UH News

Each Year 2,200 Children Die from Preventable Injuries in the Home

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Greater Cleveland remind parents to keep kids safe with top 10 childproofing tips

Cleveland OH — Home is a place to relax, play and enjoy spending time with family. There will be minor scrapes and bruises along the way, but too many kids are affected by serious injuries that are often completely preventable. UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, as lead agency for Safe Kids Greater Cleveland, urges parents and caregivers to check their homes for basic safety precautions so kids of all ages are as safe as possible at home.

“Having a new baby or young children around the home is a wonderful experience,” says Mandy Nagle, coordinator of Safe Kids Greater Cleveland at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. “Learning a few safety tips is important to ensure that your child will grow up active, curious and safe. The first step is childproofing a home by exploring every room at a child’s eye level. Start by getting down on your hands and knees and crawling around. You’ll be surprised at how much you can reach and how many small objects you can pick up.”

UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Greater Cleveland recommend the following tips to childproof your home.

  1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area. Working smoke alarms double your chances of surviving a home fire. Use Daylight Savings Time as a reminder to check your smoke alarms.
  2. Keep button battery-controlled devices out of sight and reach of children. These include remote controls, singing greeting cards, digital scales, watches, hearing aids, thermometers, children’s toys, calculators, key fobs, tea light candles, flashing holiday jewelry or decorations.
  3. Secure the TVs in your home. Mount flat-screen TVs to the wall and place old tube TVs on a low, stable piece of furniture.
  4. Never leave your child unattended around water. We know it sounds strict, but babies can drown in as little as one inch of water. Keep toilet lids closed and use toilet seat locks to prevent drowning. Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.
  5. Keep small objects out of reach. Look at every room as your child would. Ask yourself what looks interesting and what can be reached. Get down on your hands and knees, and check for small things children can choke on such as jewelry, coins, small toy parts, buttons, pins, nails, batteries and stones.
  6. Install window guards and stops to prevent serious falls. Screens are meant to keep bugs out, not children in. Properly install window guards to prevent unintentional window falls. For windows above the first floor, include an emergency release device in case of fire.
  7. Keep cleaners and medicines out of reach. Store household products and potential poisons out of children’s sight and reach, including cleaning supplies, pet food, medicine, vitamins, and alcoholic beverages. Putting medicines up and away is particularly important, as it only takes a few seconds for kids to get into medicine that could make them very sick.
  8. Keep emergency numbers by every telephone. If you suspect a child has been poisoned, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

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