Tips For Preventing Injury To Your Child

Tips For Preventing Injury To Your Child
(NAPSA)—You want your
home to be a safe haven for your
children, but their simple curiosity may lead them to explore dangerous territory, even in their own
homes. About 4.5 million children
are injured in the home each year.
Taking some simple, preventive
measures could help keep their
unbridled curiosity in check and
prevent many of these injuries
from occurring.
“Survey your home periodically to ensure that you have
removed or alleviated as many
hazards as possible,” said Wendy
Lucid, MD, of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
“Following some simple safety
precautions could prevent many
of the injuries children show up
with in the emergency department. Childproofing your home is
easy and inexpensive and, most
importantly, could save your
child’s life.”
You don’t need a professional to
childproof your home. Much of the
effort centers on making sure you
and your family are aware of potential problems and making
adjustments to minimize hazards.
And while some safety devices
should be used, most are inexpensive and are available from your
local hardware or home store. Be
sure to follow the instructions for
the devices carefully.
ACEP recommends the following preventive measures to help
reduce your child’s chance of
injury in the home:
• Use safety latches and locks
on cabinets and drawers.
• Buy all medicines with childproof caps and always keep them
• Keep lightweight plastic
bags, such as dry cleaning bags,
grocery bags, and packaging on
clothes, out of reach of children.
• Check all toys for small parts
that could be swallowed.
• Keep nightlights with small
plastic bulbs out of reach of children.
• Make sure children can’t
reach plants.
• Use a crib that meets the
current standards and has a firm,
tight-fitting mattress so that your
child can not slip in between the
crack and the crib side. Never
place babies in adult beds, which
puts them at risk for suffocation
or strangulation.
• Install safety gates to prevent children from falling down
steps and keep them away from
dangerous areas like the kitchen
when you are cooking. Gates that
screw to the wall are more secure
than “pressure gates.”
• Use window guards and
safety netting to help prevent falls
from windows, balconies and landings. Window screens are not
effective for preventing children
from falling out of windows. (If
window guards are used, ensure
that at least one window in each
room can easily be used in case of
• Tie all vertical blind cords up
high and keep electrical cords out
of reach, possibly by running them
under a baseboard.
• Use bumpers to cushion corners and edges of coffee tables,
the fireplace hearth and other
low furniture.
• Install emergency releases
on the outside of your bathroom
and bedroom doors, or cover or
remove locks, so children can not
lock themselves in.
• Install outlet covers and
outlet plates to help prevent
• Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent burns from hot
• If you have a gun in the
house, keep it unloaded and secured in a lockbox, or with a trigger lock. The ammunition should
always be kept in a separate,
secured location. Also ensure that
children do not have access to the
“It is important to remember
that no safety device or measure
is completely childproof,” said Dr.
Vinocur. “Stay alert—your child’s
curiosity may be able to outsmart
even the most clever safety
devices and precautions.”
For more information about
safety in your home, visit ACEP’s
Web site at
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