Thousands of children die annually from preventable causes. Learn what you can do to keep your child safe.
Children are curious and full of energy—and love exploring the world around them. However, sometimes harmless exploration and play result in serious injury. Pediatric trauma and preventable injuries are the leading cause of death for children age 14 and under in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We hear on the news every night about diseases killing a child, but very few report about the 10,000 annual child deaths that occur from injury,” says Bobby Upp, MD, board-certified pediatric surgeon and medical director of the trauma program at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. “Working in the trauma program, I see little kids every day with gunshot wounds, scalp burns and car accident injuries, which could have been prevented with the correct safety measures.”
Alita Lanoux, pediatric trauma program manager at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, adds, “We don’t want a family to learn the hard way that accidents can happen to any child. As a community, we are called to focus on being proactive.”
Check Off Your Child’s Safety Checklist
In and around the car
- Consult a certified car seat safety professional when choosing and installing a car seat.
- Have seat belts buckled at all times when the car is moving.
- Teach your child to be aware of other cars.
Around the home
- Lock guns in a safe, and store ammunition separate from guns.
- Keep home water heaters set at 120 degrees or lower.
- Install smoke alarms.
- Remove blankets, toys and pillows from an infant’s crib.
- Keep medicines and cleaning supplies out of reach.
Toys on wheels
- Ensure your child always wears a helmet on bikes, scooters, skateboards and ATVs.
- Consider if a child should be allowed to drive or ride on ATVs. Child ATV accidents are prevalent and sometimes fatal.
- Have children wear appropriate flotation devices while swimming.
- Never let a child swim without a trusted adult’s supervision.
- Keep kids hydrated while outdoors in hot weather.