The holiday season came to North Carolina, and with that, family meals, shopping, and outings. Sadly, this is also a time of tragic and heartbreaking events, in which several children, sadly, might lose their lives in incidents that, one way or another, can be prevented.
A clear fact is that, in order to avoid these tragic incidents, it is necessary to emphasize the enormous importance of paying close attention to young children, especially during times when families are likely to break their routines and to be busier than usual.
Inside the home
During family gatherings, as they are surrounded by people and attending to guests, parents can lower their guard when it comes to watching their children. Always be aware of where your children are, who they are with, and what they are doing.
If possible, avoid having small children in the kitchen. Keep insecticides, cleaning products, plastic bags, and other items that can cause suffocation away from children.
Outside of the home
Teach your children to stop, look both ways, and listen for oncoming traffic. Teach them to watch for cars in driveways and parking lots. When drivers are backing up they cannot see small children, and most vehicles do not have back-up cameras.
Hold onto your children tightly near roads and cars.
Never use an electric lawn mower when a child is in the yard. Sticks, stones, and other objects can be thrown at high speed and injure the child.
Keep children away from hot grills and keep matches, lighters, and charcoal fuel locked up.
If possible, avoid shopping with children. If you must, then look for someone to go with you and help, especially if you are going out with more than two children. Never let your children get separated from you for any reason.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2010, approximately 250,000 toy-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms in the United States. One-third of those injured were children under 5 years old. Give children age-appropriate toys.
Most toys are labeled with the recommended age. If you are going to give a hand-me-down toy, check the buttons, batteries, and other parts that can break easily.
Until children reach age 3, toy pieces should be larger than their mouths to prevent choking. Avoid giving balloons, as latex balloons are the main cause of children’s suffocation related to toys. If a child swallows a deflated balloon or pieces of a balloon, it forms a seal in the throat that blocks the airway.
Offer your family the tranquility of a safe and loving environment, which is the most valuable gift they can receive.