Household Dangers Can Pose Threat to Babies
September is Baby Safety Month
Carol Ball, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
common cause of injury to infants and toddlers are accidental falls.
Injuries sustained from falls can range from bumps and bruises to
serious head injuries. According to the Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC), each year 3 million children are treated in hospital
emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. Eighty percent of those
fall-related injuries occur in the home, according to Safe Kids
Worldwide. From 1999-2001, Georgia alone reported 1,870 children
age 14 and under who were hospitalized because of a fall.
and toddlers in particular are more likely to suffer injury from
falls related to stairs, furniture and nursery products. For example,
in 2002 4,600 children ages 4 and under were rushed to the emergency
room to be treated for baby walker injuries, according to the CPSC.
At least 80 percent of those injuries occurred when the baby and
walker took a tumble down the stairs.
precautions can go a long way toward protecting babies from accidental
injury. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Safe Kids Georgia offers
the following advice to parents and caregivers to help prevent accidental
approved baby gates on doorways and stairways at the top and bottom.
Lightweight and affordable gates are available for purchase.
*Lock all windows and move cribs, chairs and other furniture away
*Lower the crib's mattress level when the child begins to stand
and climb. Keep all items, such as stuffed animals and toys, out
of the crib to prevent their use as a "ladder."
*Never leave a baby alone on a changing table, bed or other furniture.
Never change infants on furniture such as tables or couches because
they can roll off and sustain head and other injuries.
*Securely strap babies into high chairs, swings, strollers, shopping
carts etc. using a safety belt with a crotch strap.
*Baby walkers are discouraged. These toys are associated with more
injuries than any other baby-specific toy or piece of equipment.
Use an Activity Center instead to stimulate your child's and promote
*Install window guards to prevent toddlers from falls out of windows.
Never depend on screens to keep children from falling.
additional information about fall prevention, please call Children's
Healthcare of Atlanta at 404-250-kids or visit www.choa.org