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The 6 Most Common Childhood Accidents And What You Can Do To Prevent Them

Suffocation

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  • Do not use duvets and pillows for babies under 12 months.
  • Keep nappy (diaper) sacks and small objects well away from babies. If they grab them they can easily suffocate as they don’t have the dexterity to remove them from their faces.
  • Keep pets away from small babies and never leave a pet unattended with a child.
  • Never hang drawstring bags on cots, avoid cot bumpers which tie around the cot and use blind cord clips or alternatively choose a cordless blind.
  • Keep plastic bags and packaging out of reach and dispose of them carefully.
  • Never put necklaces or dummies round a baby’s neck.

Poisoning

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  • Some common household chemicals are incredibly toxic to children and can cause seizures, vomiting, blurred vision, acute anaphylaxis and can be fatal.
  • Keep all potentially harmful substances out of reach of small children and ideally in a locked cupboard. This includes dishwasher tablets, medicines, alcohol, cosmetics, DIY supplies, cleaning and gardening products and potentially poisonous plants.
  • Never decant medication or any other products into different containers. Always use the original containers, clearly labeled, ideally with childproof lids.
  • Keep batteries out of reach of small children and ensure that batteries in toys and gadgets are firmly secured. Batteries can burn a child’s intestine, causing irreparable damage.
  • Fit carbon monoxide alarms and have appliances and alarms regularly checked.
  • Tidy up straight after a party as little ones are likely to be the first up and could easily finish the dregs of drinks and help themselves to anything else before you’re even awake.
  • Be careful of other people’s handbags left accessible to children as they could have numerous potentially lethal hazards inside.
  • Choose cleaning products containing Bitrex which is bitter to discourage children from drinking the substances. Children can easily mistake a dishwasher or washing machine capsule/tablet for a sweet – keep them out of site and don’t be tempted to leave them in the door of the machine. Cleaning products are strong alkali and burn.
  • Don’t let children eat any plants in the house, garden or countryside.
  • Store medication carefully, be particularly careful with birth control pills and analgesics that are commonly kept on the bedside cabinet.

Drowning

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350 children under the age of five drown in pools each year in the U.S., with the majority of these accidents occurring during the summer months. Among accidental injuries, drowning is second in the United States as far as fatalities go. In California, Florida, and Arizona, the numbers are actually much worse. A child should never be left alone in a pool, ocean, or bath – even if it’s just for a few minutes. Children can drown in as little water as a couple centimeters. Make sure if you do have a pool or pond in your backyard that it is secured by a gate or with fencing.

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