture to the wall.  Install stops on dresser drawers to keep them from being pulled all the way out.
  • Rearrange household items.  Store heavy objects on lower shelves or in lower drawers.  Avoid placing remote controls, toys or other items in places where kids might be tempted to climb up or reach for them.
  • If you no longer use your TV, consider recycling it.

Falls Prevention

  • Use approved safety gates at the tops and bottoms of stairs and attach them to the wall, if possible.  Remember to read the manufacturers instructions and warning labels.  Not all gates are safe for use at the top of stairs.
  • Keep babies and young kids strapped in when using high chairs, infant carriers, swings or strollers.  When placing your baby into a carrier, remember to place the carrier on the floor, not on top of a table or other furniture.
  • Properly install window guards and stops to prevent window falls.  Windows above the first floor should have an emergency release device in case of a fire.

Water Safety

  • Actively supervise children in and around water, without being distracted.  Keep children within arm’s reach of an adult.
  • When bath time is over, immediately drain the tub.  Keep toilet lids closed and keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed to prevent drowning.
  • Empty all tubs, buckets, containers and kiddie pools immediately after use.  Store them upside down so they don’t collect water.
  • Make sure home pools have a four-sided fence that is at least four feet tall with self-closing and self-latching gates to prevent a child form wandering into the pool area unsupervised.
  • Enroll children in swimming lessons when you feel they are ready.  Teach children from an early age not to go near or in water without an adult.  Older children should swim with a partner, every time.
  • Know what to do in an emergency.  Learning CPR and basic water rescue skills may help you save a live.

Additional Safety Resources:

TEL-LINK can connect Missourians to a wide range of health services in your community. Give us a call today, at 800-TEL-LINK (800-835-5465) or visit to learn more.

Safe Kids Worldwide:

National Safety Council:

Consumer Product Safety Council:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: