Common Infant Safety Hazards

As a parent, one of the most important things that you want to do is make sure that your children are safe. This is not only something that parents should worry about outside the home since infants and young children spend most of their time at home, it is something that they should be very vigilant about within the home. The following are four of the most common safety hazards that children face within the home. Making sure to protect your children in all of these areas should ensure that they will not be one of the 2000 children that are killed each year as a result of unintentional injury within the home.

Falls

Falls are a very common safety hazard for infants within the home. The three main causes of falls in the home are lack of baby gates, using infant walkers and allowing unattended children to sit in elevated areas. To eliminate falls that are caused by a lack of baby gates within the home, make sure that there are gates mounted at both the top and bottom of flights of stairs. If there are doors that can block the stairs off, the doors can be used in lieu of baby gates, but they should be shut at all times. Walkers were once accepted equipment for infants, but recent research has shown that they do not teach children to walk. Avoiding use of walkers will eliminate all fall injuries related to the use of a walker. Many parents think that if their child is asleep, or generally immobile they will not be able to fall when placed in a carrier or Bumbo seat on a table. This isn’t the case at all, just wiggling around can cause one of these pieces of equipment to fall, causing injury to the baby. The way to avoid this type of fall is to not place infants on tables in their carriers or seats.

Suffocation

Babies are not able to free themselves from possible suffocation hazards, which means that they are more prone to injury or death due to suffocation. Some things that parents can do to protect their children from suffocation hazards are as follows. Children should sleep in their own beds. This will ensure that other people don’t press too close to them or accidentally roll over on them while they are asleep. The baby’s bed should be free of possible hazards. Babies should be placed on their backs to sleep and the bed should not have pillows or toys in with them. Instead of blankets, parents can put their children to sleep in a blanket sleeper. The final common cause of suffocation in infants is foods that are not cut small enough. Parents should make sure that foods are large enough to swallow. Additionally, parents should make sure that nuts and hard candies are kept out of the reach of infants.

Drowning

Buckets of water, bath seats and kiddie pools can all cause injury to infants. These dangers can easily be eliminated. Parents should make sure that open containers of water are not left unattended. This includes toilets, whose lids should be left closed at all times. Parents should opt to not use bath seats for their infants. Instead they should make sure that all supplies that will be needed to give the infant a bath are within reach and should never leave their child unattended in their bath seats at any time. When parents opt to use kiddie pools in their back yard, children should be attended at all times when the pool is in use. When the pool is not in use, the water should be drained from the pool.

Fires and Burns

One final common safety hazard in the home for young children is burns and being involved in a fire. The single most important thing that parents can do to ensure that children will be safer in the event of a house fire is to make sure that all smoke detectors in the home are up to date and in working condition. Adults should check the smoke detectors on a regular basis to ensure that the batteries are functional. In order to avoid burns in the home, parents should make sure that water heaters are set to a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit as water hotter than this can cause second and third degree burns in a matter of just three seconds. Additionally, hot drinks should be kept in a mug with a lid and out of reach of small children. Children accidentally pulling a container of hot liquid down is one of the leading causes of infant burns.

Ensuring that children are safe when they are in the home is one of the most important things that parents can do for their children to ensure their overall safety. Simply following the above guidelines to protect against falls, suffocation, drowning, fires and burns will eliminate the majority of injuries for which small children are seen in hospital emergency rooms.