Preventing Accidents Involving Children: Part 2 of 3

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The previous post discussed the top 5 leading causes of accidents in children.

Here are is the continuation of the top 15 leading causes of accidents in children.


Accidental ingestion of medication is one of the most common types of poisoning in children younger than five years of age. Poisoning involving common household products, such as nail polish, cleaners, and mouthwash, are also very common. These products contain strong compounds that can cause serious injuries and even kill a child.

Make sure to keep potential poisons in safe places and away from children’s reach. Avoid taking medications in front of children because they tend to imitate adults.

Burns and scalding injuries

Hot liquids and house fires are the leading causes of scalding injuries and burns in children, respectively. Many fire- and scalding-related injuries occur at home. Most deaths are caused by inhaling smoke or toxic gases.

Children are at increased risk for burns because of their relatively thin skin. They can burn in about a second with just a 60˚C-water temperature. Check the water temperature before bathing the baby; use a thermometer or your elbow to test water temperature. It should be lowered down to 49˚C. Make sure your home has a good fire safety plan. Invest on smoke detectors at each room and level of the house, and develop an escape plan. Never leave children alone around the fireplace, candles, and stoves.

Bike-related injuries

Around 30 percent of all cycling-related hospitalizations are due to traumatic brain injuries and the biggest cause of these injuries is biking without wearing helmets. Bike injuries account for 1,800 hospitalizations and 14 deaths in children every year. Children’s skull is not yet fully developed and can be easily shattered or dented with high velocity impact, such as in bike accidents.

Wearing a helmet while riding the bike can cut the risk of head injuries. Parents should not only teach children to wear helmet but also set an example. Make sure that the helmet is appropriate for the child and are worn properly. If you teach your child that wearing a helmet is an absolute requirement, you can have a peace of mind. Children below 10 years of age should not be allowed to use the road without supervision.

Dog bites

Dog bites are the most common types of animal bites in children. The dog can either be a family pet, someone else’s pet or just a stray dog. Animal bite injuries are more common in children between 5 to 9 years of age.

Children should be taught how to behave around animals. They should not be allowed to play with pets larger than them. Moreover, do not leave young children unattended with a dog since even a friendly dog can bite if it’s angry, threatened, or afraid.


Since 1989, 22 children under age of three have died due to strangulation on cords of curtains and blinds. Being trapped between the slats of crib and its broken parts has also caused strangulation in children. Clothing with drawstrings poses risks for children; drawstrings can become entangled in furniture, playground equipment, and fences, causing strangulation.

Do not place cribs and furniture near window. Tie or cut short cords of window curtains and blinds to prevent children from reaching them. Use mattress that is appropriate for the crib. Make sure to choose cribs that pass safety standards. The space between slats should not be more than two fingerbreadths to prevent the baby’s head from being strangled in it.

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