Top 5 Injury Risks for Children and How to prevent them
With children spending two to six hours a day in kindergartens, the main concern for parents is whether they have chosen the safest environment possible for their kids.
In 1960, child experts stated that ‘’it is now generally recognized that accidents constitute a major problem in public health’’. This marked the beginning of the rising awareness of child safety. This view has been confirmed by the World Health Organization’s regional office for Europe, which cited injury had become the leading cause of death in developed, high-income countries. In developing countries, the acknowledgment of child injury as a major problem is more recent. However, reducing child injuries is possible: Experience and research have shown that most child injuries are avoidable in all countries.
Today we are witnessing an increase in the number of regulations ensuring the well-being of children in kindergartens and schools in many countries that seek to reduce the often dramatic impact of child injury including fatality and enormous financial cost. This uptick makes kindergartens and schools safer than ever before but it also raises a lot of concerns for the child-care professionals who have to balance compliance with the children’s need for fun and adventure.
Nowadays, there are companies that try to make creating a safer world for our children as easy and worry-free as possible: Here are the top 5 risks for child safety and how to avoid them.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of fatality among children under the age of five. Toddlers are facing the highest risk as they have already gained more mobility than babies but are still in development. An average of two children drown each day in the United States – research from Virginia showed, over the last decade 34% of drownings occurred in home pools and 29% in bathtubs. Even if children are already able to swim, they are often not aware of dangers in the water or strong enough to steer themselves away from the dangers.
- Never let your child out of sight in the bathtub and around swimming pools
- Teach your children how to swim or stay afloat
- Use floating devices like water wings or life jackets
- Teach children not to run around the swimming pool
- Teach children to swim safely in the designated areas
- Learn first aid and rescue procedures
Children are especially at risk of getting burns since their skin is more sensitive and they do not yet have a clear idea of what is dangerous for them. Therefore, they need extra protection.
- Always apply sunscreen with a high protection factor, preferably at least 20 minutes before going outside, and reapply every hour
- Protect electrical outlets and plugs from children’s fingers
- Keep matches, lighters, chemicals, flammable liquids and candles out of kids reach
- Install smoke detectors
Over 2 million poisoning incidents were reported to poison control centers in the USA in 2014. Young children have a tendency to put everything in their mouth which is part of their natural development. In Victoria, Texas at least eight children a day receive medical attention after swallowing poison – the most common substances are medicines and household products.
- Keep all medicines and household products out of reach of the child immediately after purchase and use
- Keep medicines and household products into their original containers and do not transfer them in other containers such as unmarked plastic bottles
- Teach your kids to be aware of the dangers of medicine and household products, and not to put these items into their mouths
- Take special care while administering medicine to your child, establish a ‘’checking system’’
- Always check product labels properly, and be prepared to give specifics to poison control
Falling is the most common cause of injuries for all ages reported in hospitals. When a child starts to learn how to walk, the risk of falling naturally increases dramatically. Usually, this results in nothing more serious than a bruise or scrape. However, a hard fall can lead to fractures, cuts, or head injuries.
Falling accounts for 4.2% of child injury deaths across the world. One of the top risks is falling through an open window: In France, more than 250 children suffer this fate each year, leading to fatal injuries in 10% and permanent disabilities in 40% of the cases. The same is true for the United States where 300 children younger than the age of five are injured annually due to falling through windows, a risk that is even greater in the spring and summertime.
- Teach your child to not run on slippery floors (lead by example)
- Use anti-slip stickers to prevent falls and to teach children how to walk in a safe way, e.g. along the banisters
- Do not use baby walkers since they give the toddler unexpected mobility
- Changing tables should have barriers that are high enough (at least 10 cm/4 in) to prevent babies from falling
- Use full-body safety harness in strollers
- Remove tripping hazards and clear the floor to decrease chances of children bumping into obstacles
- Secure sharp edges on tables and furniture with corner protectors
- Do not keep any furniture or tall objects under the window that could enable the child to climb up to the window and never let a child out of your sight. When it is possible, open upper end of window instead of the bottom
Arte Viva offers solutions to prevent injuries from falling:
The Corner Guard range has been developed to prevent children from hurting themselves by bumping into edges or corners:
Made from safe, bite-resistant, soft plastic to shield corners
These wall and pillar protection solutions have been designed to prevent children’s injuries when they bump against the wall or they fall down while playing.
Window Alert Prevent children from falling through windows. A window restrictor that prevents children from opening the window
Safe Coat Hook Prevent children from getting head injuries when they bump into the coat hook. It is colorful with a playful design and children can personalize it with name stickers.
Child Safe Mirrors Empower kids to discover themselves, their faces, and expressions in a safe way. You can use the Static Smiley to customize the mirror.
About 30,000 people each year rush to the emergency room in the US due to fingers being pinched in between the door and the door frame, especially children are at greater risk as they are more likely to put their fingers in between doors. Looking into statistics, 3 out of 4 children in the age group of under four-year-old, resulted from fingers that were trapped in a door.
Door finger guards have been made mandatory in a lot of countries including France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, and Spain where they have proven their effectiveness in preventing avoidable finger injuries.
- Teach children not to place their fingers on the door frame
- Make sure to close the doors to prevent them from slamming shut unexpectedly
- Install door finger protection
Arte Viva offers different door finger guard solutions for doors:
Finger Alert 110° Transparent door finger guard that comes in different lengths. It is sold as a set of two pieces and thanks to the adhesive profiles it can be installed very easily within 5 minutes.
Finger Alert 170-180° Professional For doors with a larger opening (up to 180 degrees angle). It comes in anthracite, brown, and white and in different lengths. The set comes in 4 different parts and is super easy to install in 5 minutes with adhesive.
Finger Alert Extreme For extreme wide openings and special doors
Finger Alert Door Slam Stopper Prevents the door from slamming by blocking it. The metal door stopper is installed on the top part of the door frame to absorb the heaviest blows. If the door is closed properly, the anti-slam will not block the door and it will close normally.
Preventing Injuries in Child Care (October 02, 2015). Available at: http://articles.extension.org/pages/25767/preventing-injuries-in-child-care(Accessed: May 3, 2018).Janet Abboud Dal Santo, DrPH Robert M. Goodman, PhD Deborah Glik, ScD Kirby Jackson, BA (1 June 2004) Childhood Unintentional Injuries: Factors Predicting Injury Risk Among Preschoolers, Available at: https://academic.oup.com/jpepsy/article/29/4/273/883153(Accessed: May 3, 2018).Preventing Falls (17 June 2016) Available at: https://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Preventing_Falls/(Accessed: May 3, 2018).
Peden M, Oyegbite K, Ozanne-Smith J, et al., editors. (2018) Preventing Falls, Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310643/(Accessed: May 3, 2018 ).30,000 Finger Amputations Yearly: The Most Common Finger-Loss Accidents and How to Avoid Them(2008). Available at: http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/05/03/22/30000-finger-amputations-yearly-the-most-common-finger-loss-accidents-and-how-to-avoid-them.htm(Accessed: May 3, 2018).
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