Real Advice For Real Life

Parenting Expert Advice from Author and America’s Nanny,

Michelle LaRowe

The Top Twelve Safety Mistakes Parents Make

car seat baby momSome mistakes you can learn from, but when it comes to your children, you don’t want to take the chance.

1. Buying the wrong car seat, installing the car seat incorrectly, or failing to use a car seat when one is needed.

Seven out of ten children in car seats are not properly restrained.

Children should ride in the backseat of the vehicle in a rear-facing child safety seat until they have reached the maximum height and weight recommended for the model, or at least until age 2.27 Children should ride in a forward-facing safety seat until they weigh 40 pounds, and they should be in a booster seat until they turn 8.Children 4 feet, 9 inches tall should properly fit in a seat belt. Children should ride in the backseat until age 13.28

2. Using a crib that fails to meet the standards of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Cribs should not have slats that are more than 2? inches apart, corner posts more than 1?16 of an inch high, and any cutouts in the headboard or footboard. Do not use old cribs or hand-me-downs that don’t meet these standards.

3. Leaving kids alone in the car.

Children should never be left alone in a vehicle for any amount of time, even if they can be clearly seen from where you’re going (like an ATM). Kids can quickly become overheated, can accidentally put a car into gear, can be victims of a crime, or get into other safety trouble.

4. Keeping the baby’s room too hot or too cold.

A baby’s room should be “comfortable to a lightly clothed adult.”29 This temperature usually falls between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Sharing your bed with baby.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in separate, but close sleeping areas. Babies can easily suffocate or become entrapped in an adult bed. Instead, opt for a co-sleeping bassinet that attaches securely to the side of an adult bed.

6. Putting your baby to sleep on her stomach, instead of her back.

To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, babies should always be put to sleep on their back.

7. Failing to lower the water heater thermostat.

To prevent burning, your water heater thermostat should be set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures higher than that can burn a child in a matter of seconds.

8. Failing to perform background and reference checks on potential child care providers.

Although it can be tempting to go with your gut, you really need to know who’s caring for your child. Many online companies provide Internet-based background checks. You can find a credible company on the International Nanny Association website (

9. Not completing a CPR and first aid course. Being prepared for an emergency can literally mean the difference between life and death.

Contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association to find a course near you.

10. Feeding a child inappropriate foods that can cause choking.

Carrots, raisins, celery, chips, popcorn, peanut butter, hotdogs, grapes, nuts, hard candy, and gum should be fed to children with extreme caution.

11. Placing poisons within a child’s reach.

Medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, cleaners, and chemicals should always be stored out of the reach of children.

12. Improper supervision while bathing.

Children can drown in an inch of water in a matter of seconds. Don’t let bath rings or other bathing devices give you a false sense of security. Never leave your baby unattended while bathing.

Safety Stats

  • In a vehicle crash at 30 miles per hour, an unbelted child would hit the dashboard with as much force as a fall from a three-story building.&sup30
  • Since the beginning of the American Academy of Pediatrics Back to Sleep campaign, the SIDS rate has dropped 38 percent.&sup31
  • An estimated 70 percent of accidental poisonings are preventable.&sup32
  • Between 1990 and 1997, at least 515 deaths for children under age 2 were related to sleeping in adult beds.&sup33

Taken from A Mom’s Ultimate Book of Lists by Michelle LaRowe. Copyright 2018 . Used with permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without written permission from Baker Publishing Group.


Preparing A Soon To Be Sibling For The Arrival Of A New Baby

Michelle La Rowe

Michelle La Rowe

About America's Nanny:

Michelle is an active member of the nanny community. She is the founder and president of Boston Area Nannies, Inc., a local non-profit educational organization and has served on the International Nanny Association Board of Directors.

She is called on by the media as a nanny and parenting expert and has been affectionately dubbed America's Nanny. Michelle has appeared on television and has been featured in print.

Podcast of Interview with
America's Nanny

Books by Michelle LaRowe

A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists: 100+ Lists to Save You Time, Money and Sanity - Grocery lists. Checklists. To-do lists. Lots of people love--and live by--lists. And parents are no exception. Today's families are busier than ever, and moms don't have the time or energy to search and scramble for the parenting information they are desperately seeking. This handy, practical reference guide will save time, money, and sanity for today's busy women.

Working Mom's 411 is your one-stop resource guide for navigating through the often choppy waters of managing kids, career and home.

Nanny to the Rescue - America's nanny offers a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced babies and toddlers.

Nanny To the Rescue Again - Faced with multiple choices regarding school, friends, and activities coupled with the ever-widening influence of the outside world, parents of 6-12-year-olds need help. America's nanny is back to offer a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced children.
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Michelle La Rowe La RoweAmerican NannyReal Advice For Real LifeParenting Expert Advice from Author and America's Nanny, Michelle LaRoweThe Top Twelve Safety Mistakes Parents Make Some mistakes you can learn from, but when it comes to your children, you don't want to take the chance. 1. Buying the wrong car seat, installing the car seat incorrectly, or...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids