By KYLEE RYERS
Injuries from accidents that happen at home are the biggest threat to the health and life of children. While 3.4 million children are treated for injuries as a result of an accident, it’s also the leading cause of death of school-aged youngsters. At least 2,300 children die from accidental injuries. Whether a child is in your care for a short period or long-term, most major injuries can be prevented if you and the child just take a few simple steps. Remember, a child coming into your home may be used to other rules elsewhere so it’s important that you discuss with them the safety rules in your home.
Teach Children What To Do In An Emergency
Accidents most often happen when least expected, so it’s always best to be prepared. Teaching children what to do in an emergency can make all the difference to them escaping a situation unharmed. Most older children will already know that 911 is the number to dial in an emergency, but it’s important that you make it clear to them when it’s appropriate to use this number. For example, if someone is hurt, possibly having a heart attack or if there’s a fire. Discuss the different scenarios that may arise, while ensuring they understand the seriousness of misusing the number. It will also be helpful if you put together a list of emergency telephone numbers that are kept in an easy to find a place that the children can access whenever required.
Educate Children About Fire Safety
As children get older, there are certain hazards that you won’t need to worry about so much. However, it’s still important that they understand what to do in case there is a fire in the home. While young children shouldn’t be using the stove unsupervised, it’s a good idea to keep a fire blanket close to the cooker should there be an emergency and explain to the children how it’s used. They should also know how they would need to get out of the property in the event of a fire. Practice exit routes with them and where there is a safe place that they can go to and wait for the rest of the family in an emergency. While it’s always useful to teach children basic first-aid, teaching them the ‘stop, drop, cover and roll’ technique can make all the difference to them minimizing injury if there was a fire. While you don’t want to scare them, making sure they are prepared if there was a fire could save their life.
Remove Firearm Hazards
Firearm-related deaths among children continue to rise. One in three homes with children aged under 18 have a firearm, while 43% of them admit to keeping the firearm loaded and unlocked. Almost 40% of accidental shooting deaths among children aged between 11 and 14 take place in the home. Meanwhile, some parents believe that non-powder guns such as pellet, BB and paintball guns are simply toys. But these are guns that can fire like traditional guns and cause around 22,000 injuries each year. It’s, therefore, best to keep all types of guns out of your home. If you do wish to keep a gun, then make sure it is stored unloaded and in a locked place that is separate from ammunition. Children are more likely to be shot by themselves, friends or a family member than an intruder. Be open with the children about guns and find out if their friends’ carry guns and if their homes have guns and how they are stored.
When any child is staying in your home, it’s important that you explain home safety rules to them, so they know what’s expected of them and what to do in an emergency. But you also need to ensure that you have removed all potential dangers from your home to avoid anyone getting hurt.