Springing into Safety

Springing into safety is essential for parents, and here’s a quick test for you: Do you know the top five causes of childhood deaths? Can you name the top five reasons why kids die so young? Children die and are disabled most often in car accidents. Second to cancer is drowning, then burns, then falls, and finally poisoning.

According to the numbers.

In fact, among children and teenagers under the age of 19, accidental death is the leading cause of death. The leading causes of injury and death vary by age group: for children under one year old, two-thirds of injuries and deaths are caused by suffocation; for those 1 to 4 years old, drowning was the leading cause; and for those 5 to 19, motor vehicle traffic accidents were the leading culprit.

Surprised? What’s truly amazing is that the vast majority of fatalities are entirely avoidable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracks the annual number of unintentional child injuries and deaths in the United States. According to the CDC, over 9 million children are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year for unintentional injuries. The CDC also estimates that approximately 33 children die each day as a result of unintentional injury. This means that simple preventative measures could save the lives of thousands of children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently launched an initiative called Protect the Ones You Love to reduce the number of preventable injuries and deaths among children. It is specifically targeting parents in its campaign, hoping to generate interest in reducing unintentional mishaps and tragedies. The CDC program provides many ideas to parents for removing potential hazards, as well as some great tools and support, such as safety ecards, pointers, and advice.

How Children’s Hospital Can Assist

Closer to home, Children’s Hospital of Michigan recently added a Safety Center to its lobby in Detroit. The public-access center provides a wide range of low-cost products to help prevent injuries in children, including those with disabilities or special healthcare needs.

Car seats, bike helmets, smoke detectors, cabinet locks, outlet covers, and carbon monoxide detectors are among the products available at the center. Well-trained staff also provides education and information on how to use these products properly and effectively to ensure the protection and safety of their children. Each purchase includes education and demonstrations, and personal assessment appointments can be scheduled by calling 313-745-1111.

“Safe Escape,” a program that assists families with disabilities and special needs in preparing for safe escape during emergencies, is another important component of the hospital’s Safety Center. In this program, families meet with a trained hospital employee to assess their home life and emergency evacuation concerns, as well as the health of their children. The hospital then assists families in selecting products that address these concerns.

“Child injury prevention needs to be an important priority for all children and their families,” says Dr. Herman Gray, president of Children’s Hospital of Michigan. There are numerous things that parents can do to help prevent accidents. The first step is to become aware, and the second is to take action.

Taking Initiative

Make a pledge to be safe! Make a list of the accident prevention measures you currently use with your family; inventory the safety products you use and promote with your children; assess what remains to be done – and then act.

Work to avert a disaster before it’s too late. Accidents can and will happen even with parental supervision, but parents’ awareness of safety concerns and issues is critical in eliminating many foreseeable mishaps and accidents.

In addition, safety items make excellent gifts for both parents and children. Consider a diaper bag filled with safety products for new or expecting parents to help them keep their new baby safe. Even during the holidays, giving safety products as gifts is appropriate. After all, what is more, valuable than the safety of your children?

Meaningful articles you might like: Children’s Safety On School Buses, How To Have A Discussion With Your Kid About Safety, A Guide To Child Safety In And Around Vehicles