Towards injury-free children

Infants are gradually observing and learning things in their environment. Toddlers are more able to explore their environment but do not acknowledge risks or consequences. At three to four years of age, children start to learn more home safety rules. So, parents should continue to guide them through this process.

During the adolescent stage, it is important for parents to guide them in making healthy lifestyle choices to avoid injuries.

INFANTS

Infant car seats should always be used in the backseat of the car. They should never be left unattended in a motor vehicle.

Do not carry your infant and hold hot liquids and food at the same time. This will prevent burns. Electrical outlets should be covered with devices that will not put them at risk for choking.

They should never be left alone on any furniture such as beds or sofas. Windows and stairway guards help to prevent falls from various heights.

Avoid clothes and toys with long strings and cords to prevent strangulation. Waterbeds and plastic bags can also put them at risk for suffocation.

Parents should never leave their infant in any body of water alone. They should be constantly supervised to prevent risk of drowning.

Infants should be placed to sleep on their backs in a crib and the sides should never be left down. Avoid putting infants to sleep in sofas.

PRESCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN

Supervised pedestrian safety is important. Car safety seats are also used at this age. Bicycle helmet should be worn while riding a tricycle.

Ensure to keep children away from hot oven doors, irons, hot food, and drinks. Electrical outlets must be covered.

Protect children from stairways, heavy furniture that could tumble over and opened windows.

Medicines and household products should be kept out of reach. Ensure to keep items in child-proof containers when purchased.

Swimming pools should be fenced completely.

It is advised to keep guns out of places where children play and live.

SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN

Booster seats are used until the child can properly use a seat belt. The seat belt should be lying across their chest and low going across the upper thighs. Protective gear should always be worn for bicycle riding.

Children should never swim alone and should always be supervised.

Children engaged in sports must always wear the appropriate protective gear.

ADOLESCENTS

Seat belt use is always encouraged. It is vital that parents discuss use of alcohol and drugs and the associated risk for motor vehicle accidents. Also, avoid distractions such as eating, drinking, using a cellular phone or any other electronic device while driving. Adolescents should be made aware of the dangers of speeding and reckless driving.

They should not swim in areas not designated for swimming. Ensure to find out safety regulations for a swimming area, for example, lifeguard on duty hours, depth of swimming area.

If they are participating in sports programmes they must always use safety equipment and use protective gear.

Guns should be kept out of the home to prevent dangers of suicide, homicide or severe unintentional injuries.

 

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