3 Household Threats and How to Protect Your Child
Lifestyle Preventable injuries are the leading cause of death for young children. Here is what you should know about hidden dangers at home, and how to prevent them.
Injuries at home are one of the top reasons children under age three visit the emergency room. When childproofing your home, make sure to take these hazards into account. Also, learn first aid and CPR so you are prepared to assist others in an emergency. Be smart, make a plan, and keep each other safe at home, every day.
Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all children ages 0 to 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every day, approximately 8,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries, adding up to nearly 2.8 million children each year.
The easiest way you can prevent falls is to install hardware-mounted gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. Secure TV screens and furniture to prevent tip-overs and serious injuries. Arrange furniture away from windows. Keep windows closed and locked, or protected with window guards to keep kids from falling.
Drowning poses the highest risk of death for children ages 1 to 4, and happens most often when children fall into a pool or are left alone in a bathtub. It only takes a moment for a curious child to run outside, and drowning can happen in less than one inch of water with little warning, so supervision is key.
Bathtubs, kiddie pools and buckets of water should be drained promptly. Four-sided fencing, with self-latching gates is recommended for residential pools. Don’t forget to keep toilet lids down or locked.
More than 90 percent of all poisonings happen at home, primarily caused by over the counter and prescription drugs. Children under age five are at greatest risk for unintentional medication poisonings, so make sure all medication is put up and away where curious hands can’t reach.
Don’t forget to consider visitors, like grandparents, who often travel with their medication. Other dangers include household cleaners, laundry packets and chemicals, such as pesticides. Protect your family with low cost detectors for radon or carbon monoxide leaks. Button batteries are especially dangerous as they cause chemical burns when swallowed.