The death of a child is a terrible nightmare for any parent. Child death due to accidents is a major issue worldwide. Accidental injury and death is the most common cause of death for small children. Millions of children under the age of 15 experience injury or death due to accidents. Children ages 0-4 are at highest risk for accidental injury or death.
Keeping children safe and identifying ways to prevent child injury is the only way to reduce the occurrence of accidental child death. We should take steps to make sure our children are safe from harm or avoidable accidents. Keeping children safe should be intentional.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to keep an eye on children every second of their lives. What we can do is make sure our homes are child-proofed and take precautionary measures to avoid accidents in or outside of the home. Taking steps like covering sharp edges and installing a baby gate could help avoid child injuries and death due to accidents.
This article identifies the leading causes of accidental death in infants and children and includes tips on how to avoid these accidents.
Death of a child due to a car accident can be tragic for a family. Injuries from car accidents are most likely to lead to death due to severity. Hourly, over 150 children are sent to the emergency room due to a severe injury from a car accident. Motor vehicle-related accidents account for 5% of all accidental infant deaths. Here are a few ways to keep children safe while riding in a car.
- Pick The Right Car Seat And Get It Inspected – The proper car seat can protect a child during a car accident. Small children are required to ride in car seats by law. Once you have chosen a car seat that properly straps your child in, you may want to consider locating a certified technician to inspect your seat.
- Use A Rear Facing Car Seat – The CDC lists a rear-facing car seat as a recommendation for newborn babies until they grow in size and weight.
- Promote Safe Sitting In The Car– Kids should be taught to keep their seatbelts on for the entire ride. They should also be taught to stay seated and refrain from moving throughout the vehicle.
Infants are at the highest risk for accidental death due to suffocation. Infant death from suffocation during sleep is most common, and toddlers are at risk for suffocation by choking on food, coins, toys, or other small objects. Here are a few ways to avoid child death from suffocation:
- Keep The Crib Clean – Remove stuffed animals and excessive blankets from the crib. Babies are prone to roll over and become suffocated by items left in the crib.
- Place Your Baby On His/Her Back During Sleep – Babies should sleep on their back on a firm surface with a tightly fitted sheet to avoid death by suffocation.
- Sleep Close To Your Baby – Place your newborn or very young baby’s crib in your room to sleep. If your baby has any issues sleeping you will be aware of it.
Pool and water safety should be taught to kids at a young age. Drowning is the most common cause of death in children between the ages of 1-4. Daily, three children are killed due to drowning. Here are a few tips to avoid the accidental death of a child by drowning.
- Watch Your Infant During Bath Time – Drowning is one of the most common causes of accidents in the home. Be sure to keep an eye on your infant during bathtime. Never leave the water running without your supervision.
- Learn CPR – Learning CPR can help protect your child. Enroll in a CPR class for infants to revive them in the case of an accidental drowning.
- Teach Your Child To Swim – Enrolling children in swimming lessons early can reduce the risk of drowning, especially for toddlers and preschool-aged children.
Approximately two children die from poisoning daily. Over 300 children between the ages of 0 to 19 are sent to the emergency room daily as a result of exposure to poisoning. Here are a few common sources of poisoning within the home:
- Household chemicals
- Cleaning supplies and liquids
Here are a few ways to avoid accidental death or injury due to exposure to poison:
- Invest in a child safety gate to prevent children from entering spaces that are deemed off limits or dangerous.
- Secure all medications and potentially harmful fluids in locked spaces away from children.
Daily, two or more children die from burns. Over 300 children are sent to the emergency room daily due to severe burns.
Two children die every day from being burned. Children are likely to be burned by hot liquids and steam or direct contact with fire. Here are a few ways to avoid death or injury of a child by burning.
- Teach your child early to stay away from matches and fire.
- Be sure to store lighters, matches, and highly flammable objects away from children.
- Equip your home with active smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Be sure to check and change all device batteries regularly.
- Purchase a child fireguard to keep children away from flames.
Small children and toddlers are at risk of falling down stairs or off of high heights. If your child is learning to walk, they may wander off to unsafe spaces and fall down a flight of stairs. Here are a few precautions to take to stop an accidental injury or death due to falling:
- Purchase a child safety gate to put at the top and the bottom of staircases. See our guide to the best baby gates for stairs. Child safety gates are especially effective for young children and babies learning to crawl.
- Keep an eye on small children in new spaces. When children wander off in uncharted territory they are more likely to face an accidental injury due to falling.
Taking steps to avoid accidental child death is critical. Children are faced with accidental dangers in and outside of the home. Parents can prevent accidents within the home by investing in a child safety gate and taking some of the precautions mentioned above. Check out our range of baby gates here. Be sure to share this article with other parents to help avoid death and injury of children due to accidents.