Injury is the #1 fatality for children and teens in the United States (CDC.gov). To help prevent injuries, it is vital for parents and guardians of young children to learn and improve supervision practices since young children have limited capacity to assess risk and differentiate from safe and unsafe situations. All injuries should be seen as preventable. Below are several simple and effective strategies for reducing some of the most common injuries.
Injury prevention begins with two essential questions:
- How are you typically supervising your child(ren)?
- What is ‘adequate supervision’ for ensuring your child(ren)’s safety?
For young children, proximity is particularly important for their safety because they often quickly do unpredictable things, which increases their exposure to and interactions with injury risks.
The most common injuries can be prevented by:
- Locking windows and using barriers, stair gates, and guard rails.
- Installing a four-sided isolation fence around a swimming pool.
- Installing a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.
- Using child-resistant packages for all medications. *Safely dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs and over the counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements.
- Setting your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
- Using safe cooking practices, such as never leaving food unattended on the stove.
- Using the right car seat for infants and toddlers and booster seats for older children.
- Making sure your child wears protective gear during sports and recreation.
* To dispose of medicines, mix them (do not crush tablets or capsules) with coffee grounds, dirt, or cat litter. Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag and place the bag in your household trash.
References and Resources
To learn more about concussions and the danger signs click below: