S Is for Safety: Small Steps to Keep Kids Secure

By: Kevin Borrup, DrPH, JD, MPA

Children of all ages can stumble upon hidden hazards around the house – ingestion of household cleaning products, falls from windows and much more. So with children and teens spending far more time at home these days due to COVID-19 and social distancing, parents should be on the lookout for preventable injury.

Kevin Borrup, DrPH, JD, MPA, interim director of Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center, joins the blog with simple steps you can take to keep your child safe.

Home Hazards

  • Kitchen safety: Scald and burn injuries are common, so keep liquids such as hot coffee, tea and soup away from the table edge where curious toddlers can reach and spill. When older children and teens spend time in the kitchen helping with cooking and baking, be sure to supervise them. Keep in mind that microwaves can pose just as much of a risk as a stovetop or oven.
  • Window safety: Make sure to move any furniture away from windows so your child won’t be tempted to climb up and open windows. In addition, window stops and guards are a great option to limit the amount of space a window can be opened to prevent children from falling out.
  • Room safety: Make sure you look around the rooms that your child will spend most of their time in and remove any hazards, including plugging electrical outlets and removing any window cords that could pose a choking risk.
  • Internet safety: Is your child online? Here’s your step-by-step guide to social media safety.
  • Medications and household cleaning products: Look around your house for any medications or potential poisons, such as dish detergent packets, bleach, and other items, and place them out of the reach of children.
  • Toy safety: Check over toys for loose parts and to make sure battery doors are secure.

> Want help getting your family through COVID-19? Check out our School Closure Kit

Outdoor hazards

  • Bicycle safety: Make sure children and teens use helmets and other protective gear while riding their bicycles, and identify safe places for them to ride. Keep their skill level in mind: Our Emergency Department has seen an increase in significant injuries of inexperienced bike riders falling when going too fast down steep hills. Rail-trails are a good option, because they are relatively flat without motor vehicles.
  • Walking and running: To avoid injuries, make sure children and teens stretch and stay on pavement or well-groomed trails.

This is a unique time for all of us. As we find ways to keep our children engaged in fun activities around the home, let’s also make sure they stay safe and injury-free.

Find all of our coronavirus resources for parents >

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