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Safety Checklist: How does your family rate?

Keeping your family safe and sound can be as easy as following simple safety rules consistently.

The following checklist from the National Safety Council can help you assess your family's adherence to essential safety precautions. If you say "false" after any of these statements, correct the safety issues they address.

General safety

  • No one in your family drives after drinking alcohol.

  • All of your family members buckle their seat belts every time they ride in a motor vehicle.

  •  Every child is restrained in an approved child safety seat or booster seat when riding in a motor vehicle. 
  • Any guns in your home are kept unloaded and locked away and ammunition is stored separately from guns.

  • Your family has discussed fire safety, including an escape plan.

At leisure

  • Everyone in your family wears helmets when riding bicycles, in-line skating, skateboarding, or when otherwise appropriate. Helmets are appropriate on any type of open moving vehicle, racing vehicle, required by law for little league baseball and ice hockey.

  • Every family member wears a life vest when boating. Young children should wear a life vest or flotation device when they are near water (like a swimming pool) AND be attended by an adult.

  • Family members tell someone where they intend to go and when they expect to return when going for a walk, jog, run, camping or just generally away. Children should always tell their parents where they are going and when they will be back and how they can be reached.

Home safety

  • Your home has smoke detectors on each floor and outside each bedroom.

  • You have fire extinguishers on each floor and in the kitchen and garage.

  • Carbon-monoxide detectors are installed near any appliance with an open flame; gas appliances, oil furnaces, coal furnaces, wood stoves, and fireplaces all can produce carbon monoxide.

  • If you have young children living or visiting in your home, your hot-water heater is set at 120 degrees F or below.

  • If your home was built before 1986, it has been inspected for lead.

  • You always handle, mix, store, and dispose of hazardous materials safely and according to approved procedures.

Medical safety checks

  • Emergency-medical phone numbers are on your phones' speed dials or are posted near the phones.

  • You have a first-aid kit in your home and in each of your vehicles that you check every few months to make sure items in the kit are in good condition.

  • You keep lists of each family member's medical conditions, drug allergies and doctors where you and others can find them quickly and easily.

  • Everyone in your family has an up-to-date tetanus shot.

  • Each family member who has a chronic disease, such as diabetes or heart disease, wears an alert bracelet or necklace.

Note which statements you answered "false," then correct the safety issues they address.

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