Fall safety tips
Accidental injuries are the leading cause of childhood death — more than all disease-related deaths combined. We’ve provided some helpful tips from our doctors that will help your family have a safe, injury-free fall season.
- Fireplace Safety: As the weather grows cooler, fireplaces are used more frequently. Make sure to place a barrier around the fireplace so children can’t get close enough to burn themselves. Also, cover all sharp edges on the fireplace with some sort of cushioning.
- Yard Safety: Children love to play in piles of leaves, but this can pose hidden dangers. Sharp items or yard work equipment might be hidden under the pile and could cause injuries. Don’t let children play in piles of leaves near curbs because drivers are less likely to be aware of their presence.
- Outdoor Safety: Fall means fewer hours of daylight. When you send your children to play outside after school, dress them in light or bright-colored clothing so they are easily seen. You can also attach reflective materials to their jackets to ensure drivers can see them.
- ATV Safety: Driving all-terrain vehicles can be a fun way to spend time with family and friends, but the fun can turn to tragedy quickly. Never operate an ATV with more than one person on board and wear proper safety gear: helmets, goggles, long pants and shirts, gloves, and boots. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 16 should not operate ATVs.
- Health Safety: Fall means the start of flu season. The flu is more dangerous for children than the common cold. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older receive a flu vaccination. It’s also important that children are up-to-date on their Tdap vaccination to protect them against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough).
- Window Safety: Fall’s mild temperatures encourage us to throw open the windows to let in fresh air. Safeguard your children from falls by installing window guards. Make sure the window guards have emergency releases in case of fire. Avoid placing furniture near windows so children cannot climb on the ledge or fall through by accident.
- Fall Sports Safety: Staying hydrated is important even during cooler temperatures because sweating can lead to dehydration. Make sure children drink at least eight ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes while participating in sports.
- Home Safety: Appliances such as gas furnaces, water heaters, and ovens should be inspected by a trained professional before the heating season starts. Additionally, protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning by checking your fireplace to make sure the flue is open and the chimney is in good condition.