How to Prevent Unintentional Childhood Injuries

Keeping your children safe from harm is the most important job parents have. Even one child can be difficult to keep tabs on, but when you have several, the odds of watching their every move become impossible. The best you can do is teach them about safety, depending on their age, and be observant. It may seem insurmountable, but let’s discover how to prevent unintentional childhood injuries.

Some Facts About Childhood Injuries

Were you aware that injuries are the leading cause of death in children and teenagers in the United States? The leading causes of unintentional injuries vary by age but include drowning, poisoning, suffocation, fires, falls, and motor vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian crashes. This is based on data from the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP).

The age groups at highest risk include:

  • Infants: suffocation and falls
  • Toddlers and school-age children: drowning, falls, poisoning, fires, and burns
  • All school-age children: drowning, fires and burns, motor vehicle crashes, bicycle crashes

Swimming Safety: How to Prevent Drownings

With the warmer weather around the corner, practicing swim safety is paramount.

Never leave your child alone in the bath or pool.children swimming.

To prevent drownings, pools should be completely surrounded by fencing that is difficult to climb. The pool should also not be accessed from the house and latches on gates should be self-closing.

Adult supervision is a must, and they should have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. Personal flotation devices should be nearby and utilized. Be within a short distance from your children at public pools, lakes, beaches, and other water activities.

Teach your children to swim.

How to Prevent Falls

Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries. Don’t use baby walkers, they can be extremely dangerous. Install gates at stairways both at the top and bottom. Never leave your baby unsupervised on a change table. It is always safer to change your baby on the floor.

How to Prevent Poisoning

Children under 5 are most at risk. Poisoning is the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among toddlers with household products and medicine as the two most common causes of poisoning.

The best ways to prevent poisoning include the following:

  • Keep all medicine and household products out of reach and out of sight, and with safety locks on cabinets.
  • Put all cleaning products and chemicals away immediately after use.
  • Even products with “child-proof” tops should be kept in a high cabinet out of reach.
  • Childhood poisoning seems to increase during disruptive times like moving, going on vacation, or when people are visiting.

Be especially mindful of button batteries. They can cause life-threatening injury within two hours of swallowing one. Call 911 if this happens. Do not wait.

  • Keep these devices away from children.
  • Clearly mark all devices with button batteries.
  • Secure the battery in the device.

Contact Elmwood Pediatric Group at (585) 244-9720 if you have any questions or concerns about keeping your children safe from unintentional injuries.

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