Keeping Children Safe; Balancing Passive and Active Injury Prevention

Primrose School of Dunwoody, 5050 Nandina Lane, Dunwoody, Ga 30338
Primrose School of Dunwoody, 5050 Nandina Lane, Dunwoody, Ga 30338
According to SafeKids Worldwide, a global organization dedicated to preventing injuries in children, nearly nine million children are treated for preventable injuries in emergency departments every year. As children grow and begin to explore their environments, so does the list of potentially hazardous situations. Fortunately, it is possible to keep children safe 
while still giving them the freedom to discover the world around them.
Pediatrician, mother, author and subject matter expert, Dr. Laura Jana, suggests implementing passive and active injury prevention techniques. Passive prevention includes things we can do, buy or install that keep children safe without adults running to the rescue, such as outlet covers, corner protectors and pool fences.

However, all of the outlet covers, corner protectors and pool fences combined do not take the place of direct adult supervision. Thus, equally important is what is referred to as active prevention. Being within arm’s reach of a child near a pool or buckling the safety harness when traveling in the car are just two examples of active prevention.

To support your child’s natural desire to explore, while keeping her happy, healthy and safe, take into consideration a few active and passive injury prevention strategies.

Room profiling. Scanning rooms to look for potential hazards can be a quick, yet efficient way of preventing injury. Some important questions to consider include:
• Are windows locked and cribs away from windows or dressers?
• Are outlets covered and cords tug-proofed?
• Are medicines, cleaning agents and other dangerous-to-ingest items stored safely out of reach?
• Have the floors been scoured for potential choking hazards?

Given that almost every room can have potential hazards, the American Academy of Pediatrics has a list on their website to help you identify concerns. It includes tips on how to securely store cleaning products and medicines, identify poisonous houseplants and more.

Think outside the house. Whether at school, in the car or at grandma’s house, invest time and energy into making sure your children are safe in other places where they spend time. Think through which items are potentially dangerous, and remember that these can vary depending on 
the age of your child. SafeKids conveniently lists potential hazards for infant to 12-month-olds and 1 to 4-year-olds.

Out of sight, out of mind. If young children don’t see something, they’re less likely to want it. Whether it is sharp objects, poisonous cleaning agents, gas cans or medications, the best safety combination is to have them in their original safety-proof containers, out of reach and ideally locked out of sight.

Accept no substitutes. Simply put, no amount of safety proofing eliminates the need for age-appropriate adult supervision.

Realistically, we may not be able to prevent every scrape or bruise, but finding a balance between children’s important need to explore, and protecting them from harm can certainly minimize the risk of injury. Implementing passive injury prevention in combination with active supervision, especially in riskier environments, will allow your child freedom to explore and enjoy his surroundings while helping ensure your child is happy, healthy and safe.

To learn about Primrose School of Dunwoody, please visit our school campus at 5050 Nandina Lane adjacent to Dunwoody Village, our school website www.PrimroseDunwoody.com or call 770.396.8266.  For more parenting tips, visit our 360 Parenting blog at www.PrimroseSchools.com/360Parenting.
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