While some injuries, like cuts and bruises, are an inevitable part of a child growing up, many children are injuredand even killed each year in ways that are entirely preventable. No child should ever have to suffer through an injury due to a preventable cause. Here is a list of the most common causes of injuries and deaths among children, along with some ways that we can prevent them.
Most people don’t know it, but drowning is actually the most common cause of fatalities due to an injury for children between the ages of one and four. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, three children die every day in the US from drowning, and many more are injured. There are many things that can be done to keep young children safer around water. Pools should be covered. Children in this age range should never be left in the bathtub unsupervised. And if you’re with your child near a lake or other uncovered body of water, you should make sure you are closely monitoring them at all times, as it is natural for many children to be drawn to the water. Parents can also get their children swimming lessons early in life, which helps to eliminate the risk altogether.
Car crashes are an incredibly common cause of injuries for everyone, not just children. However, car crashes are particularly dangerous for children. They are the top cause of fatalities for children between the ages of 3-14, and the sad thing is, many of these deaths are preventable. People who drive with children in the car should make an extra effort to make sure they are following safe driving practices. This means never driving while drowsy or under the influence, putting away the phone and other distractions, and making sure to carefully follow the rules of the road. In addition, parents should make sure that their children have a safe car seat that is suitable for their child’s height, weight and age, as the proper car seat reduces the chance of injuries and fatalities even if a crash does happen.
Around two children die each day due to poison, and many more are injured. More than 300 children end up in the emergency room each day because of poisoning. Poisoning is common because there are so many household items that contain poison, and these items are frighteningly easy for children to get a hold of. To prevent poisoning, you can make sure that household cleaners, medicines, chemicals, and any other similar items are locked away out of your children’s reach.
Falls cause more nonfatal injuries than anything else for children up to 19. In the US alone, around 8,000 children are treated in emergency rooms after being injured by falls every day. Falls can be hard to prevent, since they can happen almost anywhere, but parents of young children can try to “fall-proof” their homes by installing gates around dangerous areas (top of the stairs etc.) When out and about, parents should make sure they keep an eye on their children at all times, since fall hazards can be everywhere. Children who are participating in activities with a high risk of fall injuries (bike riding, scootering etc.) should wear appropriate safety gear such as helmets and knee-pads to help prevent injuries.
According to the CDC, burns cause more than 300 children to end up in the emergency room every day, and around 2 children die from burns each day as well. Younger children are likely to be burned by steam or hot liquids, and older children tend to be burned by actual contact with fire. Burns can be prevented in many ways. Parents of young children need to make sure that they keep boiling pots, hot drinks, and anything else that their children could get their hands on far out of reach. Parents should also make sure that lighters, candles, kerosene lamps, and any other fire hazards are kept locked away from children of all ages.
While thinking about the possibility of a child being injured is uncomfortable, it is important for parents and anyone else who cares for children to be aware of the most common causes of childhood injures and how to prevent them. Awareness is the first step to preventing many of the thousands of injuries that occur every year.