According to Safe Kids Worldwide, preventable injury is the number one cause of death of children in the United States. Every year 8,000 families lose a child because of preventable injury, and nearly 9 million children are treated for injuries in emergency departments every year.
When it comes to accidents, we know some are inevitable such as a slip or a fall, as its part of growing up. However, it’s important that we safe guard our families, providing the safest environment possible. “The safety needs of babies and children change as they get older and more mobile,” said Angela Strickland, RN, MSN, Women and Pediatrics’ Educator & Perinatal Bereavement Coordinator at St. Anthony Hospital. “It is important to anticipate those changes before they occur,” she added. Babies learning how to crawl and walk are two examples of anticipated changes. “Prior to a baby starting to crawl around the home, it is important to cover electrical outlets, move breakables and other small items, move cords out of reach and ensure there are no small items the baby could place in their mouth,” suggested Strickland. Parents should also be prepared for climbing phases. “It’s important to safe guard large pieces of furniture or items that they may grab or climb on that aren’t stable.”
From plants and pets to house hold chemicals and more, there are many items in homes that can be considered hazardous and dangerous. Baby gates, cabinet locks, and just keeping some items out of reach can make the environment safer, but the importance of safety extends further than just your home. “It’s extremely important that parents read the manual that comes with their baby’s car seat, as well as the car manual, to ensure they are installing and using the car safety seat correctly,” advised Strickland.
Safe Kids Worldwide reports that road injuries are the leading cause of unintentional deaths to children in the United States. Just by correctly using child safety seats, the risk of death can be reduced by as much as 71 percent. “The Oklahoma State Department of Health has a program that can assist parents in the correct use of their car seat, as well as assist them installing the seat,” said Strickland.
Other important baby safety tips include proper toy safety. “Children who begin riding bikes and other outdoor toys should use proper safety equipment including helmets and pads,” reminded Strickland. Parents should also be aware of safety when participating in outdoor activities. “A child should NEVER be left unattended around water such as pools, hot tubs, fish ponds, lakes or other bodies of water,” she warned.
September is recognized as baby safety month, but as we’ve seen, it requires our full attention year round. For more information on injury prevention for babies visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health at, the American Academy of Pediatrics at, or Safe Kids Worldwide at