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General Safety

What? So What? Now What?

These three simple questions are an easy way to figure out what works best in your home to help keep your child safe every day.

What can my child do now?

In the first years of life, children are constantly changing and developing new skills. It is important to think about what your child may be able to do based on their stage of development. Asking yourself this question helps you to focus on the new actions your child can do, such as grabbing, reaching, crawling, walking and more.

So what can hurt my child?

With every new skill your child develops there may be a new danger. These dangers can put your child at risk for many different injuries. Being able to find possible dangers allows you to think ahead and check your home for any risks.

The first step is to get down to your child’s level. Your child’s level is everything they can see or touch while lying, sitting, standing or climbing. So take time to get down on the ground and look around to see the world through your child’s eyes. Are there any things that can poison or burn your child? Can your child fall off any furniture?

Now what can I do to keep my child safe?

Now that you know what dangers are in your home, it’s time to make a plan to keep your child safe. You may need to move unsafe objects and put them out of your child’s reach, or lock up poisonous items. Maybe some chores will have to wait until your child is asleep, while others you can do together when they are old enough. Here are some ideas to get your started:




Using “What? So What? Now What?” for a 3 month old who is rolling

What can my child do now?

My child can roll from tummy to back, and back to tummy.

So what can hurt my child?

My child could get hurt if they fall from places like change tables and couches.

Now what can I do to keep my child safe?

Before your baby can roll over they can wiggle and move their arms and legs.  Always keep a hand on your baby when they are on a high surface such as a change table, bed, or couch to keep them from falling off.

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The views expressed on this site are the views of a combination of organizations and do not necessarily reflect those of Public Health Ontario or the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation.