We find the dangers before your child does

Child Safety Guide

It is the nature of young children to explore the world around them, but their curiosity can lead to serious injury. A professional childproofer can help identify safety hazards in your home. Each year there are about two million children under the age of five who are treated in emergency rooms for injuries that occurred in the home.

Listed below are some of the most common and preventable child safety hazards as well as tips for child proofing your home as your baby grows.

Remember, specific hazards vary from home to home and from child to child, so this list is by no means all-inclusive.

1. Injury due to a fall particularly from stairs, furniture and windows – is the most common home injury to children. Approximately 50 children died as the result of falls in the home or on home premises. Nearly 70%  of these deaths occurred to children ages 4 and under in 2004.

2. Accidental poisoning is the next most common hazard. A young child's natural curiosity and his desire to put everything in his mouth puts him at great risk. ** In 2004, approximately 80 children died from a poisoning incident in the home. Of these children, an estimated 60% were under

3. Burns due to stoves, hot liquids or steam, and also electricity run a close third in the hazards list. Because their skin is thinner, young children suffer burns at lower temperatures and more deeply than older children and adults. ** in 2004, at least 610 children died from fires and burns in the home. Nearly 60% were younger than 4 years old.

4. Airway obstruction, which includes choking, suffocation and strangulation, is a leading cause of injuries in children under one year of age and continues to be significant through age four. Soft bedding, pieces of food, small objects and blind cord loops are some of the major hazards. In 2004,
approximately 500 children suffocated in the home; nearly 90% of these children were under 4 years old.

5. Drowning and near-drownings represent another major hazard in the home. Bathtubs, toilets, buckets and swimming pools are some of the most common places for this to occur. About 90% of these drownings occur during just momentary lapses in supervision. ** Approximately 340 children drowned in or around the home and more than 80% were ages 4 and under in 2004.

6. Finger entrapments in door hinges and head entrapments in railings and in furniture such as storage chests also cause many injuries.

7. Furniture accidents caused by children who pull or climb on dressers, tables, chests etc. are another source of danger. Unsecured pieces of furniture and appliances can tip over onto a child and cause severe injury.

8. Unintentional firearm injuries and deaths are often reported on the news. In 2004, approximately 40 children died from unintentional shootings in the home. 75% of these children were ages 5 to 14 years.

Click here for tips for childproofing your home as your baby grows.

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Copyright © 2009 International Association for Child Safety, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Home Safety Council. Unintentional Home Injury in the United States. State of Home Safety: 2004 Edition. Safe Kids Worldwide (SKW). Home Safety. Washington (DC): SKW, 2007