Each year, more than 2,000 children ages 14 and under die from unintentional
home injuries. The primary causes, according to
Safe Kids USA
®, are burns, suffocation, drowning, choking, falls, poisoning and firearm
accidents. While it may be impossible to protect our children from every
possible hazard, parents can help prevent fatalities and limit emergency
room visits by taking several basic precautions.
Basic safety measures
To begin injury-proofing your home, experts recommend that you:
- Install smoke alarms in your home and replace the batteries twice a year
(a good rule of thumb: change the batteries when setting the clocks forward
and back in the spring and fall).
- Install a four-sided fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate around
swimming pools and wading ponds.
- Attach safety guards to all non-emergency exit windows.
- Supervise young children around open windows, balconies and decks.
- Avoid placing toys on top of furniture.
- Secure televisions, shelving units, freestanding cabinets and other large
pieces of furniture to the wall or floor.
- Make the microwave oven off-limits until children are tall enough to reach
- Place hot foods and liquids at the center of the table.
- Always supervise children in the kitchen and around electrical appliances.
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees or lower to avoid burns.
- Keep matches, gasoline, lighters and other flammables locked away.
- Place cleaners, medications and beauty products out of reach.
For more information on preventing childhood injuries and fatalities, visit the
Home Safety Council or the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you have specific questions or concerns, talk with your child's
pediatrician or your family doctor, or contact
St. Luke's Pediatric Associates at 218.249.7870.