Preventable injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. The importance of keeping children safe and secure helps them live to their full potential. Knowing how to prevent leading causes of child injury is a step toward this goal. Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all children ages 0-19. Other potential injuries include: water-related injuries, burns or scalding, and poisoning.
Children ages 1-4 have the highest drowning rates. In 2009, among children that age who died from an unintentional injury, more than 30 percent died from drowning. Among children ages 1-4, swimming pools are the most common place for drowning to occur. For children ages 1-14, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes.
Home Safety Checklist
- Use window guards on windows above ground level.
- Don’t use pressure-mounted gates at the top of stairs.
- Install a four-sided isolation fence separating the pool area from the house and yard. This reduces a child’s risk of drowning by 83 percent when compared to homes with three-sided property-line fencing.
- Never leave a child unattended by water or in a bathtub.
- Use childproof devices on toilets.
- Set your water heater thermostat at less than 120 degrees Fahrenheit for hot water to prevent scalding. Test the water before placing infant or child in bathtub.
- Keep appliance cords out of reach and cover electric outlets that aren’t in use.
- Have smoke alarms on every level of the house and outside each sleeping area. Check smoke alarms at least twice a year.
- Have a working carbon monoxide detector and avoid using portable space heaters, especially overnight.
- Keep medications and household poisons out of sight and reach of children.
- Keep products in the original packaging or in a labeled container.