Child Safety

As parents and caregivers, we all want to keep our children safe. From choosing the right car seat to being prepared for a wildfire, here are some helpful tips and resources to keep your family safe.

Safe sleeping habits will lower the risk of injury, breathing problems, and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Sleep Safety Tips

Always have your baby sleep on their back.

Make sure your baby sleeps on a firm, flat surface away from any potential dangers such as edges, pets, and couches.

Babies’ beds only need a securely fitted sheet. Remove any blankets, pillows, toys, or other objects from your baby’s crib. If it is cold, remember to dress your baby warmly. Don’t put blankets in the crib for warmth.

Sleep Recommendations.
Ages 4-12 months: 12-16 hours (including naps)
Ages 1-2 years: 11-14 hours (including naps)
Ages 3-5 years: 10-13 hours (including naps)

Car Safety Graphic

Car seats help keep your child safe in your car. California law requires children in cars to be secured in a car seat.

Car Seat Tips

Buying the correct car seat. Children under 2 years of age are required to ride in a rear-facing car seat. When your child has outgrown that seat, you are ready for a forward-facing car seat. Children under 8 years of age or 4 feet and 9 inches tall are required to remain in a booster or car seat.

Beware of used car seats. It is important to buy a new car seat, even if it’s not the most expensive model. A new car seat has the newest safety features, while used car seats may have worn parts or hidden damage. Car seats have an expiration date – don’t use them past then.

Car seat information resources. Additional information on car seat safety can be found at the Office of Traffic Safety and The Car Seat Lady.

Babies bathing

Most parents know the importance of keeping their kids safe around pools and at the beach. Young kids should always be supervised near bathtubs too. Most near-drowning accidents happen when a child falls into a pool or is left alone in the bathtub.

Water Safety Tips

Use slip-proof mats inside and outside of the bathtub.

Always unplug appliances and keep them out of reach, so your child can’t pull them into the water.

2 inches of water is commonly recommended when bathing your baby.

Make sure you have all your baby’s bath supplies within reaching distance. If you forgot something don’t leave baby in the tub while you grab it, take baby with you.

Recommendations on when it is safe for a baby to go into a pool can vary. Consult your pediatrician about when the right time for your baby is.

The younger the child the greater the risk. Never leave a child alone around water.

According to federal law, there must be a smoke alarm on every floor of a home and outside each sleeping area.

Fire/Smoke Alarm Tips

Make sure your alarms are working and have fresh batteries.

Explain to your child what fire alarms are for and why they are in your home.

Home Safety

Most accidents at home occur in the house and involve kids under the age of five. The most common causes of injury are falls, poisoning, burns, and bites. The most common causes of death include drowning, house fires, suffocation, choking, and poisoning.

Toddler holding himself up on a coffee table

Make sure that any sharp objects are out of reach. Same for anything that could burn your child. All cleaning chemicals should be safely secured in a cabinet with a safety latch.

Living Room & Bedrooms

Make sure you have a strong guard if you have a fireplace. Cover all power outlets. Protect sharp corners on furniture. Cribs should be away from the window and any curtain cords. Anchor all furniture, such as dressers and shelves, to the walls so when babies and toddlers try pulling themselves up nothing falls on them.

Bathroom & Laundry

Install child-resistant taps. Store all cleaning supplies and chemicals securely and out of reach. Make sure medication is securely stored. Keep all razors, scissors, and hair dryers out of reach. Set the water heater temperature to 125 degrees.


If you have a dog, make sure you supervise your child around it. Teach your child how to safely approach dogs. Keep your child away from the dog during feeding time. It is important to teach your child how to handle and be gentle with pets.


As kids start to get more mobile, stairs start to become more fascinating. Fit safety gates at the top and bottom of staircases to prevent any injuries from falling.


If you have a pool, make sure there is a secure fence around it. Set up a play area away from the driveway, pool, or other hazardous areas. Make sure you don't have any poisonous plants. Put away all gardening tools.

Local Resources
General Resources
  • Be Prepared California
    Help with disaster preparedness.
  • California Poison Control Hotline
    Free, confidential help and advice about poisons 24 hours a day.
  • Safe Kids California
    How to prevent childhood injuries.