5 tips for keeping kids safe this winter

The Safety Center gives cold-weather advice on car seats, sleep and more.

Elizabeth Oestreich
Elizabeth Oestreich

With the bitterly cold months in full swing, it’s important to take precautions that keep your child safe. To help with this, the Safety Center and the Car Seat Safety Center provide free demonstration areas and services for parents, plus products for purchase.

However, if you can’t make it to either location right now, Elizabeth Oestreich, manager of Children’s Community Programs and coordinator of Safe Kids Fargo-Moorhead, shares some tips from The Safety Center and Safe Kids Worldwide on keeping your kids safe during these months.

Carbon monoxide

Make sure your home has a carbon monoxide alarm on every level, especially near sleeping areas. In addition, make sure to keep them at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances. When warming up your vehicle, don’t forget to remove it from the garage after starting it as it’s extremely dangerous to have the engine running inside a garage.

Car seats and winter coats

Make sure not to buckle your child into their car seat while they are wearing their winter coat as it creates extra space between the harness and your child. The coat can compress in an accident and create a loose car seat harness which puts your child at a greater risk of injury. Instead, lay the jacket over your child like a blanket.

Sleep safety

With cold nights, it may seem like a good idea to make your baby’s crib cozier with extra blankets, but the soft bedding can block their airways during sleep. Instead, if you’re worried about keeping your baby warm at night, try using a sleep sack.

Winter sports

Kids love to push the limits when skiing or snowboarding. Make sure they wear helmets and other proper gear to keep them safe if they fall on the slopes. In addition, remind kids to stay hydrated as they might not be as inclined to drink water in the cold.

Fire safety

Create and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of your house in case of a fire. Also, remember to keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn.

The Safety Center

The Safety Center, located at 2801 S. University Drive in Fargo, focuses on informing parents and family members on how ensure the safety of children within the home.

“Just by visiting the center and walking through the various demonstration areas, which are similar to a typical home, your family will learn how to create a safe home environment,” Oestreich said.

The Safety Center provides educational materials and checklists free of charge and child-proofing products available for purchase.

The demonstration areas include:

  • TV tip-over safety
  • Fire safety — extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Safe sleep — Halo Sleep Sacks, sheets for cribs, pack and plays, bassinets
  • Water safety — life jackets in all sizes
  • Home safety — furniture straps, door locks, pinch guards
  • Wheeled sports safety — bike, multisport and ski helmets
  • Child passenger safety — car seats, cozy covers, car seat ponchos
  • Parenting — educational books, toys, education

The Car Seat Safety Center

Recently, the Safety Center opened its second location in Fargo. The Car Seat Safety Center, located at 601 39th St. N. in Fargo, is the region’s only permanent, year-round, full-service inspection station offering car seat education and installations.

“We offer bike helmet fittings and inspections, as well as car seats and bike helmets available at cost,” Oestreich says. “We also offer other home proofing items to keep kids safe in the car, at home, at school and while they are playing.”

To schedule an appointment and meet with trained technicians who are available to teach parents, grandparents and caregivers how to use and install car seats correctly, visit sanfordhealth.org or call (701) 234-7233.

Posted In Children's, News

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