Accidents happen, we know this. But beyond noting that unintentional injury is still a major contributing factor in early childhood death in this Country, we need to do everything we possibly can to make parents, family members and caregivers aware of child safety measures and information available about dangerous products and toys on the market.
It’s nearly Christmas. Holiday shopping is upon us along with gatherings of family and friends–it is not the most serene of seasons we wish for, but often the most chaotic and confusing. On highways and in stores, people are rushing trying to find the one last stocking-stuffer or that one final gift and just the right tree. It’s very easy to be distracted in traffic and by all that we think needs to be done before we are permitted to relax into a peaceful holiday season.
In Saddle Brook, New Jersey, a family member holding a child accidentally allowed a 3-month old child to fall to the floor, the child hit its head and is in critical condition in a New Jersey hospital. Prayers are requested. Accidents occur. On December 8, a New Jersey woman accidentally backed over her toddler nephew, in Ocean County; sadly, this child has died from injuries he received. As reviewed and amended October 6, 2016, the most recent data available on Child Mortality (2014)1 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicate 3,830 children between the ages of 1 and 4 in the United States had died that year. Accidents were one of three of the leading causes of death. In the same year, children ages 5 to 14, over 5,000 children in the U.S. had died, and again, accidents were one of the leading causes of death.
We know that not all childhood injuries can be prevented, but there is much free, good information available to parents, family members and caregivers to help prevent accidents. The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website, www.cpsc.gov posts recall announcements of defective or dangerous products that have been marketed and may have been sold to parents and family members of young children. Other agencies, such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), www.nhtsa.gov, have websites which advise of unsafe products used for and by children, such as defective seat belts, booster seats and strollers.
Parents, family members and caregivers need to pay attention, this time of year more than ever, because there is so much going on, so many products on the market, people are purchasing and giving gifts that they may not have thought to safety check. Items that come to mind which have been problematic in the past, this time of year, are painted candles, holiday decorations, combustible children’s pajamas, space heaters, children’s bicycles with sharp toys on the handlebars, “Bucky balls”, button batteries and more. BeChildSafe.org’s mission is to share child safety information and make it available to parents, family members and caregivers of young children in the hopes that all of our holidays this year may be safer than ever!
1Summary Health Statistics Tables for U.S. Children, National Health Interview Survey (2014), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/child-health.htm