Preventable injuries kill 6 children each day, report says
Every day, six children are killed from an injury in the home and 10,000 go to the emergency room for such injuries, most of which are preventable, according to a new report by Safe Kids Worldwide.
"Parents believe their homes are pretty safe and they worry about safety in other homes," said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. "And yet, there are a lot of kids in the emergency room every day and sadly, many kids are dying as a result of injuries that are mostly preventable."
Overall, 77 percent of parents believe their homes are safe, but 76 percent worry about their child's safety in other homes.
Based on a survey of 1,010 parents across the U.S., the report "Report to the Nation: Protecting Children in Your Home" explores what parents are concerned about in their home and what they aren't.
Some of the top concerns include:
- 16 percent of parents surveyed said they are most worried about fires;
- 14 percent didn't list any concerns;
- 12 percent said their top worry is falls and slipping;
- 7 percent are most concerned about burglars;
- 5 percent listed health/diseases as their top concern;
- 4 percent are worried most about poisoning;
- 3 percent indicated stairs and steps, chocking and burns as their top concerns.
Only one percent listed drowning as a concern. Yet, every week a child dies from drowning in the bathtub, in fact it is the leading cause of injury-related death in the home for children ages 1 to 4. Despite the risk, one in eight admitted that they left their young child alone in the bathtub for five minutes or longer to grab towels, check on other children or to cook.
"It only takes an inch of water for a child to drown," Carr said.
While most parents admit they are worried about fire safety and 96 percent have a smoke alarm, only 14 percent said they never check the smoke alarm battery.
Suffocation is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 1 and yet, 73 percent of parents said they place items in the crib with their baby. This included blankets, bumpers and stuffed animals. In 2013, more than 819 infants suffocated or strangulated in bed.
Another home-hazard are windows. According to the report, 3,300 children are injured from falling out of a window each year. Yet, 70 percent of parents said they have never used window guards or stops that prevent such falls.
"You can expect kids to do things like jump on beds and if that bed is close to a window, they can fall out. We also hear a lot about window falls during the spring time when we often leave our windows open," Carr said.
Cleaning products and medications can also pose a hazard to children. Fifty-nine percent of parents who store medications or cleaning products on a low cabinet or shelf said they are not locked. Parents of older children are especially not following recommendations on how to store medications and cleaning products. Only 20 percent of parents with children ages 10 or older are storing hazardous materials in locked cabinets or shelves, while 70 percent of parents with kids under the age of 2 are storing hazards in locked cabinets.
Safe Kids Worldwide offers the following tips to parents:
- Give young children your full and undivided attention when they are in the bathtub or around water;
- Check smoke alarm batteries every six months to make sure they are working;
- Keep cribs clear or objects, make sure babies sleep alone, on their backs and in a crib every time they sleep;
- Install window guards or window stops to keep children from falling out of windows;
- Keep all medicine up and away, even medicine you take every day.
"Parents often can't imagine it could happen tot hem, but it happens far too often. Sadly, 2,200 kids die from an injury in the home every year. The good news is, we know how to prevent these injuries and parents can take steps to protect their kids," Carr said.
Progress has been made though. There has been a 60 percent decrease in the death rate from unintentional injuries of children 19 and under from 1987 to 2013.
For more tips, MakeSafeHappen.com.