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How to Prevent Accidental Death and Injuries in Children

By Edited Oct 12, 2016 3 5

Many Accidental Deaths and Injuries Can Be Prevented

Did you know that accidents are the leading cause of death in children in the United States? Even if a child does not die from an injury, many dangerous activities can cause serious physical damage such as whiplash injury, spinal cord injuries in children or traumatic brain injury.  In addition if the injury is due to an act of carelessness or negligence, it can also lead to lawsuits over injury claims. Sadly, even if a plaintiff wins their lawsuit, there is no injury compensation that can make up for the loss of a baby or their serious injury. As frightening as this information may seem, there are some actions that we parents can take to reduce the risk to our children.

 

Death from Auto Accidents

 

The most common cause of death in children happens when they are a passenger in a motor vehicle during an accident. Although seat belts, infant car seats and booster seats cannot prevent injury in every situation, they do provide a substantial amount of protection. These safety devices are designed not only to save lives, but to prevent whiplash injury, and other causes of spinal cord and brain injuries.  Every parent should use age appropriate car seats for their children.  Be sure to carefully read the installation instructions to make sure you are using the seat correctly.

 

If you do not currently own a car seat and you want to order one or at least check prices and styles, use this direct link to car seats on Amazon.com.

 

Death and Injuries while Riding Bicycles

 

Another common cause of death and injury in children occurs when they are hit by a vehicle while they are either traveling as pedestrians or on bicycles. From the time they are young, children should be trained to know the rules of the road. All children, whether they are walking or riding a bicycle should know the proper way to cross a street. They should be taught to use a crosswalk, or get the assistance of crossing guards when one is available. If they are riding a bicycle, make sure that your youngster wears a helmet to prevent brain injury, and let them know that they should not ride at night. If they absolutely must ride after dark, make sure their bicycle has lights, that they wear bright, reflective clothing, and that they know the rules of the road!

 

Children at the Beach

 

Death from Drowning

 

Open areas of water can also be a hazard for children who do not know how to swim. When children are very young, they should never be left alone around water. Pools and hot tubs should have fences and alarm systems. Older children MUST be taught to swim. I have known of teenagers who drowned despite the fact that they only needed to be able to swim a few feet to reach safety. This is a heartbreaking cause of death that should never happen!

 

Death and Injury from Accidental Poisoning

 

Accidental poisoning also causes many deaths every year, especially in young children. Use childproof containers for your medications. Keep cleaning solutions on a high shelf. In addition to using the childproof containers, it is also a good idea to lock up prescription medicine. Children often mistake medicine for candy, so never refer to your child's vitamins or medicine as candy. They may try to get more when you're not looking and could overdose without you even realizing it!  Make sure that anything that could harm them is kept out of their reach.

 

Recently, laundry detergent pods that are colorful and kept in clear plastic containers have been a source of poisoning for a number of children.  Do not endanger your children by keeping these items within their reach.  Like other cleaning solutions, these laundry detergent pods should be kept on a high shelf out of reach of your children.

 

Death and Injury from Burns

 

Burns are a horrible hazard for anyone, including children. In order to prevent your children from being injured, practice turning pan handles toward the back of a stove and, when possible, have children leave the room when you are cooking. A friend of mine with eight children always blocked off the cooking area of her kitchen when she was preparing meals so that the kids would not accidentally get hurt. This is a good habit for anyone!

 

Death from Mishandling Guns

 

Unfortunately, a number of children die every year as a result of guns. LOCK UP YOUR GUNS AND AMMUNITION IN SEPARATE AREAS. This does not mean that children should not learn about guns. In fact, teaching them gun safety is one way of protecting children. Children who know how to check if a gun is loaded, and have the experience of handling and shooting guns with supervision are often less likely to discharge a gun by accident, thereby injuring themselves or someone else. However, whether they have been trained or not, the safest decision an adult can make is to keep guns out of the reach of children. 

 

Death and Injury from Climbing

 

Finally, teach children not to climb on furniture such as bookcases. Let them know that it is far safer to use a step ladder, when necessary, than it is to stand on a chair or table to reach something on a high shelf or top cabinet. Falls can do serious spinal cord and brain injury, as well as cause broken bones and other painful damage to a youngster.

 

In addition to the risk of falling, many children are injured when they pull a piece of furniture over on themselves.  Don't let this happen to your child.

 

Help your children learn to be independent, responsible and self-confident and, hopefully, they will be well-equipped to keep themselves safe!

 

 

If you are interested in keeping yourself and your children safe from harm, you may also be interested in reading these articles:

 

Teach Your Children Safety Around Electricity

Personal Safety Tips for Women

How to Avoid Dog Bites!

Why Worry About Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among Teens

Safeguarding and Disposing of Medications

Food Safety Tips for School Lunches

Go to the Emergency Room Now!

Halloween Safety Tips for Kids

Make Sure Your Kids Have Bicycle Helmets

Giro Me2 Infant/Toddler Bike Helmet (Blue Airplanes, Universal Infant Fit)
Amazon Price: $39.99 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 12, 2016)
Here is one example of the safety equipment that is available on Amazon. If you want to check out other choices, click on the blue product name, above, and you will be taken directly to the full Amazon site where you can search for other safety items you may need.
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Comments

May 29, 2010 11:55am
goodselfme
Your article is filled with smart and useful information to prevent injuries to our little ones. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
Jun 7, 2010 7:26pm
divaonline
Terrific recommendations for keeping children safe!
Jun 17, 2010 1:55am
Amarimom
You can never be careful enough when it comes to children. As a mom to a toddler, I can identify with all the safety measures you've outlined here. Thanks for sharing.
Jan 13, 2011 7:56pm
Mesriani_Law_Group
These are some of the best safety tips I've read here. Well job researching on those topics.
But in case something happened and your child was injured, you need to find out the cause immediately. With the help of a legal expert, you may be able to identify the people responsible for your child's injuries.
Apr 23, 2013 5:15pm
Deborah-Diane
Thanks for the supportive comments about these safety tips for parents of young children. If they save even one life or prevent one injury, this article was well worth writing.
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