According to statistics, more than 30-percent of all trips to the emergency room in the U.S. involve treating children. The majority of these visits happen during the night and weekends. Experts believe this is when accidents happen most frequently in children.
Emma Hammett, the founder of First Aid for Life, revealed in The Hippocratic Post for Child Safety Week in the U.K. that not only are there six major accidents that are causing the most damage to our kids but that there are ways to prevent the accidents from even happening.
Hammett warns not to be too protective, however; the first aid expert believes that children “need to take measured risks and the inevitable bumps and bruises are a healthy part of growing up.” She also says that it is “vitally important” to have the knowledge to anticipate and prevent serious injuries that can have long-term consequences. She says the most important step is the one right ahead of your little one! Take a look at what Hammett reveals are the six most common childhood accidents and what you can do to prevent them…
- Never leave a baby in a bouncy chair or car seat on a raised surface.
- Babies and children should always be strapped into highchairs, buggies and car seats.
- Always hold onto the banister when carrying your baby up and downstairs.
- Fit safety gates to your stairs before your baby starts crawling and ensure you keep stairs clear from clutter.
- Teach your baby to come down the stairs backward.
- Fit safety locks to windows.
- Never leave chairs, large plant pots or furniture near windows, work surfaces, balconies or anywhere dangerous a baby or child could climb onto.
- Secure furniture – particularly bookcases, chest of drawers and TVs – to the wall to prevent them toppling and crushing a child if they try to climb up them.
- Bunk beds are not recommended for children under 6.
- The safest place to change your baby’s nappy is on the floor – be incredibly vigilant when using changing tables.
- Microwaves cook unevenly. Get rid of hot spots when heating bottles or food by shaking or stirring thoroughly. Test the temperature before giving food to children or feeding a baby.
- Run cold water into the bath first to stop the bottom overheating. Use a bath thermometer as well as checking the temperature yourself before bathing babies. Ideally, fit a thermostat or temperature regulator to bath taps.
- Keep hot drinks out of reach, use a kettle with a short flex and keep it at the back of the work surface.
- Don’t drink hot drinks while holding a baby and never pass hot drinks over anyone’s head. A drink that has been sitting for 15 minutes can still be hot enough to burn a baby.
- Use the back rings of the cooker, turn pan handles away from the edge.
- Fit fireguards and radiator guards, turn off heated towel rails.
- Be very careful of irons, hair straighteners, and other hot implements and keep them and their flexes well out of reach. Remember how long they take to cool.
- Keep small objects and all batteries out of reach.
- Cut food into small pieces.
- Supervise children while they’re eating, especially if they’re under five.
- Discourage older children from sharing their food with babies.
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