Preventing Accidental Injury.
KDHE Office of Communications
Most parents are aware that certain steps must be taken to make their home childproof. Many parents also rely on grandparents as day care providers and babysitters, so it is important to ensure that they have also take the steps to provide a safe environment for children.
“Many grandparents today grew up without car seats, smoke alarms or bike helmets, but also fewer cars on the road and fewer fire hazards in the home. Parents of young children need to let their own parents know that important changes have been made in childcare,” says Jan Stegelman, Safe Kids Kansas coordinator.
Accidental injury remains the number one killer of children ages 14 and under, but modern safety devices have contributed to a 43 percent drop in accidental child deaths from 1987 to 2004.
A grandparent’s home might not be “childproofed” with safety gates on the stairs, locks on the cabinets, a fence surrounding the pool and all potential poisons — including medications, cleaning products and alcohol — locked out of reach.
“Before a child comes to visit, a relative who doesn’t have young children at home should look for potential hazards at and below a child’s eye level,” says Stegelman. “Pick up any small objects that could be a choking hazard, tie the cords of window blinds out of reach and lock up any matches or lighters. Safely store all medications, including those in your purse and in daily pill reminders.”
Safe Kids Kansas offers these reminders for grandparents who baby-sit occasionally:
For more information about home safety and childproofing, visit www.usa.safekids.org/.
Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of 67 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters are located in Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Osage, Pottawatomie, Republic, Rice, Riley, Saline, Smith, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Wilson and Woodson Counties, as well as the cities of Chanute, Emporia, Leavenworth, Norton, Pittsburg, the Wichita Area and the Metro Kansas City Area. Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. For more information visit www.safekidskansas.org.