March 10th-16th is Patient Safety Awareness Week. We spoke to an Injury Prevention Coordinator at Dell Children's Hospital about tips for keeping children safe from common injuries.
- Babies should sleep in their own sleep space, such as a crib, bassinet, or portable play yard. It is recommended that babies sleep in the same room as their parents, but not in the same bed.
- Babies should sleep on a firm surface, such as a crib mattress with a tight-fitting crib sheet.
- Avoid soft bedding, loose pillows, crib bumpers, stuffed animals, or blankets in a baby’s sleep space because these could block a baby’s airway.
- Put down your phones to prevent distraction and keep young children within arm’s reach, in the bathtub as well as outdoor water
- Teach children to swim and learn to swim yourself
- Make sure kids learn these five essential water safety skills:
- Step or jump into water over one’s head and return to the surface
- Tread water for one minute
- Turn around in a full circle and find an exit from the pool
- Swim 25 yards to exit the water
- Be able to exit the water. If in a pool, exit without using the ladder
- Children should always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when on a boat or around open bodies of water. In fact, it is required by Texas law for children under age 13 to wear a life jacket on vessels under 26 feet. Make sure the life jacket fits snugly around your child and that it cannot be pulled up above his or her ears
- Install fences around backyard pools. A pool fence should completely surround the pool, be at least four feet tall and have self-latching gates
- Empty bathtubs, buckets, and kiddie pools immediately after use
- Learn CPR and basic water rescue skills so you are prepared in case of an emergency
Child Passenger Safety
- Children should ride in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, at least until age 2.
- When children outgrow their rear-facing car seat, they should use a forward-facing car seat with a harness for as long as possible.
- Older children should ride in a booster seat with the lap and shoulder belt until a seat belt fits them properly.
- If you are planning to buy a used car seat, make sure you know the full history of the seat. If a car seat has been in a crash or is expired, it should be replaced.