November is Child Safety and Injury Prevention Month

Every parent wants to protect their children from harm and to keep them safe. We don’t want children to suffer any pain, whether it’s from a common cold or broken bones.

Many people don’t realize it, but the numbers show that:

  • Injuries are the leading cause of death in children ages 19 and younger.
  • Each year, nearly 9 million children aged 0 to 19 years are seen in emergency departments for injuries, and more than 9,000 children die as a result of being injured.
  • Injury treatment is the leading cause of medical spending for children. The estimated annual cost of unintentional child injuries in the United States is nearly $11.5 billion.

Follow these basic guidelines for the protection of younger children in your home.

  • Use safety gates. Even before your baby crawls, install safety gates to match your home and protect curious children from harm. Hardware mounted gates should be installed at the top and bottom of the stairs.
  • Prepare for bedtime: Remove all soft, fluffy and loose bedding from the baby’s sleep area. This includes pillows, blankets, quilts, bumper pads, sleep positioners, sheepskins, stuffed toys and other soft products.
  • Be mindful of plants. Choose decorative plants that are nontoxic. Common household plants can often cause serious sickness.
  • Update your exterior. Place a welcome mat outside your home or apartment. Pesticides and other toxins may be carried inside on the soles of people’s shoes.
  • Keep things tidy. Storage bins offer a great way to store toys and baby supplies, preventing anyone from tripping.
  • Get creative. Hand paint electrical outlet covers to blend into walls. Install door knob covers as a means to keep little hands from opening doors.
  • Lock it up. Put locks on anything and everything that can open.
  • Be cautious of choking hazards. Be vigilant about coins, marbles, keys, jewelry, paper clips, water bottle tops, safety pins, removable rubber tips on doorstops, jeweled decorations on children’s clothing, crayons, and hard and round foods.
  • Check out your furniture. Use angle braces or anchors to secure large furniture to the wall. Place TVs, VCRs and stereo systems on lower furniture, as far back as possible.
  • Hot water: Set hot water heaters no higher than 120 degrees F. A lower water temperature reduces the chance of scald burns. Munchkin’s White Hot Super Safety Bath Ducky can help you manage the temperature of water in your children’s baths.
  • Practice gun safety: Lock and store unloaded guns out of reach of children.  Lock and store ammunition separate from the gun.

For more helpful tips and resources, check out the following links:

http://www.chw.org/childrens-and-the-community/injury-prevention-and-wellness/

http://chawisconsin.org

http://www.safekids.org/safetytips

http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/home/gun_safety.html.

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