Most American children live healthy lives. Car seats, safe cribs, and strollers help protect your child in and near the home. Yet, parents and caregivers still have to be careful and cautious. Explain certain dangers to children. This can help them understand why and how they can stay safe.
All teens and adults should learn CPR.
Teach your child about poisons that may be in the home or outside the home in the yard. Your child should know about not eating berries or leaves from unknown plants. Almost any substance, when eaten in large enough amounts, can be harmful or poisonous.
Only buy toys that say non-toxic on the label.
In the home:
If you suspect poisoning or have questions, call the National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222).
Always keep one hand on an infant who is lying on a changing table.
Place gates at the top and bottom of each stairway. Gates that screw into the wall are best. Follow the manufacturer's safety instructions.
Teach your child how to climb up the stairs. When they are ready to climb down, show them how to go down steps backwards on their hands and knees. Show toddlers how to walk down steps one step at a time, holding on to someone's hand, a handrail, or the wall.
Injury due to falls from windows can occur from even a first or second story window as well as from a high-rise. Follow these simple suggestions:
Tips for avoiding falls from bunk beds include:
Keep guns locked up and unloaded. Guns and ammunition should be stored separately.
Never claim you have a gun with you just as a prank. Never say, even as a joke, that you are going to shoot someone.
Help children understand the difference between real guns and weapons they see on TV, movies, or video games. A gunshot can permanently injure or kill someone.
Teach children what to do when they come across a gun:
Keep your child safe by taking action to prevent choking.
Window cords are also a danger for choking or strangulation. If possible, do not use window coverings that have cords that hang down. If there are cords:
To prevent accidents involving suffocation:
Take precautions when cooking to prevent burns.
Other tips to prevent burns include:
Check playground equipment for signs of deterioration, weakness, and damage. Keep an eye on your child around the playground.
Teach children what to do if strangers approach them.
Teach them at an early age that no one should touch private areas of their bodies.
Make sure children know their address and telephone numbers as early as possible. And teach them to call 911 when there is trouble.
Make sure your child knows how to stay safe around cars and traffic.
Important tips for safety in the yard include:
American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention Executive Committee. Policy statement -- firearm-related injuries affecting the pediatric population. Pediatrics. 2012;130:e1416-e1423.
American Academy of Pediatrics. Safety and prevention: Home safety: here’s how. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/pages/Home-Safety-Heres-How.aspx. Accessed August 27, 2013.
American Academy of Pediatrics. Safety and prevention: Home safety: protect your child: prevent poisoning. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/all-around/pages/Keep-Your-Home-Safe-From-Poisons.aspx. Accessed August 27, 2013.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Protect the ones you love: suffocation. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/safechild/Suffocation. Accessed August 27, 2013.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic safety toolkit: tips to increase your child’s pedestrian safety. Available at: http://www.nhtsa.gov/parents/parents-peds.html. Accessed August 27, 2013.
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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