Protecting your Kids at Home
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Home is a safe place to grow, learn, and live. Of course, accidents happen, especially as kids grow and discover new things, and that’s OK. The problem is the more serious injuries that are often completely preventable. Here you’ll learn about some things you can do to help ensure that your kids get the freedom that comes from being active, healthy and safe at home.
What is a home risk area?
Potential risk areas in the home include: batteries, burns and scalds, carbon monoxide, choking and strangulation, falls, fire, guns, medication, poison, sleep safety and suffocation, toy safety, TV and furniture tip overs, water and drowning.
Did you know because of its weight, a 36-inch CRT television falling three feet creates the same momentum as a 1-year old child falling 10 stories?
With the Super Bowl coming up, make sure your television is secured properly, so there are no chances of a TV-tip over with your child involved. On average, 17 children die from TV tip-overs each year. It is important to assess the TVs in your home: mount flat screens appropriately and place large older style TVs on a stable piece of furniture.
Unintentional suffocation is the leading cause of injury-related death among children under 1 year of age. Nearly three-quarters of suffocation deaths among infants are from accidental suffocation or strangulation in bed. Because most infant suffocation occurs in the sleeping environment, babies should always sleep in a safe crib, bassinet or pack-n-play. A firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet is all you need to make your baby sleep like a baby, and remember to lay your baby on his or her back for every sleep.
Unintentional falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children in the US. . In 2011, 138 children ages 19 and under died in falls and in 2012, unintentional falls resulted in nearly 3 million injuries requiring treatment in an emergency room. These injuries resulted from activities such as climbing on furniture, playing near an unsecured window, falling down stairs or playing on playgrounds.
Window guards are the most useful to keep children from unintentional window falls. Safety gates are useful for the stairway to prevent falls up and down stairs. Also keep babies and young kids strapped in when using high chairs, infant carriers, swings or strollers.
In 2012, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 11 toy-related deaths in children under the age of 15 years. Make sure when purchasing a toy that it is appropriate for the child’s age. Remember to read the instructions and warning labels of any toy. Also make sure the toy isn’t hazardous or has any small parts that can cause choking. After play time is over, use a bin or container to store toys for next time.
Each year in the United States, more than 2,800 kids are treated in emergency rooms after swallowing button batteries. In 2013, poison control centers reported 3 children under the age of six died from button battery ingestion. Keep items that may contain coin-sized lithium batteries out of reach and sight of children. These include: remote controls, singing greeting cards, digital scales, watches, hearing aids, thermometers, children’s toys, calculators, key toys, t-light candles, flashing holiday jewelry or decorations of all containing batteries. Keep batteries locked away or put duct tape over them. If your child has ingested a battery, go to the hospital immediately.
For more information on home safety, visit safe kids.