Making Safe Simple: At play
Since the majority of children’s time is spent at home, it’s not a surprise that home is where most injuries occur. Falls, bumps, and bruises are practically expected as a part of childhood, but more serious injuries such as burns, poisoning, strangulation, entrapment, pet bites, cuts, and drowning can easily be prevented. Review the safety tips below.
More than two million emergency department visits a year are related to childhood falls. Thankfully, many falls can be prevented. Prevention is not difficult. It does require your attention and some effort. Supervision is the most important thing you can do to prevent childhood injuries. Download the fall prevention PDF.
- Never leave babies unsupervised on any piece of furniture including changing tables, beds, and sofas.
- Use safety straps and other safety features on high chairs, shopping carts, and changing tables.
- Use safety covers or install padding on sharp corners.
- Use stationary “walkers” instead of wheeled walkers.
- Be sure televisions and other heavy furniture are stable and secure to prevent tipping.
- Use safety gates to keep young children away from stairs.
- Don’t place toys or items that attract children on top of furniture.
- Make sure stairs are clear of toys and other objects.
- Install window guards on all windows above the first floor.
- Do not rely on window screens to keep children from falling out.
- Point your feet out slightly like a penguin to increase your center of gravity
- Bend your legs and walk flat-footed
- Keep your hands out of your pockets; your arms can be used to help keep your balance
- If you do fall, try land on your side or bottom and don’t brace your fall with your knees, wrists, or neck; relax your muscles as you fall to reduce injury
- Always supervise children at playgrounds.
- Make sure playground equipment is age appropriate. Since 1994, manufacturers are required to have a sticker placed on each piece of equipment indicating the appropriate age group for which it was designed.
- Be sure surfaces under playground equipment are soft enough to absorb falls.
- Make sure equipment is specifically designed for playground use.