This November is Child Safety and Protection Month October 22, 2020
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accidental and preventable injuries are the leading cause of death in children 19-years-old and younger. Each year, more than 9 million parents and caregivers rush their children to emergency departments across the country for injuries caused by car accidents, falls, poisoning, drowning, burns, and more – and over 12,000 kids and teens die as a result.
Every November, the U.S. observes Child Safety and Protection Month to raise awareness about the hazards that kids face daily. Fortunately, there are steps we can all take to improve child safety both inside and outside of the home.
The Top Deadly Dangers that Kids Face
Motor vehicle-related accidents are the leading cause of injury deaths in children 0 to 19-years-old. The highest fatality rate is amongst vehicle occupants, though pedestrians and bicyclists account for a large number of deadly injuries as well. Car, cycling, and pedestrian-related accidents are not the only dangers that kids and teens face, though: different age groups are vulnerable to different hazards.
Kids under the age of 1 are particularly susceptible to fatal suffocation injuries, whereas drowning and accidental poisoning are both leading causes of fatal injuries for children between the ages of 1 and 4. Car accidents are the leading cause of injury death for kids and teens between 5 and 19-years-old. Other risk factors also influence injury death rates, such as gender. For example, males in every age group are nearly two-times as likely to be injured or killed in an unintentional or preventable accident than females.
While nonfatal accidents in kids and teens show some similar trends to fatal ones, there are also a few key differences. One similarity is that males are more likely to sustain nonfatal injuries than females. One of the key differences, however, is the cause behind the injuries. In children under 15-years-old, falls are one of the leading causes of nonfatal injuries. Here are some of the other common culprits for injuries in children and teens:
- For kids between 0 and 9-years-old, there are two leading causes of nonfatal injuries: being struck by or against an object and insect bites and/or stings
- The top two causes of injury in kids between 10 and 14 are being struck by or against an object and physical overexertion
- Teens between 15 and 19-years-old are most likely to sustain injuries related to being struck by or against an object, a motor vehicle accident, or a fall
Kids and teens may be notoriously accident prone, but there are still steps that we can all take this Child Safety and Protection Month (and every other month!) to reduce the many dangers associated with known risk factors. Here are just a few examples of effective ways to help keep kids and teens safe and accident-free:
- Store over-the-counter medications, prescriptions, vitamins, and minerals out of children’s reach. Unintentional poisonings can also happen when children ingest garden chemicals, cleaning supplies, and even toxic art supplies, so be sure to put these items away after every use
- Ensure a safe sleeping environment for babies and infants. All a baby’s crib needs is a fitted sheet and a firm mattress. Pillows, blankets, and toys create major suffocation dangers
- Keep cribs and other furniture away from windows and blinds. Strings and cords create choking and strangulation hazards, which is why child safety experts recommend going completely cordless in the home
- Make sure that car seats are installed correctly and that to use the right one based on your child’s age, height, and weight. Children who are old enough to sit in the back seat should always wear a seatbelt
- Teach children or teens who are bicycling, skateboarding, roller skating, etc., the importance of wearing a helmet to reduce head injuries
- Supervise children around all bodies of water. If possible, have a CPR-certified adult present
- If your teen is learning how to drive or is recently licensed, be sure to have a talk about safe driving behaviors. Discuss how dangerous it is to drive while distracted, sleepy, or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
If your child sustained injuries in a preventable accident and you have questions about filing a legal claim, someone at our firm can help. To learn more, contact a representative online now.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Representing Injured Victims Since 1947
With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.