The Many Facets of Child Safety
There’s a wealth of information about child safety on the Internet. One reason for this of course is the importance of the subject. Another reason is the extremely wide range of topics that fit under the umbrella of the subject of safety for kids.
Falls Top the List
Falls are a leading cause of injury among children. In fact, falls are the leading cause of injuries for this age group. According to the Children’s Safety Network, a non-profit organization, roughly 8,000 children are admitted to Emergency Care Units every day because of injuries caused by falls. That’s over 3 million admissions per year. While the very young can sometimes survive falls without broken bones, their heads are not as well protected as is the case with older children. For infants and children up through 3 years of age falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries.
Safety Around the Home
Efforts to prevent injuries due to falls should start as soon as an infant begins to start moving about, although the real dangers usually begin to surface about the time a youngster begins to start walking. Toddlers fall down a lot at first, although usually not far, and they sometimes have a bump or a bruise to show for it. If you have stairs in your house however, a toddler can fall a lot farther, and one of the first child safety devices that needs to be put in place would be a safety gate.
When an infant begins to crawl, it’s time to begin child-proofing the house. While stairs are a potential danger, so are electrical outlets, lamp cords, and anything on a table a child could pull down on itself. Most children learn something from being hurt, but there are times when an injury can be so serious that the fact that a child may have learned something from it has relatively little meaning. The importance of taking preventive measures cannot be overemphasized.
Insofar as injuries from burns are concerned, very young children are more apt to be burned by scalding liquids or steam than is the case with older children. Older children have usually learned to stay away from stove tops, and are less likely to pull containers of hot liquids on themselves, but they are more apt that the younger ones to suffer injuries caused directly by flame.
Not all of the accidents that result in burns are due to something the child has done. Many burn injuries are a result of smoking. While cooking accidents account for the largest number of residential fire-related injuries, fires caused by smoking, especially cigarette smoking, account for the largest number of burn fatalities among children.
Firearm Safety Issues
If the number of children’s deaths and injuries caused by firearms appears to be increasing year by year, it is because that actually happens to be the case. Most of the deaths and injuries are accidental, and most of these accidental injuries are preventable. Accidental deaths and injuries are both self-inflicted and caused by others. Most are unintentional, a very few are intentional. Older children are at a greater risk of death or injuries from firearms than are the very young. The most effective method of prevention is one of reducing access to firearms. This means among other things their safe storage. When youngsters reach an age where they can safely use firearms it becomes imperative that they are instructed in their proper and safe use.
A Multitude of Other Child Safety Issues
There are many other safety issues that can be addressed, and all are important. Car safety is one area that receives a great deal of attention. Small children must not only ride in safety seats, but the seats must be installed properly. The use of seat belts can be dangerous when children are too small for them, and airbags can represent a danger to small children as well. When possible, children in safety seats should be placed in the back seat when possible. If it is necessary that they ride in front, it is much safer if they can be seated facing backwards.
As children grow older the need to be instructed in bicycle safety, and as they grow older still, using off-road vehicles safely is another potential area of discussion. Teens need to be instructed in driving instruction, and all children should be taught the basics of pedestrian safety.
There are more areas of safety that need to be touched upon. Doing so would seem to make the world a more dangerous place than it actually is, but children need to be instructed in such areas as sports safety, playground safety, and for some, safety around farm machinery and farm animals.
This may seem like a lot, but all the necessary prevention activities and lectures on safety are not done at once, but over the years as a child grows older. The goal of course should be to imprint the importance of safe behavior in a child’s consciousness as early as possible. Obviously, it will require a greater effort with some children than with others.