Is Your Child Safe?
Many people are surprised to learn that accidental injury is the leading cause of death among children and youth in Canada. What's even more surprising is that many of those injuries occur in the home. Many injuries can be prevented if parents and caregivers become more aware of how to make their environment safer for children. Injury prevention specialists have put together the following information to help families provide a safe home environment for their children.
- Safe Kids Canada - 1-888-SAFE-TIP
- Infant and Toddler Safety Association - (519) 570-0181
- St. John Ambulance - 1-888-373-0000
- Think First Foundation -1-800-335-6076
- Your local Canadian Red Cross
- Your local Public Health Unit
- Your Provincial Safety Councils/Leagues
- Block Parent Program - 1-800-663-1134
Creating a safe home environment
When buying a crib, check that it was made after June 28, 2011. New safety regulations came into effect on this date.
A fall down the stairs in a baby walker can cause head injuries. Remove the wheels, then throw out your baby walker. It can be dangerous.
- Check that your safety gates meet current safety standards.
- Check that your safety gates are installed properly, according to the instructions.
- Use spring-loaded gates at the bottom of stairs.
- At the top of the stairs, use gates that fasten to the wall.
- Falls are the primary reason for a hospital stay.
- Be alert to the risk of choking and strangulation - if an object fits in the mouth, your child could choke on it.
- Toys get unwrapped and scattered before you know it. Make sure that small children don't get into toys meant only for older children. Children under 3 can choke on small parts, batteries, wrapping paper, packing pellets, broken balloons and just about anything else that's small and might look tasty.
- Bowls filled with candies and nuts are tempting to small children, who can choke on their contents.
- Young children put everything in their mouths. Keep all small objects out of reach. Help family and friends choose safe foods and toys to give your child.
- Children under four can easily choke on candy, nuts, seeds, popcorn, chips, and hot dogs. Food should be cut up into manageable pieces and children should sit up while eating.
- Learn the signs of choking and know what to do.
- Keep cleaners and other poisons away from young hands when stored and when in use.
- Show children the hazard symbols. They all mean do not touch.
- Child-resistant caps are not child proof.
- Keep all cleaners in their original containers.
- Cosmetics, nail polish, and perfume are poisonous if ingested.
- Clean up party leftovers: cigarette butts and left over food, beer, wine and other drinks can be poisonous to a small child even if consumed in small quantities.
- Keep all medicines in a locked cupboard, drawer or box, and teach your children that medicines, including vitamins, are not candy.
- Christmas ornaments look like big candies to infants and young children. Hang them out of your child's reach.
- Holly and mistletoe are poisonous, and so are some houseplants.
- A child can drown quietly within seconds in only a few centimetres (1 inch) of water.
- Share bath-time fun. Always stay with your child.
- Teach your child to always sit in the bathtub.
- If you must leave the bathroom, even for a second, take your child with you.
- Hot tap water can burn in seconds. Test the temperature with your elbow before putting a child in the water.
- A child's skin burns in 1/4 of the time it takes an adult's skin to burn.
- Always start and end with cold water when running a bath, to avoid inadvertent scalding.
Safe Play zone
- Children fall. Is the surface in your play area safe? Set up backyard swings and other playground equipment on shock-absorbing surfaces such as sand.
- Teach your child how to play safely and only on equipment that is right for his or her age. If a child cannot reach the first step, it's not safe for them.
- Children 2 - 4 suffer 40% of all slide injuries, and one in ten of them are admitted to hospital. Teach your child to always go down a slide feet first.
- Check equipment often and repair worn, loose or broken parts.
- Teach your child how to climb off equipment safely.
- Supervise and get involved in your child's play.
- Helmets, skipping ropes and hood drawstrings can get caught in playground equipment and children may be strangled.
- Fingers can get caught in swing chains, so cover the chain with a plastic chain covers, if possible.
- If a permanent tooth gets knocked out, put it back in its socket or place it in milk. Take both child and tooth to a dentist right away.
- Do not forget the sun screen and cover up!
As the demands on our transportation infrastructure grow, the health and safety of Canadian children and youth are increasingly compromised. Among Canadians under the age of 20, cyclists account for approximately one-quarter of hospitalizations for road vehicle injuries. Check for current accuracy. To help you and your family stay safe en route, injury prevention specialists have come up with some tips in brochures called: Road safety for Kids & Parents and Bike Safe! Handbook for Kids
For more information go to www.safekid.org. and www.safekids.org
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