Home “accidents” are the leading cause of death in kids 14 years old and under, with nearly 70% of these deaths occur in children who are 4 years old and under. Young kids have the highest risk of being injured at home because that’s where they spend most of their time. The common causes of home-injury deaths are fire and burns, suffocation, drowning, choking, falls, poisoning, and firearms. Multiple good free online and library resources exist on “childproofing” your home to prevent these injuries and deaths. A good way to child proof your home is to use common sense while looking around your home. Pay special attention to what your children see at their eye level. Poisons and medications need to be put up or locked up. Hot objects need to be out of reach or turned off. Standing water (bathtubs, etc.) need to be inaccessible to small children.
You can take precautions to make your house safe, but the most important thing to remember is to always watch young kids. Supervision is the best way to prevent injuries, in the home and out. Accidents will still happen, so it’s important to be prepared. If you’re expecting a baby or have kids, it’s wise to educate yourself on important first aid steps. Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the age-appropriate Heimlich maneuver. Keep the following numbers near the phone (for yourself and caregivers): poison-control number: 1-800-222-1222; doctor’s number; parents’ work and cell phone numbers; neighbor’s or nearby relative’s number (if you need someone to watch other kids in case of an emergency). Make a first-aid kit and keep emergency instructions inside. Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and keep the batteries fresh.