You can help your child avoid injury by being prepared and educating yourself and your family. It is important to take charge of your child's health and follow a program designed to help you and your family stay healthy and safe.
There are two sides to prevention: taking care of your child's health and following safety guidelines.
Taking care of your child's health
Be a role model for your child--have regular check-ups, eat healthy, exercise, and do not smoke.
Know CPR, care for choking, and first-aid basics. Many organizations, such as the American Red Cross and American Heart Association, offer courses in child and infant CPR.
Make sure your child has regular check-ups and immunizations.
Put safety first. Know how to safety proof your home and your child's environment. The best treatment for injuries is prevention.
Provide a healthy diet and regular exercise for your child. Helping your child stay healthy and strong may help minimize problems when they do occur.
Install safety devices in your home, such as smoke detectors, handrails, stairway gates, and fire extinguishers. Cover electrical outlets, as needed.
Teach your child to wash his or her hands well, especially before meals and after using the toilet.
Place medicines, cleaners, chemicals, and potential poisons out of your child's reach. Install safety locks on cabinets that contain dangerous or sharp items.
Never leave a baby or young child alone--not even for a moment.
Develop a fire escape plan and make sure each family member knows what to do in case of fire.
Put babies to sleep on their backs or sides until they can turn over by themselves.
If you must keep a gun in the home, make sure it is unloaded and store it in a locked cabinet. Lock ammunition in a separate place.
Supervise your child and make sure he or she takes part in age-appropriate activities.
Wear your seat belts and make sure your child uses an approved car safety seat or seat belt that has been installed properly.
Help your child to learn how to handle anger and stress in appropriate ways.
Keep a list of emergency phone numbers handy, including your local emergency medical services (EMS), your child's physician or healthcare provider, police, and fire departments, and your local poison center.
Learn about your child's school, friends, and environment. Be on the lookout for unsafe behaviors and be ready to intervene if they occur.
Teach your child how to dial 911 or your local EMS system in case of an emergency.
Teach your child how to be safe--at home, at school, and with play and sports activities.
Keep a well-stocked first-aid kit handy at home and in the car.
Make sure sitters and other childcare providers know the appropriate safety and first-aid measures to take in the event of an emergency.