Child Safety And Injury Prevention

Child Safety – Injuries are the leading cause of death in children ages 19 and younger. But most child injuries can be prevented.
Parents and caregivers can play a life-saving role in protecting children from injuries.

Child Safety – Burn Prevention

Child Safety: girl holding smoke detector
  • Install smoke detectors on every level of home
  • Test smoke detectors & change batteries regularly
  • Set water heater to maximum temperature of 49 C (120 F)
  • Never leave food unattended on the stove.

Child Safety – Drowning Prevention

Child Safety:  girl wearing a life jacket on the beach

Children should never be unsupervised while playing in any body of water (eg, pool, lake, ocean). Those age <4, particularly infants, can drown in <2 inches of water and should be within arm’s reach when near water, including bathtubs, baby pools, or buckets.

  • Never leave child unattended around water
  • Fence all 4 sides of pool & install self-locking, self-latching gate
  • Use life jackets
  • Teach child to swim

Poisoning Prevention

  • Lock medications & toxic household products out of reach
  • Safely dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs and over the counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements. Don’t keep it, if you don’t need it.

Fall Prevention

Child Safety : girl skater wearing protective gear
  • Install safety gates and rails on stairs
  • Use guards on windows
  • Make sure your child wears protective gear during sports and recreation.

Road Traffic Safety

This graphic explains when to use a car seat, booster seat or seat belt. REAR-FACING CAR SEAT: Birth up to Age 2* Buckle children in a rear-facing seat until age 2 of when they reach the upper weight or height limit of that seat. FORWARD-FACING CAR SEAT: Age 2 up to at least age 5* When children outgrow their rear-facing seat, they should be buckled in a forward-facing car seat until at least age 5 or when they reach the upper weight or height limit of that seat. BOOSTER SEAT: Age 5 up until seat belts fit properly* Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat, they should be buckled in a booster seat until seat belts fit properly. The recommended height for proper seat belt fit is 57 inches tall. SEAT BELT: Once seat belts fit properly without a seat belt. Children no longer need to use a booster seat once seat belts fit them properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck). Keep children ages 12 and under in the back seat. Never place a car seat in front of an active air bag. *Recommended age ranges for each seat type vary to account for differences in child growth and height/weight limits of car seats and booster seats. Use the car seat or booster seat owner’s manual to check installation and the seat height/weight limits, and proper seat use. Child safety seat recommendations: American Academy of Pediatrics. Graphic design: adapted from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Beginning at birth, a child should be placed in a rear-facing car seat in a back-passenger row of the car. Young children are at increased risk of serious head and spinal cord injury from motor vehicle collisions due to incomplete vertebral ossification, disproportionately large heads, and increased ligamentous laxity. The hard shell of the back of the car seat prevents rapid neck flexion during abrupt stops and absorbs force in the case of a collision. Car seats should never be placed in a front seat with an active airbag because the airbag’s force can cause head injury or death upon deployment.

A rear-facing car seat protects the head and spine in a collision and should be used from birth until a child reaches the maximum height or weight limit of the particular car seat. The transition to a forward-facing car seat should not occur before age 2, and many children can remain rear-facing until age 4.

Current guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that children should remain rear-facing until they surpass the maximum height or weight limit set by the manufacturer of their specific car seat, which typically occurs between age 2-4. Although some state laws permit any child age ≥2 to be forward-facing (eg, forward-facing car seat age ~2-8; booster seat age ~5-12), there is no absolute height, weight, or age that determines the transition; rear-facing is safest in young children and should be maintained for as long as possible

Reassurance should be provided to parents who are concerned about leg positioning in a tall child who is in a rear-facing car seat. Legs bent against the back seat are typically not dangerous or uncomfortable to the child, and protecting the brain and spine is the priority.

A belt-positioning booster should be used once a child reaches the height or weight limit of a forward-facing car seat, as determined by the manufacturer. This transition typically occurs between age 5-8 but may occur later (eg, age 5-12). Once a child outgrows a belt-positioning booster (eg, age 9+), a standard lap and shoulder seat belt can be used.

Rules for drivers and motorcyclists - Seat belts and child restraints (99  to 102) - THE HIGHWAY CODE

Food Safety

RACGP - Paediatric inhaled airway foreign bodies

Airway foreign bodies are potentially fatal and most common in toddlers due to mouthing behaviors, increased mobility, and small airway diameter.

The most common foreign body in this age group is food, particularly items that are round or cylindrical, smooth, and firm, features that make aspiration and obstruction more likely.

Foods that are choking hazards should be avoided in children age <4: These include whole grapes, raw vegetables, uncut hot dogs, hard candy, nuts (eg, peanuts), seeds, and popcorn.

Whole grapes and hot dogs can be cut lengthwise so that they are no longer cylindrical.

In addition, while eating, children should be supervised and sitting upright, avoiding activities such as running or playing.

Other small, nonfood items that can cause choking (eg, latex balloons, marbles, coins) should also be avoided.

Resources

Read more here https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/index.html

Child Passenger Safety : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30166368/

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Apurva Popat

Apurva Popat

Dr Apurva Popat has been teaching Medical science since he was in his medical school and has helped many students to master medical and spiritual knowledge.

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