How to Keep Your Kids Safe #ChildSafetyandProtectionMonth

When you’re a parent of young kids, life suddenly becomes more dangerous. The stairs, electric outlets, the stove, and more are all disasters waiting to happen!

In the Walt Disney film Lilo & Stitch (1), Nani struggles to keep her little sister Lilo safe from the many hazards of life. In this clip (2) she sheepishly tries to explain herself to the social worker:



Thankfully, Lilo turns out okay in spite of being left home alone with pots boiling over on the stove. But if we aren’t careful and don’t provide appropriate supervision, our kids can really get hurt.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Injuries are the leading cause of death in children ages 19 and younger. But most child injuries can be prevented” (3). This November in honor of Child Safety and Protection Month, take some time to learn how you can help your children stay safe, whether at home or on the go.

Safety at Home

Burn Prevention

You can help protect your children from burns by doing a few things to be prepared. The CDC recommends testing your smoke alarms once a month as well as creating and practicing a family fire escape plan. They also recommend cooking with care and checking your water heater temperature. (It should be 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower) (4).   

Fall Prevention

According to the CDC, almost 2.8 million kids each year are treated in the emergency room because of fall-related injuries (5). The CDC recommends preventing falls by making your homes safer, whether it be using stair gates or putting guards on windows. It’s also important to supervise your kids whenever there’s a fall hazard, whether at home or out playing (6).

Poisoning Prevention

In the US, two kids die each day because of poisoning (7). In order to poison-proof your home, the CDC recommends keeping medicines and other toxic products locked up and out of reach. They also recommend having the poison control center number handy, reading labels, and safely disposing of unused or unneeded medicine (8). Remember, “most poisonings occur when parents or caregivers are at home but not paying attention” (9). So make sure you’re also keeping an eye on your kids!

Safety on the Go

Road Traffic Safety

According to the CDC, “More children ages 5 to 19 die from crash-related injuries than from any other type of injury” (10). But thankfully, many of these deaths can be prevented. Appropriately using car seats, boosters, and seat belts dramatically reduce the risk of death and serious injury for your kids (11). (For more information on proper child passenger safety, check out the CDC’s website here.12)

Bicycle Safety

Riding a bike can be fun, but it also does come with some risk. In order to protect your children, it is recommended that children always wear a helmet, even for short bike rides. It’s also suggested that parents teach their kids to obey traffic signals and ride on the right side of the road, as well as to avoid riding after dark (13).

Sports Safety

According to the CDC, over 2.6 million kids go to the emergency room each year with sport-related injuries (14).To keep your kids safe, the CDC recommends using protective gear like helmets and padding. They also suggest being aware of the temperature to keep kids from overheating (15). Additionally, having a concussion action plan in place can help prevent concussions and keep them from becoming more serious. (For more on preventing brain injury in sports, check out the CDC’s website here.16)

Keep Your Kids Safe

While it can seem overwhelming to try and keep your kids away from all the dangerous parts of life, there are simple things you can do to keep your kids safe. As you supervise your children, you may be able to keep that next emergency room visit from happening.

Whether it be locking up your cleaners and medicines or making sure your kids wear their bike helmets, you can do a lot to prevent injuries.

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Pictures retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/bike-children-cycling-passes-775799/ and https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/road_traffic_injuries/index.html.

References

1. Walt Disney Feature Animation (Producer). (2002). Lilo & Stitch [Motion picture]. United States: Walt Disney Pictures.

2. A Hirs. (2016, September 27). Lilo and Stitch — the social worker [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he7PeAMwqhA

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, May 2). Protect the ones you love: Child injuries are preventable. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/index.html

4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, April 28). Burn prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/burns/index.html

5-6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, April 28). Fall prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/falls/index.html

7-8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, April 28). Poisoning prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/falls/index.html

9. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2015, November 21). Childproofing your home. Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/Pages/Childproofing-Your-Home.aspx

10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, April 28.) Road traffic safety. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/road_traffic_injuries/index.html

11-12. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, April 11). Child passenger safety: Get the facts. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/child_passenger_safety/cps-factsheet.html

13. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2015, November 21). Bicycle safety: Myths and facts. Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Bicycle-Safety-Myths-And-Facts.aspx

14-15. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, March 14). Sports safety. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/sports_injuries/index.html

16. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, March 14). Brain injury safety tips and prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/concussion_prevention.html

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