3 Ways to Prevent Childhood Injuries
It's a parent's worst nightmare when their infant or child is injured or in an accident. Babies and children are curious, explorative little people, and sometimes they will get into something dangerous and get hurt. The good news is there are ways you can help prevent this nightmare from happening. Keeping your little one safe is a top priority, so learning about the most common ways children are injured is a must for any parent.
Choose the right car seat
Car accidents are the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children under the age of 15. Learning about child passenger safety can help prevent or minimize injury or death in a motor vehicle. Infants should always ride in rear-facing car seats, and the latest recommendation is that it is safest for children under the age of two to remain rear-facing, even if they are tall and their feet start to touch the back seat.
Depending on your child's weight, they should be in the appropriate car seat type. Check the owner's manual of your car seat for weight and height limitations. Toddlers, two years and older, should be in forward-facing car seats, and older preschoolers and young school-age children should ride in booster seats. Older children should also always buckle up. Children under 12 should never ride in the front seat, especially because of the danger of air bags.
Address common fall hazards
The most common cause of injury-related emergency visits comes from accidental falls. In your home, you can:
- keep furniture away from windows to reduce the chance of children climbing the furniture and falling from a window
- bar or latch all windows and screens
- keep stairways gated for younger children
- do not use baby walkers
- clear stairs and halls free of toys or other clutter that could put your child at risk for falling.
Falls away from home are also an unfortunate occurrence. When your children go to the playground, make sure the ones they visit contain safe surfaces like wood chips, pebbles or rubber flooring. For children riding bikes or roller skating, make sure they wear helmets, pads and other protective gear.
Use seat belts in shopping carts and do not set an infant car seat on the front seat of the shopping cart, as it would be at risk for tipping, even if the car seat is branded or advertised to fit in the front slot of a shopping cart.
Stay safe near the water
Swimming is a popular childhood activity. A trip to the lake or swimming pool can create many great childhood memories. Many parents supervise their children thoroughly when in water, but are not aware accidental drowning can occur in even just a few inches of water or in seemingly harmless places, like in a bucket outside filled with rain water.
Do not leave your children in the bathtub, even for a minute to grab something like a towel. If you have a pool at your house, keep gates around it locked so children do not wander in. Keep empty containers put away when you're not using them - like wading pools, buckets or anything that can catch water. Keep child-proof doorknobs on your bathroom doors, as even a toilet poses a drowning risk for a young child.
If your children are going boating or doing water sports, make sure they are wearing a life jacket, and make sure it is an age-appropriate jacket to keep your child as safe as possible.
Consult with an attorney to determine who is liable for your child's injuries
Even if you were the only person with your child when the injury or accident happened, it may still be that someone else was liable for what happened. For example, injuries could be caused by third parties such as the manufacturer of a dangerous toy, the property owner of a swimming pool, another driver or the owner of an unsafe playground and the manufacturers of the playground equipment. Our attorneys can help determine who is liable for your child's injuries and help you get justice.