According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), injuries are the leading cause of death in children ages 19 and under. Fortunately, most injuries can be prevented.
- Install and test smoke alarms throughout your home and living spaces. Use long life batteries when possible. A smoke alarm should be present on every floor and near every bedroom where a person sleeps in a home.
- Create an escape plan and practice the plan with your family. In the event of a fire, make sure you have a meeting place that is outside the home and a safe distance away.
- Be careful when cooking. Never leave an active stove, pot, or pan unattended. Make sure that handles on pots and pans are not sticking out over the stove's edge where a child can grab it. Be careful with all hot surfaces, splashing grease, etc.
- Check your home's water temperature. For children, it should never be set higher than 120 degrees Farenheit. For your own safety, review the guidelines of your water heater or boiler before adjusting temperatures.
- Drowning is especially an issue in the Upper Peninsula, where we have access to the unpredictable waters of Lake Superior and numerous inland lakes, streams, and rivers. Never swim in an area without a lifeguard, check for safety flags, and take caution when adventuring into areas with which you are unfamiliar.
- Never allow your child to dive into waters of which you do not know the depth. Serious spinal cord or neck injury, or even death can occur.
- Teach your child how to swim or enroll them in a swimming class so they can learn life-saving skills.
- Make lifejackets a requirement.
- Always supervise your child when they are in the water.
- Lock up toxic chemicals, prescription and over-the-counter medications, cleaning products, and anything else that may be hazardous to your child. Never understimate your child's curiousity. When possible, store these items in hard-to-reach places, or use childproof cabinet locks.
- The CDC says, "Put the nationwide poison control center phone number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every telephone in your home and program it into your cell phone. Call the poison control center if you think a child has been poisoned but they are awake and alert; they can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 911 if you have a poison emergency and your child has collapsed or is not breathing."
- Always read labels when you are administering medicine to your child. Double check the label. Ask for help if you are uncertain.
- If you dont need it, dispose of it. Limit the potential hazards in your home.
Read more child safety tips from the CDC:
* Information from this page adapted from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.