As a concerned parent, you worry about your child’s safety pretty much all the time. However, it is important to know that there are certain things that you should be more worried about than others.
When is your child at the highest risk of danger in Florida? Every year over 9 million children are treated for injuries in U.S. hospitals. In this post, we’ll tell you the most common childhood accidents, give you tips on accident prevention, and let you know what to do if your child is injured due to someone else’s negligence.
Florida has beautiful waterways, easy access to beaches, and an abundance of swimming pools. Not surprisingly, all this water means that children have elevated risks of drowning here. In fact, for kids between the ages of one and four, drowning is the top cause of death. That’s why it’s so important to be vigilant when your child is near water.
A small child can drown in only an inch of water. You must keep a constant eye on small children when they are close to a water source. Ensure that pool covers are locked when not in use, and that gates and doors to a pool cannot be opened by a small child.
It’s also smart to sign your child up for swimming instructions as soon as possible, make sure he or she wears a life vest when out on the water with you, and to teach them good water safety habits at a young age.
Children are natural explorers. Most kids enjoy climbing trees and playground equipment, riding bikes, and navigating the outdoors. All of these behaviors pose falling risks. Falls are the number one reason for injuries to children under 15 years old.
How can you encourage your child’s exploration skills while also promoting safety? Secure furniture to the walls and keep windows and doors locked. Keep your floors free from clutter to prevent tripping. Take your child to play at a newer playground with a soft surface that will cushion falls. When your child rides a bike, always make him or her wear a bike helmet.
These simple precautions will minimize fall dangers for your child.
Young children are especially prone to choking hazards because they tend to put everything in their mouths. You must be vigilant with babies and toddlers, keeping small items out of reach and paying close attention to what they put in their mouths.
During mealtimes, cut all food into small pieces before giving it to your child. Avoid giving your child hard foods such as nuts and raw carrots until they have developed a sufficient number of molars to properly chew.
Children under the age of one year are at a high risk for suffocation. Many suffocation cases are due to improper sleeping placement. The risk of suffocation rises when a baby co-sleeps with an adult, so make sure to place your baby in a crib or bassinet. Place your baby on his or her back in the crib, and make sure that no other objects, toys, or blankets are in the crib with the baby.
Also remember to keep plastic bags out of baby’s reach. They may love hearing the crinkly sound, but a plastic bag poses a serious suffocation risk.
Children are known to get into Mom and Dad’s stuff without permission. When they get into the family medicine cabinet, they can end up accidently poisoning themselves. Always monitor your medicine cabinet, no matter the age of your children. Keep prescription drugs locked up for maximum security.
Another poisoning source is household cleaning chemicals. Make sure these chemicals are labeled as poisonous and teach your child to avoid those products. Also keep the chemicals in an out-of-reach shelf or cabinet so your child can’t have access to them.
Children who love to play sports will likely experience a sport injury sooner or later. Sports injuries can be relatively minor, like sprains and bruises, but they can also be incredibly serious, as in the case of broken bones and concussions.
Keep your child well-hydrated during sports events and encourage him or her to take frequent breaks. It’s important to take your child to the emergency room if any injury occurs so that treatment can prevent further issues.
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.
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