Learn more about how to prevent child injuries in and around the house.
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Child Injury Prevention Perhaps the most important aspect of all the pediatrics and certainly young children are no exception. Although the toddlers are probably at most risk, is injury prevention. Most people think of medicine as all related to disease. Disease by far just makes a small part of the morbidity and mortality of our children. Injuries are by far the worst. What I'm going to ask you to do is refer to the chart. We’re going to put on the screen and I just want to run by a little age-related injuries and that part of any visit to your doctor should be a discussion of injury prevention, suggestions that can be done to make your child’s life safer and this also is part of a physical evaluation. Injury prevention we think of falls into groups, aspiration, suffocation or drowning, falls, poisoning, burns, motor vehicles and then bodily damage. It also is related to age. If you take the child from birth to four months, they’re nowhere near as much a worry for aspiration. They really can’t get into as many things. They’re really are just bowl fed. As the child begins to get older and is able to become more mobile, can roll over, can sit, can grasp objects, can manipulate objects, there now becomes a bigger problem. Suffocation is a problem at all ages and we urged and the doctors should remind parents to please keep all plastic bags, toys out of an infant’s reach especially plastic garment bags. Don’t cover mattresses with plastic. Use firm mattresses and not loose blankets or pillows in those four months. And make sure the crib design follows Federal regulations. Another thing are falls, obviously crib rails are up. You can’t leave infants unattended in unguided surface areas. Poisoning is not a great concern early on. Again, it becomes like aspiration. Our concern as we get older. Burns, always a problem, the big thing that’s interesting to young kids is use cool air vaporizers. Don’t use warm air vaporizers. That can be burns from the hot air, from the warm air vaporizers. The other thing of course is always to flash retardant clothes which are by law. Cigarettes are always a hazard for so many reasons and people think certainly second hand smoke but they forget that they also cause burns and fires and lead to a lot of problems related to that. The other thing is also hot liquids. When the infant is sitting on your lap, it’s a big problem with these little tiny children and have to be watched. As we move on to the fourth to seventh month category really what you're talking about here again, poisoning is more of a problem. Bodily damage is more of a problem. Suffocation can comes in things like latex balloons which you must keep out of reach, then poisoning because they reach and get cleaning fluids, paints, pesticides and all these things. And finally from eight to 12 months everything just intensifies as the child now becomes more upright. First, crawling and then standing and then moving around. Believe me, safety saves lives, maybe more important than all the medical treatments that are offered for children.