Safety First


Remember back to a time when danger was sort of cool? (We mean way back.)

But now that we’re moms, keeping kids safe and out of danger often takes precedence over broccoli.

Today, to launch Safe Kids Week, we have some good news from a national report on injuries in Canada. In 1994, 500 kids died from accidents that could have been prevented. By 2003, the number dropped to 300. That’s 200 kids saved (imagine 7 full classrooms or 20 baseball teams). Although the numbers are improving, we can do better – injuries are still the leading cause of death for Canadian children.

While some think that “accidents” are unavoidable and a natural part of growing up, experts believe that 90% of injuries can be avoided. According to the report (Child & Youth Unintentional Injuries, Safe Kids Canada 2006), the top three injury causes of death to children birth to age 14 are car crashes, drowning and threats to breathing (eg.choking).

What You Can Do
Test your own safety awareness. Safe Kids has a “report card” for parents to help them identify and practice safe behaviours to reduce deaths and injuries. Take the test to make sure you are keeping your family as safe as possible.

To help you get started, here are some top safety tips for the 10 most common injury areas. Print this out and put it on your fridge – it’s a good idea to share this information with your kids if they are old enough to understand.

Bike Safety
Helmet, EVERY ride (yes, even on the driveway) and make sure it fits properly.

Burn Prevention
Hot water temperature less than 49 degrees (water hotter than this can burn a child’s skin quickly and deeply).

Child Passenger Safety

Correct car seat for height and weight and buckled up EVERY ride.

Drowning Prevention

Keep kids (under age 5) within arms reach of you at all times, even if just playing near water.

Fall Prevention
Use baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs and window guards to protect from falls.

Playground Safety
Under 5? Keep your child off equipment that is taller than 5 feet.

Pedestrian Safety
Children under 9 can’t make safe decisions about traffic – they should always cross the street with an adult.

Poison Prevention
Keep all medications, cleaning products and other potential poisons locked out of reach of children.

Suffocation and Choking Prevention
No hard foods such as popcorn, nuts, raw carrots and candy to children under 4.

Skateboard, Scooter and Inline Skate Safety
Never on the road!

So think safety first (second and third and fourth) and imagine every child safe. Safe Kids Canada does.

Safe Kids Canada is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Safe Kids Week in Canada. To order the Report Card or for more information on regional events for Safe Kids Canada week, please visit or call 1-888-SAFE-TIPS (723-3847).

Safe Kids Canada is the national injury prevention program of The Hospital for Sick Children.


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