As parents, it is our utmost desire to protect our children at all times. We oftentimes think that it is in our very own homes where they are safest. However, it is most important to examine the potential risks basing on the child’s developmental stage. We don’t generally crawl down on our knees on the floor nor do we have the insatiable appetite for exploring our surroundings like our little ones are capable of. When you get the chance to do that, you realize that there is more to their safety than what you can imagine.
Accidents caused by unintentional injury are the leading cause of death in kids 14 years old and younger. A third of these injuries happen at home, which is quite disturbing considering that it is where they spend most of their time. Injuries at home are the top reasons why three year old kids and below end up in the emergency room. Child safety statistics even show that approximately 10.4 million emergency room visits by children are as a result of these accidents. And sadly, nearly 70 percent of children four years old and under die from these unintentional injuries. There is so much that could be done in order to avoid these tragic accidents and prevention is the best cure.
Here are some ways to protect your child:
1. Keep medicine bottles, poisons, detergents and cleaning solutions locked in cabinets to prevent accidental ingestion.
2. Make sure sharp objects like knives are kept out of their reach.It should be stored on locked drawers to avoid potential injury.
3. Use safety gates at the bottom and on top of the stairs or wherever it is necessary. Research has shown that a great number of children fifteen months old and younger are prone to falls while on walkers.
4. Pad corners of furniture or use furniture bumpers to avoid the risk of injury.
5. Lower down water temperature to a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Incidence of scald burns on children are high thus it is but safe to maintain it at that level.
6. Use protective covers on unused outlets to prevent kids from being accidentally electrocuted. Making sure no loose wires is also necessary to prevent any serious injuries.
7. Take time to read the safety checklists for the baby gears that you purchased. Sometimes, it is not enough to just know that it passed the standards for safety.
8. Keep the kitchen safe for children. Never leave the kitchen while cooking or while hot liquids are within their reach. Keep pot handles inward at all times to prevent small hands from reaching it thereby preventing scald burns.
9. Never leave the child unsupervised during a bath. More than half of infant drownings occur in bathtubs, and the primary reason is that they are left unsupervised even for a short period of time.
10. Sleeves on doorknobs are essential in preventing the toddler from entering rooms with hazards. Make sure though that older children and adults can use it easily during emergencies.
11. Keep a first aid kit with easy to follow instructions inside. This may come handy for minor injuries.
12. Discuss emergency plans with older children and even babysitters. Post emergency phone numbers for the police, fire department, emergency medical services, poison control center and a relative or friend by the phone. In case of any emergency, it is essential for them to be able to call for help.
These are only some of the steps you can take to protect your child from any accidental injury.As children go through developmental milestones, the need to protect them also arises. It is but best to recognize that an ounce of prevention is indeed better than a pound of cure.