As a parent, you can't be too careful. Kids can become seriously injured in seconds, even if you are a staunch supporter of helmet use and committed to covering those table corners. Unfortunately, many parents overlook serious threats that kids are faced with at home, which is one of the reasons nearly 12 million children visit the ER each year in the US.
Here are three household safety threats your child may be facing, and how to fend off injuries.
1. Accidental Poisoning
Children are naturally curious, which is why they are naturally drawn to putting things in their mouths. Unfortunately, since kids are small, fast, and typically more motivated than their parents, poisonings can happen quickly, especially if you leave the wrong things accessible.
Many seemingly harmless items are poisonous, including laundry pods and household cleaners. Other common household items that can be poisonous to kids include cosmetics, paint, plants, pesticides, vehicle fluids, and even over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen.
To keep your kids safe, keep any enticing items out of reach of children or keep things in locked cabinets or closets. Pay special attention to any items that look like candy, such as medicine bottles, colorful cleaning products, or even small foreign objects like batteries.
If you suspect that your child may have ingested something they shouldn't have, contact Poison Control immediately. In addition to staffing large call centers with poison control experts, this non-profit organization also has a convenient online tool, allowing parents to chat with professionals any time of the day or night.
2. Scalding Water
A warm bath can help your child to wash away a day of play, but unfortunately, the same water heater that helps you to create a soothing environment can also create scalding water that can burn your little one.
Having readily available hot water is important for daily cleaning and showering, but there is such a thing as too hot, especially if you have kids. While the standard setting on most hot water heaters is 140 degrees Fahrenheit, child safety experts recommend lowering that setting to 125 to keep kids safe.
Professionals explain that by lowering the setting on your hot water heater, it gives your child more time to react to a higher temperature. For instance, a setting of 140 degrees can scald kids in as little as 2.5 seconds, while a setting of 125 degrees gives children about 30 seconds to react before permanent damage is done.
If you have kids, check your hot water heater and adjust the setting accordingly. Most hot water heaters have a manual dial that allows people to adjust their water temperature, so keeping your kids safe as easy as heading to your utility closet.
3. Trampoline Injuries
Although getting hurt on a trampoline might seem like a freak accident, ER doctors would argue otherwise. Thousands of kids are injured every year on trampolines, suffering injuries as mild as cuts and scrapes and severe as concussions and spinal cord injuries.
Unfortunately, the research has shown that safety additions like nets and mats are ineffective against injuries. If you have a trampoline in your yard, consider removing it altogether or implementing strict guidelines regarding trampoline use.
Never allow kids younger than 6 to play on trampolines, and only allow one jumper at a time. Always supervise your kids when they play on trampolines, and end playtime when things get out of control.
Whether you suspect that your little one has sustained a broken bone or you have questions about home safety, give us a call. Here at Pediatric Consultants, our team of dedicated pediatricians focuses on keeping your kids safe and healthy so they can live their best lives. To learn more or to schedule your next appointment, visit us online or stop by today.