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Top 5 Injury Risks for Children and How to Prevent them

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With children spending two to six hours a day in kindergartens, the main concern for parents is of course if they have chosen the safest environment possible for their kids.

In 1960, child experts stated that, ‘’it is now generally recognized that accidents constitute a major problem in public health’’. This marked the beginning of the rising awareness for child safety. This view has been confirmed by the World Health Organization’s regional office for Europe who cited injury had become the leading cause of death in developed, high-income countries. In developing countries the acknowledgement of child injury as a major problem is more recent. However reducing child injuries is possible: Experience and research have shown that most child injuries are avoidable in all countries.

Today we are witnessing an increase in the number of regulations ensuring the well-being of children at kindergartens and schools in many countries that seek to reduce the often dramatic impact of child injury including fatality and enormous financial cost. This uptick of course makes kindergartens and schools safer than ever before but it also raises a lot of concerns for the child-care professionals that have to ensure compliance with the children’s need for fun and adventure.

Nowadays, there are companies that try to make creating a safer world for our children as easy and worry-free as possible: Here are the top 5 risks for child safety and how to avoid them.

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Drowning

Drowning is one of the leading causes of fatality among children under the age of five. Toddlers are facing the highest risk as they have already gained more mobility than babies but are still in development. An average of two children drown each day in the United States – research from Virginia showed, over the last decade 34% of drownings occurred in home pools and 29% in bathtubs. Even if children are already able to swim, they are often not strong or aware enough to steer away from dangers in the water.

  • Never let your child out of sight in the bathtub and around swimming pools
  • Teach your children how to swim or stay afloat
  • Use floating devices like water wings or life jackets
  • Teach children not to run around swimming pool
  • Teach children to swim safely in the designated areas
  • Learn first aid and rescue procedures

Burning

Children are especially at risk of getting burns since their skin is more sensitive and they do not yet have a clear idea of what is dangerous for them, therefore, they need extra protection.

  • Always apply sun screen with a high protection factor, preferably at least 20 minutes before getting outside, reapply every hour
  • Protect electrical outlets and plugs against children’s fingers
  • Keep matches, lighters, chemicals, flammable liquids and candles out of kids reach
  • Install smoke detectors

Poisoning

Over 2 million poisoning incidents were reported to poison control centers in the USA in 2014. Young children have a tendency to put everything in their mouth which is part of their natural development. In Victoria, Texas at least eight children a day receive medical attention after swallowing poison – the most common causes are medicines and household products.

  • Keep all medicines and household products out of reach of the child immediately after purchase and use
  • Keeps medicines and household products in their original containers and do not transfer them in other containers such as unmarked plastic bottles
  • Teach your kids to be aware of the dangers of medicine and households product and not to put these items into their mouths
  • Take special care while administering medicine to your child, establish a ‘’checking system’’
  • Always check products labels properly, be prepared to give specifics to poison control

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Falling

Falls are the most common cause of injuries for all ages reported in hospitals. When a child starts to learn how to walk they naturally increase the risk of falling dramatically. Usually, this results in nothing more serious than a bruise or scratch, however, a hard fall can lead to fractures, cuts, or head injuries.

Falling accounts for 4.2% of child injury deaths over the world. One of the top risks is falling through an open window: In France, more than 250 children suffer this fate each year, leading to fatal injuries in 10% and permanent disabilities in 40% of the case. The same is true for the United State where 300 children younger than the age of five are injured annually due to falls from windows, a risk that is even grater during spring and summer time.

  • Teach your child to not run on slippery floors (lead by example)
  • Use anti-slip stickers to prevent falls and to teach children how to walk in a safe way, e.g. along the banisters
  • Do not use baby walkers since they give the toddler unexpected mobility
  • Changing tables should have barriers that are high enough (at least 10 cm/4 in) to prevent babies from falling
  • Use full-body safety harness in strollers
  • Remove tripping hazards and clear the floor to decrease chances of children bumping on obstacles
  • Secure sharps edges on tables and furniture with corner protectors
  • Do not keep any furniture or tall objects under the window that could enable the child to climb to the window and never let a child out of your sight. When it is possible open upper end of window instead of not the bottom

Arte Viva Corner Guard range to prevent children from hurting themselves bumping into edges:

Made from safe, bite resistant, soft plastic to shield off corners

Prevent children from falling through windows:

Window Alert
A window restrictor that prevents children from opening the window

Other safety products:

Safe Coat Hook
Prevents children from head injuries if they bump on the hook, it is colorful with a playful design and children can customize it

Child Safe Mirrors
Empowers kids to discover themselves, their faces, and expressions in a safe way. You can use the Static Smiley to customize the mirror.

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Finger entrapment

About 30,000 people each year rush to the emergency room in the US due to fingers being pinched in between the door and the door frame, with children being the more at risk. In the age group of the under four year olds, 3 out of 4 amputations resulted from fingers that were trapped in a door. Door finger guards have been made mandatory in a lot of countries including France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, and Spain where they have proven their efficiency to prevent avoidable fingers injuries.

  • Teach children to not keep fingers on the door frame
  • Make sure to close the doors to prevent it from slamming shut unexpectedly
  • Install door finger protection

Arte Viva offers different door finger guards solutions for door:

Finger Alert 110°
Transparent door finger guard that comes in different lengths, sold as a set of two pieces and can be installed very easily in 5 minutes thanks to the adhesive profiles.

Finger Alert 170-180° Professional
For doors with a larger opening (up to 180 degrees), comes in anthracite, brown and white and in different lengths. The set comes in 4 different parts and is still super easy to install within 5 minutes with adhesive. You can also use screw for a better installation.

Finger Alert Extreme
For extreme wide openings and special doors

Our latest solution: Finger Alert Door Slam Stopper
Prevents the door from slamming by blocking it. The metal door stopper is installed on the top part of the door frame absorbing the heaviest blows. If the door is closed properly, the anti-slam will not block the door and it will close normally

 

References

  • Preventing Injuries in Child Care (October 02, 2015). Available at: http://articles.extension.org/pages/25767/preventing-injuries-in-child-care(Accessed: May 3, 2018).
  • Janet Abboud Dal Santo, DrPH Robert M. Goodman, PhD Deborah Glik, ScD Kirby Jackson, BA (1 June 2004) Childhood Unintentional Injuries: Factors Predicting Injury Risk Among Preschoolers, Available at: https://academic.oup.com/jpepsy/article/29/4/273/883153(Accessed: May 3, 2018).
  • Preventing Falls (17 June 2016)  Available at: https://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Preventing_Falls/(Accessed: May 3, 2018).
  • Peden M, Oyegbite K, Ozanne-Smith J, et al., editors. (2018) Preventing Falls, Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310643/(Accessed: May 3, 2018 ).
  • 30,000 Finger Amputations Yearly: The Most Common Finger-Loss Accidents and How to Avoid Them (2008). Available at: http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/05/03/22/30000-finger-amputations-yearly-the-most-common-finger-loss-accidents-and-how-to-avoid-them.htm(Accessed: May 3, 2018).
  • Berger LR, Mohan D, editors. Injury control : a global view.Delhi: Oxford University Press. (1996)
  • McFarland RA. Epidemiologic principles applicable to the study and prevention of child accidents.American Journal of Public Health. (1955)
  • Poison Statistics National Data 2016 (2016). Available at:https://www.poison.org/poison-statistics-national?kbid=62750&tag=safewicom-20 (Accessed: May 3, 2018).
  • S. Department of Health & Human Services (2018). Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/(Accessed: May 3, 2018 ).