June is National Safety Month. Although people often shrug and say that injuries are just something that happens, that’s usually not true. Unintentional injuries such as drowning, car crashes, choking, and poisoning are the leading cause of death for children. Despite much progress in the past 50 years, unintentional injury still accounts for 40% of the child deaths in the U.S.
Fortunately, these injuries are largely predicable and preventable. We know the causes and circumstances that are often associated with injuries. We have the power to stop them without waiting for a new drug or device, but we do need effort.
Here are some tips to prevent unintentional injuries:
Follow the ABCs of safe sleep. The baby should be alone, on their back, and in a crib, play yard or bassinet that meets a federal safety standard. Crib bumpers and other soft bedding have been linked to suffocation. The baby’s sleep area should be clear of pillows, blankets, bumper pads, and any other products. Inclined sleep products such as the recently recalled Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play and Kids II Rocking Sleeper are not safe for infants.
Anchor furniture such as dressers to the wall to prevent furniture tip-overs. Mount TVs to the wall or anchor both the TV and the TV stand. Every 10 days a child dies from a furniture or TV tip-over. Learn more about anchoring furniture at AnchorIt.gov.
Check for recalled products in your home and report unsafe products at SaferProducts.gov. Download the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall app here. You can use the app to search for recalled products on your phone. Recalls for car seats over the past 10 years can be found here.
Join us this month by sharing why you care about child injury prevention using #WhyInjury.
Learn more about why injury prevention matters at Prevent Child Injury.