Child Safety: Protecting Your Kids from Home Accidents

For parents, keeping their children safe means everything. There are a number of things that can harm a child, that’s why it’s important to be prepared for worst-case scenarios. Fact: each year, 3 million kids visit the ER due to in-home accidents. Of these, approximately 2,000 had fatal injuries. Here are things you can do to ensure child safety inside the home.

Fall Prevention

Fact: Each year, fall-related injuries result in over 2.3 million injuries (in children 14 and under). According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in children.

The best way to prevent a fall is to start early. If you have a baby or toddler, it’s important that you set up baby gates at the head and foot of the stairs. This will keep your little ones from crawling or going up and down. As a rule of thumb, stay away from pressure-mounted gates; these can accidentally be pushed open. Instead, invest in a good, hard-mounted baby gate. Be sure to install it where the gate opens out, not in.

Another thing you can do to avoid fall-related incidents is to put edge and corner guards on all tables and media cabinets. Small legs aren’t all that sturdy, so it’s easy for a baby or child to fall over and hit their head on a sharp corner. Edge and corner guards will certainly soften the blow.

It goes without saying that all babies and children shouldn’t be left unattended on countertops. Even a moment being left on a changing table can result in disaster. In a matter of seconds they can crawl, roll over or jump off the counter. Keep an eye on them at all times…also don’t let them jump around on furniture!

Drowning Prevention

Fact: According to the CDC, drowning is the second leading cause of death in children (ages one to 14). Daily, there are about 10 drowning deaths per day (non-boat related). Children from one to four years of age have the highest drowning rates. What you must be fully aware of at all times, is that a drowning can happen in even the shallowest bodies of water, such as a bathtub.

To prevent your child from drowning, make sure that all baths are supervised (for children five and under). And if you do have a swimming pool in your backyard, make sure you have the pool enclosed within a fence with a gate that locks. This will ensure that not only your child, but also other children won’t wander into the pool area without an adult present. Drowning, even if it’s non-fatal can have permanent and severe side effects, such as brain damage.

Poison Prevention

Fact: The CDC states that over 300 children are taken to the ER daily for poisoning; two of which are fatal.

As a parent, the first thing you should do is to go throughout your home and identify what is and what is not poisonous. Keep these items properly labeled and out of reach from children. These items may include: medications, household cleaners (like bleach and other detergents), car care products (like antifreeze and motor oil), perfumes/colognes, etc.

When you can, keep these products locked up or put in cabinets that have been childproofed. It is important that these are out of reach and labeled well. It is better to be overly cautious than under prepared.

Burn Prevention

The best way to prevent a burn is to teach your child not to play with an open flame, the stovetop and oven. Burns happen everyday and depending on the severity, they can leave a permanent burn mark or even be fatal. So teaching your child what is and what is not acceptable is the best way to prevent a burn from happening.

You can also try to take inventory of all matches and lighters that are inside your home and collect and store them in a hidden area, where your child cannot access these. All children are curious, and an open flame can be hypnotizing. Try to avert their curiosity by keeping all of the temptation out of reach.