You can help
protect your child from accidents and injuries by taking general safety
measures around your home. Think ahead about what potentially dangerous
situations will attract your child. Supervise your child, but keep in mind that constant hovering over children can limit their experiences
and confidence. Balancing supervision with safety precautions will help prevent
accidents and injuries as well as allow children to explore.
following are common accidents and injuries that can occur around the house,
and some suggestions on how to prevent them.
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Preventing falls isn't always easy.
Toddlers and young children often move quickly. Their excitement about their
mobility and their lack of experience can make them unaware of dangers, such as
stairs or hills. Children ages 4 to 5 years anticipate many dangers,
but they may not have the physical skills to avoid accidents. Some ways to help prevent falls are to:
Use sliding gates at both ends of stairways.
Use safety straps in high chairs and changing tables.
Children ages 2 to 5
years can easily choke on everyday objects and food. Your child needs your
supervision even though he or she may be able to eat independently.
Prevent choking. Your child can choke on things smaller
than 1.25 in. (3.2 cm) in
diameter and 2.25 in. (5.7 cm) long. These include button batteries and coins. Keep items like these out of your child's reach.
Learn to recognize
signs of choking. For
example, a child who is choking can't talk, cry, breathe, or cough.
Strangulation and suffocation
household items can strangle a young child. Make sure that loose cords, objects, and
furniture don't pose strangling risks.
Keep cords for blinds and drapes out of
reach. Attach cords to mounts that hold them taut, and wrap them around wall
brackets. Cords with loops should be cut and equipped with safety
Do not use accordion-style gates. Babies and young
children can get their heads trapped in the gate and may
Make sure that furniture doesn't have cutout portions or
other areas that can trap your child's head.
Suffocation is another danger for young children. Teach
your child about suffocation and the importance of a safe play area. Pay
attention to possible suffocation dangers, such as:
Trunks of cars. Keep rear fold-down seats
closed so children aren't able to climb into the trunk from inside the car.
Also, always lock car doors and keep the keys out of sight and out of reach of
Refrigerators and freezers, even those that aren't in
use. If you are storing an old refrigerator or freezer, be sure to take off the
Plastic sacks. Don't let your child play with plastic
sacks. Keep them out of reach. Children may put sacks over their
head during play, which can lead to suffocation.