Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

More than 2,000 Children per Year Fatally Injured at Home

Safe Kids Kansas Urges Parents to Childproof Homes

Approximately 2,096 children in the United States, ages 14 and under, die from accidental injuries in the home each year and 3 million kids are treated in emergency rooms for accidental injuries occurring at home. Nearly 80 percent of the deaths are among children ages 4 and under. Most fatal injuries at home are caused by fire, suffocation, drowning, choking, falls, poisoning or firearms discharged unintentionally.

Safe Kids Kansas urges parents and caregivers to check their homes for basic safety precautions. “There’s no substitute for active supervision, but childproofing your home provides extra protection and peace of mind,” says Jan Stegelman, Safe Kids Kansas coordinator. “It’s easy to eliminate the most obvious hazards — and it doesn’t have to involve a lot of expensive equipment.”

The first step in childproofing a home is to explore every room at a child’s eye level. “Literally get down on your hands and knees and crawl around. You’ll be surprised at how much you can reach and how many small objects you can pick up,” says Stegelman. “Anything that can fit through a standard 1½-inch toilet paper tube is a potential choking hazard. Of course, cleaning products, medications, alcohol, firearms and other potentially harmful products need to be stored out of reach and locked up.”

Safe Kids Kansas also recommends these precautions:

For more information about kitchen safety, window blinds, cribs, windows, furniture and other hazards around the home, www.usa.safekids.org.

“Safety comes first, even if it means making your home a little less convenient for adults,” says Stegelman. “Safety gates and cabinet locks are a small price to pay to keep a child out of the emergency room.”

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, Rice, Riley, Saline, Smith, Shawnee, Wilson and Woodson Counties, as well as the cities of Chanute, Emporia, Leavenworth, 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.