November is National Child Safety and Protection Month. Now is an excellent time to review some smart tips to help make sure your home and your vehicles remain safe places for your loved ones.

• Keep cleaning materials and medication safely out of range Accidental poisoning through the ingestion of medicines or chemicals is a common household hazard. Young children, in particular, have a hard time resisting the lure of spray bottles, and often mistake medication for candy.

To help ensure this doesn't occur, place plastic locks on all storage cabinets containing cleaning materials and other common household maintenance items. Ensure all medication is kept in childproof bottles stored out of the reach of children.

• Secure your bathroom With its combination of hot water and wet floors, the bathroom is often a dangerous place for young children. To help minimize the risk for injury, parents should turn the water heater temperature down, safely secure all razors and other medicine cabinet items and install slip-resistant mats and a toilet lock.

• Cover electrical outlets As they begin to navigate the world, children rely on their sense of touch to learn about new things. In the case of electrical outlets or frayed wires, this naturally inquisitive behavior can lead to life-threatening injuries.

Be sure to cover all outlets with childproof covers and make sure the cords attached to appliances and other devices are in good condition. Teach your children to avoid touching these items and to never mix electricity with water.

• Make sure all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functional When it comes to fires and carbon monoxide, poisoning, early detection is absolutely essential. Without a functional alarm system, parents may not become aware of the presence of fires or carbon monoxide leaks until it's too late.

This means it's imperative to install detectors throughout the house and check batteries regularly. Don't wait for low battery signals to start beeping — check detectors on a regular basis to ensure they still work.

• Follow the safety rules governing use of a car seat Car seats have been instrumental in saving the lives of countless children. New York State Law requires your child sit rear-facing in the car seat until 2 years old, and all children ride in child restraint systems until their 8th birthday. Make sure the seat is installed correctly and that all belts are in place.

It's also important to replace your child's car seat if you've been in a collision, as this may have damaged the seat.

• Never leave a child in a car Even if you're only stepping out momentarily, never leave your children inside a warm vehicle. Kids cannot cool down with the same efficiency as adults, making them particularly susceptible to high temperatures.

It's also important to always check your backseat to ensure your child hasn't been left behind. While this might sound obvious, busy parents sometimes forget.