By Samuetta Hill Drew
As stated in last week’s article, September is National Baby Safety Month. A concentration on baby safety is critical for their growth and development. It is the responsibility of adults to provide the basic essentials to support this growth and development which are food, shelter and safety. Because a few months during the early stages of human growth and development defines our ability to perform different bodily and mental functions, the articles were divided into two segments. Last week’s segment was on infant safety. This final segment will focus on safety for toddlers who have a totally different skill set.
As toddlers, their motor skills are quickly developing. They do a great deal of crawling, reaching, climbing, pulling and walking. Therefore, all furniture has the potential of being pulled over. Even if a piece of furniture looks low and stable, a child climbing and/or pulling out drawers can cause it to tip over. Annual averages of 38,000 toddlers are treated for falling furniture and televisions putting them at risk for serious injuries. It is recommended that all furniture be secured with at least two child safety straps into the stud(s).
For many parents, limiting television time and monitoring shows watched is their safety concern for their children, but there is another safety risk with regards to television. This safety risk is tip overs. TV tip overs have injured more than 17,000 children annually. This equates to approximately 47 children daily. Make sure your television is properly anchored with products specifically designed for television anchoring.
If your home has upstairs overlooks, railings or second story playrooms open to below, make sure there are not large toys, furniture or chairs near the railings/half walls that could be climbed by a toddler or child. Gates should be placed at both the top and bottom of stairs. The top one should be hardware mounted, not a pressure gate. Wrap up the pull cord of blinds and window coverings using cord cleats or cord wraps.
With a little knowledge and education, childhood injuries are predictable, but most importantly preventable by just Keeping an Eye on Safety.