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Keep Kids Safe: Prevent Accidents Before They Happen

Approximately three million children visit the ER each year because of in-home accidents and nearly 2,000 of them die. Check out our top five prevention tips to help make your home a safer place for you and your little ones.

Prevent Drowning

The CDC found that the second leading cause of child fatalities is drowning. Here are some security measures you can take to keep kids safe around water.

  • Baths: To help prevent drowning, never leave children under five-years-old unattended in the tub.
  • Pools: Always supervise kids in the pool and place a safety cover on it when it isn’t in use.
  • Standing water: Small children can drown in as little as five centimeters of water, so it’s wise to always close the lid on the toilet and to never leave buckets of water around the house.

Prevent Falls

More than 2.3 million children under 14 visit the ER each year for fall-related injuries. Here are some danger points and tips to help prevent falls from happening in your home.

  • Countertops: Never leave children unattended on changing tables, beds, tables or other furniture. If they wiggle around, as kids are known to do, they could fall off.
  • Stairs: Keep stairs clear of anything kids can trip on, including toys, rugs, and shoes. If your child is just learning to walk, or isn’t too sturdy on their feet yet, put up gates to help prevent them from falling down the stairs. If your child is going up and down stairs on their own, teach them how to go backwards to reduce their risk of falling.
  • Furniture: Teaching kids not to climb on the furniture is a good idea, but you should also secure hanging items with furniture safety straps or L-brackets to help prevent the items from falling over if a child does climb on them.

Prevent Burns

Thousands of children each year are injured by stoves, most of which happen when a child touches a hot burner. Here are a couple tips to help keep your children safe around stoves and ovens.

  • Don’t leave children alone. Always supervise kids when the stove or oven is on. Small children move fast and can burn themselves in a matter of seconds.
  • Secure your stove and oven. Invest in stove guards and place them on your burners to keep children from touching them. You can also buy knob covers that help prevent children from turning the stove on and locks to prevent them from opening the oven.

If you or your child does get burned:

  1. Run the burn under cool water for three to four minutes.
  2. Hold ice wrapped in cloth on the burn for a few minutes.
  3. Apply burn ointment once the pain has reduced.
  4. Contact a doctor immediately if the burn looks severe.

Prevent Poisoning

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poisoning sends more than 300 children (19 and younger) to the ER every day, two of these resulting in fatalities. Talking with your children about avoiding harmful substances can help, but there are other preventative steps.

  • Identify poisonous items. Extremely hazardous household items include antifreeze, drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, pesticides, insecticides, medications, and household cleaners. Others that are also dangerous are detergents, perfume, mouthwash, paint thinner, mothballs, alcohol, and gasoline.
  • Get locks for all your cabinets. Put all medications, household cleaners and other hazardous items in a locked cabinet that kids, even the older ones, can’t access. Store everyday items, like mouthwash and perfume, in out-of-reach cabinets.
  • Clearly label all dangerous cleaners and medications. Always keep pills in their original containers, not in Ziploc bags, unlabeled containers, or old medication bottles. Consider putting bright caution labels on all hazardous cleaners and medications.