As we all know, accidents can happen at anytime.
They can be minor, serious, or even deadly. As parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors and friends of children and teenagers — it is up to us to do everything we can to protect them from injury and harm. This means both inside and outside of the home. Here we share some important things to always consider when children are involved.
Chemicals are all over your house — on cabinets, cupboards, closets and drawers. Some of them if ingested or inhaled would do nothing more than cause some slight discomfort. But others can seriously harm a child or even cause death. Over 2 million children under age 15 experience accidents around their home each year — accidents that bring them to hospitals, emergency rooms and clinics for treatment. Forty percent of these children are under age 5.
These accidents involve not only ingestion of chemicals and poisons but also falls and burns. Smaller children tend to fall a lot and they are also more likely to get burned.
To avoid these common household injuries, adults must be cautious by keeping chemicals and cleaning products under lock and key or in a place that is completely inaccessible to young children.
The same care must be practiced whenever adults are cooking or baking. In just a second a child can open an oven door, touch a hot burner, or reach for the handle of a boiling pan; dumping the liquid onto him or herself.
Keeping the floors clear of tripping hazards and not allowing children to play on stairs helps to avoid falls. Accidents are preventable if we pay close attention to kids and keep them away from potentially dangerous situations.
It is recorded that most of these accidents happen whenever people are in a hurry, distracted, or they are not on their normal routine. Be especially careful if you are visiting someone, are in a new home or environment.
Now let’s talk about another favorite childhood pastime — bicycling.
Between 60% and 70% of all bicycle injuries and deaths happen to cyclists who are under 25 years old and sadly, between 500 to 1000 bicyclists are killed in the US each year by being hit by a motor vehicle. Typically, the driver just does not see the cyclist.
Children are less likely to be highly aware of their surroundings when they are riding bikes. This is why they should be supervised when doing so. From the very beginning, children should be taught to always look and listen for approaching cars or other moving vehicles. They should always ride in highly visible areas and be warned about corners or coming out of driveways. Educating children and teens about riding bikes goes a long way in preventing accidents and keeping them safe.
Overall, it’s important to remember that children do not have the same ability to assess the situation or the awareness of dangers, as an adult. Children need adequate supervision along with continuous education about the risk of accidents. Attention to detail in your home — the arrangement of your furniture, picking things up off the floor — all of these things play a role in child safety. Heavy items should never be placed on top of a chest of drawers or table that a child could potentially pull over onto themselves by climbing onto it.
As injury attorneys serving McAllen, Texas and surrounding areas, we seek to educate the community about safety issues. As a community, we must do everything we can to prevent injuries to children.