As an ER doctor, I’m often scared (and surprised!) by how many well-meaning parents overlook blatant safety risks in their home–often when they thought they were taking extra precautions. Parenting is tough, especially when items ostensibly marketed as “safety” ends up being…well…not. The latest example is IKEA’s recall of baby gates and gate extensions, which comes shortly after two separate recalls for falling dressers from IKEA and Bernhardt.
You’re probably starting to question the safety of your home for your children – and you’re not being paranoid by doing so. In the U.S., six children die from an injury at home, and an additional 10,000 enter the ER every day. The risk is especially high for toddlers and young children.
As an ER doctor, I’ve taken care of many children, but as a mom, that statistic gives me a giant knot in my stomach.
When it comes to kids 12 and under, the most common causes of non-fatal injuries are falls, being struck by or against an object, cuts, burns, and poisoning. Of those, the most deadly include suffocation, drowning, and being struck by or against an object (like a bookshelf).
Of course, you can baby-wear your little cupcake until he’s 12–that would keep him safe. Or, you can save your shoulders (and side-glances from strangers), and take these steps to protect your little ones at home. Sure, children always invent new ways to injure themselves, but if you take the right measures, you can reduce the risk of many injuries.
This blog will be the first in a series that’ll walk through your house, room-by-room, and help eliminate its biggest hazards. So, you’ll be able to sleep better at night–you know, the deep, pleasant sleep any parent of toddlers can enjoy…. oh wait…nevermind. Well, at least home hazards won’t be keeping you up. In the first installment, we’re taking a look at the bedroom: Read more »