Avoid the ER- Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know

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Every year, nearly 9 million children have a visit to the emergency room due to an injury. The experiences can have long-term impacts on kids, and many of these visits are preventable.

At AdventHealth, we care about the safety of your family. Here you'll find a list of tips to accident-proof your home and ways to help your kids stay safe around potentially dangerous areas like your backyard swimming pool.

Our goal is to make sure you don't end up in the ER in the first place. But remember, if you have an emergency, call 911 immediately and seek medical attention.

Here are ways to keep your kids safe and out of the hospital.

Swimming Pools

Swimming pools are lots of fun, but they can also be dangerous for children. Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related deaths of children in the US, but a few safety precautions can help to prevent a tragedy.

If you have a pool at your home, be sure to enroll your kids in swim lessons early so that they learn water safety and how to keep their head above water. Remember, even children to know how to swim are still at risk of drowning, so it's critical that they only swim with adult supervision.

As a parent, taking a class to learn CPR is important and could give you a life-saving skill if there's ever an emergency. It's also critical to place a gate or fence around the pool, so that little ones don't wander into the water when you don't expect it.

Always keep an eye on children any time they are in or near water. Drowning can happen in as little as an inch of water, so areas like bathtubs, buckets, or toilets can also be risky.

Trampolines

Kids love jumping on trampolines, but they are responsible for over 92,000 emergency room visits every year according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Although most gym classes and playgrounds no longer offer trampolines, your child might still have the chance to jump or bounce on one during playtime.

In emergency rooms, doctors most often see arms and leg fractures, as well as head and spinal injuries from trampolines. If too many children are jumping at the same time, they could crash into each other or land on top of one another and cause additional injuries.

Unfortunately, installing a net around the trampoline doesn't make it any safer, and might actually give you a false sense of security when your kids are playing.

It's better to just avoid trampolines all together than risk the injuries that could come from using them.

Car Seats

Car seats are an essential piece of safety equipment, and when used correctly, save countless lives. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to get them installed correctly, and some people don't use them at all.

Car crashes cause the most deaths among children in the US, and around half of those that happen annually are because the child was unrestrained.

If you're having trouble getting your car seat installed, you can visit your local fire station or police department and ask for assistance.

Medications

It's shocking how many children in the US end up in the ER every year because they are accidentally poisoned by ingesting medicines. Around 59,000 cases occur annually, and most of these instances are in kids ages three or younger.

It's not just your medicine that you should keep an eye out for. Around half the time children get into their grandparent's medications, and childproof caps don't always stop them.

Keep medications away from children by both placing them out of sight and out of reach to ensure they stay safe.

Button Batteries

Button batteries are becoming more common in household items, but they can be hazardous to young children.

Kids who are under three years old have a fascination with putting interesting looking objects in their mouths, and these small, shiny batteries fit the bill perfectly.

Unfortunately, they pose more than just a choking hazard. If swallowed, they can become stuck in the esophagus, and the battery acid will eventually start leaking into their system. This can cause serious, lifelong complications if it eats through the wall of the esophagus.

Keep these, and any batteries out of the reach of children and regularly check battery-powered items to make sure your family is safe.

Magnets

Like batteries, there are serious health implications if your child swallows a magnet. They can stick together and compress the bowel wall which could result in a loss of blood flow, or even obstructions and perforation.

If your child accidentally swallows a magnet, take them to the emergency room right away. They will need to be removed to minimize the potential consequences.

Hot Surfaces and Substances

The most common childhood accidents are burns and scalds from hot liquids. Although it might seem impossible to protect your little one from every hot substance, these are the most common culprits to avoid.

  • Steam, hot bath water, spilled coffee or hot tea, other cooking fluids
  • Flames or hot objects like the stove or fireplace
  • Chemical burns from substances like drain cleaner
  • Electrical burns from exposed outlets or chewing electrical cords
  • Severe sunburns

To help limit the risk of burns for your child, try to look at your home from their perspective.

Move any hot cooking liquids out or reach, and place outlet covers over interesting nooks and crannies. Place chemicals in locked cupboards or on high shelves where they can't get to them and set your hot water heater to 120 degrees to avoid water coming out of the tap that could lead to burns.

When they're playing outside, make sure to use sunscreen and reapply it often. Opt for shady activities and to limit sun exposure if your little one is susceptible to getting sunburned.

Bikes, Scooters, and Skateboards

You want your kids outside, and active rather than tethered to electronics, but with that activity comes some risk. If they're out riding a bike, scooter, or skateboard without a helmet and have a spill, the results can be tragic.

To limit the risk, make sure that your child always wears a helmet to protect their head and brain. Enforce that rule if you have to- there's no excuse to skip out and end up with a life-changing injury.

Cars

New drivers have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, and they are incredibly likely to have an accident. In fact, teens have an 89.2 percent chance of being in an accident during their first three years driving.

Help your teen to beat the odds by teaching them proper and safe driving techniques, and making sure they always wear a seat belt.

Finally, don't let them forget that they should never, ever text while driving.

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