Preventing injuries to children in the home
Unintentional injuries are one of the leading causes of death among children. Most of these injuries are preventable. At Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, we are committed to keeping children safe. Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, is the Proud Lead Organization for the Miami-Dade County SAFE KIDS Coalition.
The Miami-Dade County SAFE KIDS Coalition is comprised of public, private and voluntary organizations united and committed to identify and significantly reduce unintentional deaths and injuries to the children of South Florida. We respond to the needs of our community by providing professional education, practical training programs, and legislative initiatives essential to promote the safety and well being of our children.
PREVENTING INJURIES TO CHILDREN IN THE HOME
Childproof your home. Look at every room as your child would. Ask yourself what looks interesting and what can be reached.
- Get down on your hands and knees, and check for small things children can choke on.
- Use the back burners on stoves, and turn pot handles to the back. Keep children away from the stove or microwave when cooking, and donít serve hot food or drinks to them.
- Keep knives, glasses and scissors where young kids canít reach them.
- Cover electrical outlets that are not in use.
- Keep guns locked, unloaded and where kids canít reach them.
Take precautions to avoid fire in the home.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area. Test them once a month.
- Plan several ways to escape from each room if a fire starts. Practice the fire escape plan with your family. Identify a safe place to meet outside.
- Lock up matches, lighters and gasoline.
- Keep space heaters where kids canít reach them and away from curtains, beds and papers.
- Never put electrical cords under rugs.
Always supervise children while they are in the bathroom, and follow other important bathroom safety guidelines.
- Keep the hot water heater at low-medium or less than 120 degrees Farenheit. Mix hot and cold water in the bathtub, and test it on your forearm before putting children into the tub. Never leave the room while they are bathing.
- Keep toilet lids closed and locked, and doors to bathrooms and utility rooms closed, when not in use. Put razors, curling irons and hair dryers out of reach.
Avoid exposing children to potential poisons.
- Lock up potential poisons out of childrenís reach, including cleaning supplies, pet food, medicine, vitamins, beer, wine and liquor.
- Read labels and follow directions when giving medicine to children.
- Know which houseplants are poisonous and keep them where children canít reach them.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors in every sleeping area and test them every month.
- Make sure heating systems are vented outside and checked every year.
Prevent serious falls.
- Keep furniture away from windows. Install guards or stops on windows that are not emergency exits.
- Install safety gates at the top and the bottom of stairs.
- Never use baby walkers.
Keep emergency numbers by every telephone. Call 911 if a child is choking, collapses, canít breathe or is having a seizure. If you suspect a child has been poisoned, call 1-800-222-1222.
For more information about SAFE KIDS or for additional age specific safety tips, log on to: http://www.safekids.org . The Miami Dade County SafeKids Coordinator at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, can be reached at 305-663-6800.