According to a 2009 survey, some 2,096 children in the U.S. (age 14 and under-most are 4 and under) die from accidental home-related injuries yearly, and millions more are injured.
Most fatal home injuries are caused by: fire, suffocation and choking, drowning, falls, poisoning or unintended discharged guns.
Here’s a few preventive ideas:
Check out every room for hazards that would be at a child’s eye level; cleaning products, pet food, vitamins, beer, wine and liquor, medications, alcohol, guns (should be unloaded; ammunition should be locked in a separate place) and other potentially harmful products need to be stored out of reach and locked up. Keep toilet lids closed and (if possible) locked. Bathroom and utility rooms should be closed. When not in use, put razors, curling irons and hair dryers out of reach. Keep all plastic bags and poisonous houseplants out of reach, and cover electrical outlets that aren’t being used.
Anything that can fit through a standard toilet paper roll (1-one and a ½-inch) is a potential choking hazard. Don’t allow children under age 3 to eat small, round or hard foods (like hot dogs, hard candy, nuts, grapes and popcorn).
Test your smoke alarms every month. They should be in every level of your home, outside your sleeping area and in every bedroom. Also install carbon monoxide detectors in every sleeping area and test them every month. Check for fire hazards such as flammable materials near any heating appliance and for frayed electrical wires.
To prevent serious falls: Keep furniture from the windows and install guards or “stops” on those windows that are NOT emergency exits. Install safety gates at the top and the bottom of stairs. DO NOT USE baby walkers. Use protective surfaces beneath playground equipment.
Always supervise young children while they’re in the bathroom, particularly in the bathtub. Set your water heater at the ideal temperature of 120 degrees F. When running bath water, test it with your wrist or elbow before putting your child in it.
If you have a swimming pool, install a self-closing and self-latching gate around it.
Read labels and follow directions carefully when giving medicine to children.
Check your first-aid kit to make sure it’s fully stocked (If you don’t have one, get one-fast!). Always make sure the baby sitters know exactly where the kit is and how to handle emergencies.
And be sure to keep any emergency numbers by the phone. Call 911 if a child is choking, collapses, can’t breathe or is having seizures. Poisoning? Call (800) 222-1222.
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