Accidents are the leading cause of death in young children. Luckily, most child injuries can be prevented by parents and caregivers who play a life-saving role in protecting children from accidents.
Common accidents in children
Burns are among the most common childhood accidental injuries, and they can happen several ways:
- Electrical burns and shock from inserting fingers or objects into outlets or biting electrical cords
- Flames from stoves, lamps, matches, lit cigarettes, fireplaces, and house fires
- Touching hot surfaces, such as stoves, heaters, and microwaved containers
- Hot liquid and steam from pans, cups, hot water heaters, and bath water
Falling is a natural part of childhood as children learn to stand, walk, run, and climb due to their curiosity, and eagerness to learn, lack of coordination, and judgment about potentially dangerous situations. Most falls are harmless. However, some falls can result in serious injuries for children, including head injuries, broken bones and sprains, and contusions or bruises. Some of the most common places children fall from when left unattended include:
- Beds, changing tables, and other furniture
- Slippery floors
- Shopping carts
- Playground equipment in schools, home or leisure places
- Unsecured infant seats
- Baby walkers
- Windows or balconies without proper guard rails
3. Choking, suffocation and strangulation
Choking, suffocation and strangulation are unintentional injuries that most often occur in the home. Possible choking hazards include small bits of food (including pet food), toys, batteries, bottle caps, coins, marbles, pen or marker caps, magnets, and buttons.
Necklaces, drawstrings on clothes, baby headbands, strings, ties, and ribbons as well as cords on toys, household appliances, window blinds, and other fixtures could cause strangulation in young children.
Plastic bags, dry cleaning bags and plastic wrap are especially dangerous for young children. A child can easily suffocate if these items are pulled over their head.
Common sources of poisoning include household chemicals, cleaners, and medicines. Exposure to carbon monoxide from gas appliances such as stoves and heaters can also lead to injury or death
As much as water can be fun for children to ply with, it can also be dangerous. Swimming pools, natural bodies of water such as river, lakes or the ocean are the most likely places for older children to drown, whereas infants under age 1 are most likely to drown in a bath tub or open water storage containers.
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