Natividad Recognizes the Importance of Childhood Injury Prevention During National Baby Safety Month

  • September 17, 2020

The month of September is National Baby Safety month, an annual campaign recognized by the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA). The month serves as a time to educate parents and caregivers on the safe selection and use of child products. 

According to the CDC, preventable injuries are the leading cause of death for children younger than four years old. Approximately 9.2 million children are treated annually for unintentional injuries with the leading causes being burns, drowning, falls, poisoning and road traffic. For children younger than one, falls account for more than 50% of nonfatal injuries.

“Most common household items can pose a threat to children’s safety,” said Natividad’s Christopher Carpenter, MD, MPH, Director of Pediatrics Services. “The good news is that most injuries are preventable when parents and caregivers select the right products that protect them.”

Dr. Carpenter says these dangers are the most common areas to be aware of:

  • Falls: The most common injury. Ensure children are protected from stairs with a gate. Secure windows because even screens pose a danger. Close windows, open the top only, add window guards or install window stopping devices. Ensure rugs have non-slip pads. No furniture or large toys should be near banisters allowing children to climb up and fall.
  • Drownings: Protect children from bathtubs (by never leaving them unattended), toilets (with toilet locks), buckets filled with water (by emptying them) and swimming pools (with gates or covers). A momentary lapse of seconds could prove fatal.
  • Furniture and Fireplaces: Cover furniture corners and fireplace edges with padding or bumpers. Ensure you have fireplace screens. Latch shut any drawers and cupboards. Any furniture that can tip over, TVs, dressers, bookshelves, must be secured to a wall.
  • Blinds and shades: Cords, especially looped, are a strangulation hazard. Remove if possible, store away or install safety tassels. Move furniture away from windows and ensure cords are not accessible to children.
  • Lamps: Purchase lamps with a sturdy base, secure cords so they cannot be pulled, place lamps far back and out of reach and consider adhesive on the bottom of lamps.
  • Batteries: Tiny batteries are the most dangerous. If swallowed, they can be fatal.
  • Choking/suffocation: Any toy small enough to fit in a paper towel roll is a potential choking hazard; pieces of food, paper clips, coins. Sweep the floor or vacuum the carpet regularly.
  • Entrapments: Protect fingers from doors hinges by keeping doors fully open or locked closed. Ensure railing spaces are spaced so that head entrapment is not possible.
  • Burns: Heat from stoves, hot liquids or steam cause more damage to young children than older kids and adults. Cook on back burners. Your home should have a water temperature guard to ensure the temperature is not greater than 120 degrees. Ensure smoke detectors are functional at all times on every level of the home and outside of every bedroom.
  • Dangerous chemicals: Ensure all potentially dangerous chemicals/alcohol in the kitchen, bathroom, garage or basement are locked in a cabinet or place in an area out of reach of children.
  • Electrical shock: Ensure all outlets are covered properly.
  • Plants: Ensure all potentially poisonous plants are out of reach of children.

Natividad is the only hospital in Monterey County with an on-site pediatrician 24 hours a day. A hospitalist is a doctor based solely in the hospital and only looks after patients who have been admitted. Natividad has five pediatric hospitalists who can treat patients who range in age from infants to 21 years old.

For more information on how JPMA is helping parents and caregivers, click here.

To learn about Natividad’s Pediatrics Services, please visit our website.