I heard a grandmother telling a story the other day about her granddaughter. She had been in another room, and when she came in the room where adults were,she had a red mark on her nose. When she was asked what happened to her nose, she said something to the effect of “I was checking the fireplace.” In other words, she had put her nose against a hot fireplace. Fortunately, she only received a minor, first-degree burn. This story prompts me to ask the question, how do we keep our little ones safe? This article will only skim the surface of what could happen, but hopefully it will get you thinking about ways to keep your children safe.
One of the issues that contributes to children getting injured is a lack of parental or guardian supervision. I know that this has raised the hair on the back of some of your necks, but there must be eyes on your young children as often as possible. I am granddaddy to two toddlers, one 2 and one 4. These two are on the go when they are awake, and there is very little fear. Children are curious and looking for an adventure, whether they are climbing a mountain or playing in their home. It is our responsibility to keep them safe along the way.
Burns are one injury that could occur from many sources. A fireplace or space heater could cause a serious burn injury to anyone who touches either of these items. You teach your child that they need to stay away from hot things. It is important to teach it consistently, even if the fireplace is not being used. Children must know to stay away from hot things, even when that hot thing might be cold. It may require progressive discipline to prevent your child from being hurt. Another source of burn injury is a hot liquid. We all know that pot or pan handles should be turned in so that little ones cannot pull them down onto themselves. Overturned coffee and hot chocolate cups can cause burn injuries as well.
Industry standards – as well as outlet covers – have made electrical outlets much safer, but we cannot let our guard down. We must put the safety features in place if young children live or will be in our homes. We call it child proofing our home. You must think about what might hurt a child and then do what is necessary to make that thing safe. Again, parental or guardian supervision is a key part of this. Let me define guardian as any person of whatever age who is tasked with watching younger children, including babysitters.
Another source of injury that we hear about more and more is the furniture or item that gets pulled over or falls over on a child. Whether it be a drawer, a flat-screen television, or a bookcase, anything that is not secured to a wall has the possibility of being pulled over on a young child. Again, children are curious. Climbing to new heights is part of that curiosity. I remember being in Florida back in May and hearing a tragic news story of a child killed when he pulled a piece of furniture in his bedroom over on himself. A child requires your undivided attention. Your infant child depends on you for everything. If you have young children, burns, breaks, drowning, or any number of things can happen to your child or the child that you are watching. In fact, let me ask you, where is your child right this moment? If you do not know, go check! I did not bring up the children that we used to call latch-key kids; the children that come home from school to an empty home. Whatever the situation, we must do everything possible to keep our children safe. What about your guns? Curious children can and will find everything that you might think is hidden. You must consider everything in your quest to keep children safe. Do not stick your heads in the sand. If you can think it, then it could occur, maybe even the unthinkable. All accidents are preventable.