National Childhood Injury Prevention Week happens in September. It’s a time when parents in North Carolina, South Carolina and across the U.S. help raise awareness about preventable accidents that result in injury and death to children each year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 9.2 million people from ages 0-19 are treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries, while another 12,000 die from “unintentional injuries” each year.
The leading causes of these “unintentional injuries” are pedestrian/traffic accidents, drowning, falls, and burns. For children under 1 year of age, suffocation was the leading cause of death, while drowning was the most likely cause for children 1 to 4 years of age. From 4 to 19, more children were killed as the result of being an occupant in a motor vehicle crash than any other cause of death.
These tragic and preventable accidents provide insight into how important awareness campaigns like National Childhood Injury Prevention Week really are. We need to recognize that accidents do happen, and we need to push for change across the board to reduce the number of serious accidents involving children.
Advice for Parents
Here are a few things that parents can talk to their children about to help them avoid serious and sometimes fatal accidents. A few of these tips include:
- Traffic Safety Awareness – Talk to your children about looking both ways before crossing the street, always using crosswalks, and not assuming that drivers will see you if you are in the street. Children often are unaware of the visibility and distraction problems many drivers have behind the wheel, and they do not always accurately judge speed and distance. These issues often lead to accidents that could have been prevented with a few extra safety precautions.
- Slipping, Falling, and Household Risks – While parents often go to great lengths to prevent children from accessing stairs or climbing on furniture, you should also talk to your children about safety in and around the home. Emphasize the importance of staying away from heights and not climbing on unsecured furniture, bookcases, cabinets, and other items around the home.
- Household Chemicals and Cleaning Products – Children often do not know the dangers that lie in common household or garage products. Make sure to warn your children of the dangers of cleaning products (like bleach) or chemicals found in the garage (gasoline, motor oil, antifreeze, etc.). Also, be sure to put locks on cabinets and keep household chemicals out of reach from small children.
By taking the proper safety precautions and educating your children of the dangers they may face in the driveway, on the sidewalk, or inside the home, you may be able to prevent serious injury or death.
In addition, National Childhood Injury Prevention Week may be a good time for parents to research product recalls and make sure the consumer products they purchase for their children are free from defects or hidden dangers. Through initiatives like this, parents can take a step back from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives to talk to their children about safety and research the products they use to ensure that they are protected from harm inside the home and outside the house.
Get Legal Help for Children’s Injuries Caused by the Negligence of Others
At Grimes Teich Anderson LLP, our injury attorneys have helped many victims, young and old, recover the full and fair compensation that they may deserve. If your child has been injured by a defective or dangerous product or in an accident that was someone else’s fault, please do not hesitate to contact our team today to schedule your free case evaluation. Our firm represents victims throughout the region, including in Asheville, Franklin, Waynesville, North Carolina and Greenville and Spartanburg, South Carolina.