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November 2023 is National Child Safety Month

Each November, we focus on strategies to keep our children safe during National Child Safety Month. This is an important issue, because there are many dangers - both obvious and not so obvious - that our children face every day.

According to the Children's Bureau,

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Child Injury Report are a sobering reminder of the importance of this issue. It found that an estimated 9.2 million children annually had an initial emergency department visit for an unintentional injury. Furthermore, on average, 12,175 children 0 to 19 years of age die each year in the United States from an unintentional and often preventable injury.

As parents, we are responsible for ensuring our children's safety, and this starts at home. Even before we bring our babies home from the hospital, we make sure to set up a nursery that is child safe, and baby proof our homes with baby gates, and outlet covers.

My youngest is my wild child, and I think sometimes I tell her to "be careful" about 20 times an hour. Not only is creating a safe environment important, so is proper supervision around the house and outside, and knowledge of emergency first aid for common injuries. Having the pediatrician's phone number on speed dial doesn't hurt either.

According to A New Leaf, here are some tips for creating a safe, kid friendly, environment at home:

  • Keep walkways and areas near stairs clear of clutter to help prevent falls. Give your children a designated place to put their toys, then work to make sure they follow through.

  • Keep all cleaners, medications and other potentially harmful substances up high and out of reach of children. If you do keep products on lower shelves or areas, use a child-proof lock for the cabinet.

  • When cooking, use the back burners of the stove and turn handles toward the back of stove, so children aren’t able to reach or knock the pots over.

  • Test the fire alarms in your home regularly and have a plan in place with your children in case there is a sudden fire in the home.

  • For younger children, keep small items out of reach to avoid suffocation or choking. For infants, put them to sleep on their backs without blankets, pillows or toys in the crib.

We can all do our part to keep our kids safe at home by creating a safe environment for them. As your kids get older, you can teach them about safety tips as well, such as, making sure to always cross the street at a cross walk, and look closely for cars before crossing the street.

The older our children get, and the more time they spend out in the world, the more we have to rely on them to internalize the safety training we give them at a young age. Teaching kids about safety is something that is constantly evolving as they grow. Eventually, they learn how to cook and how to drive, and we have to teach them additional safety rules.

By making teaching safety a part of your daily routine from a young age, kids can internalize proper safety protocols for different situations as they get older and are out of our sight more often. The more we make sure to teach our kids about staying safe, the more we can trust them when they get out in the world.

Read more safety tips for younger kids:


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