Sunday, June 1, 2008

Guard Your Child Against Accidental Injuries

Written by Neill Abayon

Did you know that injuries are the most common cause of death during childhood and adolescence beyond the first few months of life? Most of these involve motor vehicles, drowning, fires and burns, choking, bicycles or poisoning. We have talked about ways to prevent many of these injuries in previous columns. Here are some of the highlights:

* Put your child in an age-appropriate car seat that is correctly installed in the back seat, for every ride, no matter how short. Older kids and adults must always wear their seat belts, too.
* Teach your child water safety and never let your child swim alone.
* Put smoke detectors on every floor of your home and change the batteries at least every six months.
* Set your water heater no higher than 120 degrees.
* Watch young children closely when they are eating and do not serve them foods that commonly cause choking, such as hot dogs, nuts, hard candies and whole grapes.
* Wear a helmet when riding a bike (and other protective gear for other sports).
* Keep medicines and poisons locked up and out of the reach of children.

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