Accidents are the largest single cause of death in children past the age of one year. The major of these disastrous fatalities, as well as countless other crippling and disfiguring injuries occur in the home. It is the duty of every parent must be aware of these dire facts and to take every precaution to prevent the occurrence of a serious accident in their household and to their children. However, it must also be recognized that children learn and grow through encountering challenges and obstacles and mastering the skills that a vigorous interaction with the environment requires.

Over protected child is ultimately less competent and less confident than one who has had the opportunity to experience the bruises and bloody noses that every healthy childhood incurs. These two considerations must balance, but the avoidance of serious accidents is, of course, a parent's prime concern.

The major accidents in which children are involved includes falls, swallowing poisons (pills, medicines, cleansing agents, cosmetics, spray) and foreign bodies (bones, pins, coins, buttons), burns (scalds, sunburn, electricity), cuts and wounds, concussion, unconsciousness, choking, asphyxiation, strangulation, explosions (fireworks and firearms), electrocution, and drowning. The danger: death, crippling, disfigurement, permanent handicap, trauma, and pain.

The ways to prevent these accidents are as follows:

  • Poisonous substances (most household cleansers, kerosene, gasoline, pesticides, pills) must be hidden from the child.
  • Eliminate frayed wires in the home and cover all unused electric outlets.
  • Do not leave sharp objects (knives, scissors, tools, broken glass, etc) anywhere in the house or yard within reach of a child.
  • Keep on hand a first-aid kit, poison control kit, antidote, and emergency phone numbers for doctors, hospital and police in easily available locations.
  • Be aware of hot liquids, hide matches and lighters
  • Teach a child safety precautions and repeat them until they can do themselves.

It is impossible to observe a child every second of the day, but if he is taught how to avoid dangerous objects and situations from earliest possible opportunity his chances of avoiding serious accidents are tremendously improved.

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