When it comes to child safety, you know the basics: no running with scissors, buckle up in the car, always wear a helmet, do not play in the street, look both ways. However, the basics are not the only thing we need to know. Our children are always watching us and learning from our actions, so be sure you are a model of safety for them. Use the tips below to build a strong foundation of safety practices for you and your family.
The hard facts
Accidental injury is the leading cause of death among children in the United States, taking more lives than disease and violence. It is important to recognize that risk varies by age
- For babies under age 1, the leading cause of accidental death is suffocation.
- For toddlers and preschoolers age 1 to 4, the top three leading causes for accidental death were drowning, car accidents, and fire and burn injuries, respectively.
- Children ages 5 to 14 are at the greatest risk from car accidents and drowning.
- Teens age 15 to 18 are at the greatest risk of dying from car accidents. In 2005, 74 percent of accidental deaths of teens age 15 to 18 were attributed to car accidents.
- When driving, always make sure that you and all passengers are properly buckled in seat belts and car seats. Our children learn safety habits by watching us. For new drivers and drivers-to-be, give them the same safety belt advice and refuse to drive until all passengers are bucked safely.
- Childproof your home. Get down to your child's perspective and identify risk areas and hazards around the house. Secure TVs and furniture, lock up medication and other poisonous products, and remove choking hazards, such as button batteries, away from children's reach.
- While cooking, prevent scald burns from hot foods and liquids by placing them on back burners with their handles facing away from the edge.
- Design and practice a home fire escape plan. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on all floors and in every bedroom. Be sure to test each detector once a month and replace their batteries once a year.
To learn more general safety tips, read our literature below:
Childhood Safety Tips (PDF, 183 KB)
Safer in Seven (PDF, 663 KB)
Overview of Childhood Injury in the U.S. (PDF, 128 KB)
Imagine and Get Involved