At Children’s Wellness Center, we only perform basic assessments and are unable to tend to fractures or open lacerations. Those with severe injuries will be referred to a specialist.
In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that one child dies every hour as a result of an injury. The CDC also reported that every four seconds, a child is treated for an injury in the emergency room. Childhood injuries are largely preventable, yet – another CDC statistic – over 9,000 children died as a result of their injuries in the United States in 2009.
The most common causes of childhood injury include car accidents, fire, poisoning, falling, suffocation, and drowning. With greater vigilance, a large percentage of these injuries can be prevented altogether. Here are some of the things you can do to keep your child safe and injury-free:
- Ensure that seatbelts are buckled and car seats are properly installed and functioning.
- Require your child to wear safety gear and helmets when riding a bicycle or other recreational vehicle (scooter, roller blades or skates, skateboards, etc.)
- Never leave your child unattended, even for “just a minute.”
- Keep ALL medications, cleaning supplies, alcohol, and any other hazardous products locked away and completely out of your child’s reach.
- Train children to sleep alone to avoid the risk of smothering and suffocation.
- Pay careful attention to your own surroundings when in places frequented by children. Check under and around your car before getting in; small children are often too short to be seen in a rearview mirror.
- Ascertain that your home’s smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors are present and functional.
- Check water temperature before allowing your child to enter the bath or swimming pool.
- Eliminate hanging and choking hazards, such as curtain cords, from your child’s environment. Never allow children to play “choking games” or simulate suffocation.
Not all childhood injuries are serious enough to warrant medical attention. Use common sense; when in doubt, call your child’s doctor. For some injuries, such as head trauma, burns, and broken bones, a hospital visit may be advisable. Even if your child seems all right after sustaining an injury – for example, falling from the porch – she could have internal injuries. Monitor your child carefully following any injury and call 911 immediately if you believe your child’s health or life is in danger.