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 all passengers and yourself are buckled in their seat belts. 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. Smooth out rough or pointed edges with padding and lock up medication, chocking hazards and poisonous chemicals that are easily accessible to children.
- While cooking, prevent hot foods and liquids from falling by placing them on the back burners with their handles facing away from the edge.
- 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. It is recommended that you replace your carbon monoxide detector every five years and replace the smoke detectors every 10 years.
To learn more general safety tips, read our literature below:
Safer in Seven (PDF, 663 KB)
Childhood Safety Tips (PDF, 183 KB)