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How to Avoid Common Injuries

Your child needs to be active at home and outdoors with you. Bumps and bruises are a part of any active child’s life! Serious injuries can be prevented.

Preventing burns:

  1. Be aware that children’s skin burns more easily than adults’ skin.
  2. Test bath water with your wrist or elbow before placing your child in the bath.
  3. If possible, set the water heater temperature to under 120 degrees F.
  4. Cook with the back burner of the stove and keep pot handles out of reach.

Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning:

  1. Understand carbon monoxide.
  • Colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is toxic to humans and animals.
  • Released by furnaces, heaters, clothes dryers, or even cars left running in garages.
  • Poisoning can cause headache, nausea, and drowsiness, which show up sooner in children due to their smaller size.
  • Exposure can cause death.
  1. Put a working carbon monoxide detector on every level of your house, closest to sleeping areas.

Preventing choking:

  1. Children learn through touch, taste, and smell, so many different items are likely to end up in your child’s mouth each day!
  2. Be aware of your child’s surroundings and keep small objects (such as jewelry, marbles, coins, batteries, and beads) out of reach.
  3. Cut foods, such as grapes, cheese sticks, or hot dogs into small, bite-size pieces.
  4. Keep any medications locked and out of reach of children.
  5. See the toy safety section of this website.

Preventing falls:

  1. Children learn through interacting with their surroundings, which can make it challenging to protect them from falling.
  2. Move chairs and other furniture away from windows.
  3. Secure TVs and furniture using wall mounts or brackets.
  4. Use safety gates at the tops and bottoms of stairs.

Water safety:

  1. Never leave children unattended around water.
  2. Supervise your children in the bath tub.
  3. Keep toilet lids closed and possibly locked.
  4. Use a life jacket or floatation device for any swimming or boating activities. Use the right size for your child, and use it according to the instructions.
  5. Until your child is large enough to wear a life jacket that fits properly, you may want to avoid riding in a boat.

Sun safety:

  1. Make sure your children drink lots of water and wear clothing that is light-colored and loose.
  2. Avoid doing a lot of activity outside when during the hottest part of the day.
  3. Watch for signs that your child is getting sick. If you see signs, seek medical care immediately:
  • Heat exhaustion can include weakness, irritability, and clammy skin.
  • Heatstroke can include a severe headache, rapid breathing, and skin that is hot and flushed.
  1. Keep infants under 6 months old out of direct sun. Cover their skin with light clothing and a hat. If you can’t avoid direct sunlight, use a small amount of sunscreen on infants under 6 months old.
  2. Use sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher. Anytime your children will be in the sun, apply sunscreen about 15-30 minutes ahead of time. Apply a generous amount.
  3. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. Water-resistant sunscreens can last longer if your children are swimming, but reapply after they get out of the water again.
  4. Use caution when using spray sunscreen. Children can easily breathe the spray in, which is not good for their lungs. It can be harder to see if they have enough sunscreen on. Also, the spray can be flammable.

Bug safety:

  1. To avoid attracting insects, don’t use scented soaps or bright colored or flowery clothing.
  2. Protect your child without insect repellant by using clothing (lightweight long pants and long-sleeved shirts and closed shoes). Children younger than 2 months should not use insect repellants at all.
  3. Don’t apply repellant directly to your children’s faces. Put it on your hands and rub it on their faces, avoiding their eyes and mouth.
  4. Don’t use a sunscreen that includes DEET, a common ingredient in insect repellants. DEET can make the sunscreen less effective.
  5. If you use a repellant with DEET, make sure it has no more than 30% DEET. More than 30% isn’t any more effective.
  6. Use mosquito netting if possible on a stroller.
  7. If your child plays in an area where ticks live, check his skin for ticks after he plays outside. Make this activity part of summertime, cuddling rituals.

Fire safety:

  1. Have a family fire plan and practice how your family would get out of the home.
  2. Have smoke alarms that work. Get in the habit of changing batteries every 6 months. You can make this a ritual for the first day of spring and fall.
  3. Teach your children never to play with fire, including matches or lighters.
  4. Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.

Bicycle safety:

  1. Make sure children use a helmet when they are passengers and when they start to ride by themselves. A child’s skull is very vulnerable compared to an adult skull, and a helmet can prevent serious head injury in case of a fall.
  2. Make sure your child’s helmet fits properly. For information on how to properly fit your child’s helmet see the Helmet Fit Test from Safe Kids.
  3. Be a good role model and wear a helmet, too.

Sleep safety:

Toy safety:

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