There are a lot of cute videos of small children getting into trouble on social media. Behind those videos lurks a greater problem. Children can get hurt very quickly.
Statistics: 9.2 million children are injured every year and over 12,000 of them die. These injuries and deaths range from suffocation and drowning to car accidents.
Baby Gate Down: There is a family story that could have been deadly. About two days before our second child was born a friend of the family came over to use some tools in the garage. I had a baby gate there to keep our first child from going into the garage. The friend didn’t put it back up and before I could lumber to the garage, she was out there. I was *not* a happy mother. The outcome was one ruined outfit, a squeaky clean toddler (after an emergency bath) and a lot of oil that had to be cleaned up. It only took a minute.
In the Blink of an Eye: This is a book about the hospital that first set up a pediatric trauma unit. In the book there are stories of children seriously injured, mostly due to accidents. These accidents changed the lives of the families involved and opened my eyes to how quickly a child, particularly a small child, can be injured.
Accident Prevention: There are some really easy to figure out ways to avoid childhood accidents. Baby gates, cabinet and drawer latches and electric outlet covers are quick to install and can prevent problems. However, there are a few things that you need to know that might not be so apparent. Here are two examples.
Children who drown are not always in a pool or a bathtub. They can also drown in a mop bucket. According to In the Blink of an Eye, a small child’s head weighs more for body size than an adult’s. When they peek into the bucket to see what’s in it, they can topple over into it.
Car seats are another area where problems can occur. When choosing a car seat, make sure it is easy to use *properly* and that it hasn’t been recalled. Most people know that infants need to be in rear facing seats, but in actuality children should stay rear facing as long as possible. Check the weight and height range for the car seat and get a new seat if the child is over the weight or height range for the current one.
Accidents are preventable, but it takes a lot of effort to do so. Whether you are a parent, grandparent or just a friend, make sure your home is safe if kids are going to be there. It truly only takes a minute for something tragic to happen.