• Safety Tips for Children at Play

    Children ages 4 and under are at greatest risk of traffic-related pedestrian injuries. Teach children safe pedestrian behaviors by modeling safe behaviors: cross streets at corners, use traffic signals and crosswalks whenever possible, and make eye contact with drivers prior to crossing in front of them.

    • Every child (whether riding a tricycle or bike or as a passenger on an adult’s bike) must wear a well-fitting helmet. The helmet should bear a sticker saying it meets standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
    • Always purchase tricycles and bicycles that are the right size for the child.
    • Always take the child to the store when purchasing a helmet to ensure proper fit.
    • Always supervise your children.
    • Never allow children to ride in the street.
    • Do not let children wear long or loose clothing (including dresses and wide-legged pants) that can get caught in bike chains or wheel spokes.
    • Don’t allow children to ride when it’s dark.
    • Don’t allow your children to cross streets alone.
    • Don't let little kids play in driveways, unfenced yards, streets or parking lots.
    • Teach your child to “look left, right and left again” before crossing the street. Cross when the street is clear, and keep looking both ways while crossing
    • Make sure your child is visible when he is walking. Add reflective materials to children’s clothing.

    Nothing is more exciting to a kid than a great playground. But play areas need to be properly designed, maintained and supervised to be as safe for kids as possible. Falls are the most common playground injury accounting for over 75 percent of all playground-related injuries, but the right equipment for a child’s age and soft surfacing can help keep playtime fun and safe.

    Before play:

    • Ensure that playground equipment is age-appropriate and properly maintained. Look for adequate surfacing under equipment and loose or broken screws on equipment itself.
    • Remove bike helmets, hood and neck drawstrings from all children’s outerwear to avoid strangulation hazards.
    • Do not go barefoot. Children should wear shoes that keep their feet safe.

    During play:

    • Actively supervise children on playgrounds.
    • Teach children proper playground behavior: no pushing, shoving or crowding.
    • Keep toddlers under age 5 in a separate play area, fenced off from equipment designed for bigger kids.

    Home Playgrounds:

    • Take care when installing playground equipment at home. Follow directions closely and always build on level ground and safe surfaces
    • Build equipment at least six feet away from walls and fences, and periodically check the equipment.
  • Additional Resources

    Cincinnati Children’s is a member of the Safe Kids USA campaign and the lead organization of the Cincinnati Safe Kids Coalition.  Their goal is to prevent your child from being injured in a motor vehicle crash, fire, scalding, pedestrian activity, poisoning, choking, bike crash, fall, water activity or shooting.

    Drug and Poison Information Center (DPIC)
    The Drug and Poison Information Center works to provide you with important prevention information, educational materials, first-aid information, common household hazards and references to national helpline organizations and agencies. 

    The phone number for the Cincinnati Drug and Poison Information Center is 513-636-5111. You may also call a national hotline, 1-800-222-1222, and you will be connected to the center that serves your area.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    Protect the Ones You Love: Child Injuries are Preventable. In an effort to raise parents' awareness about the leading causes of child injury in the United States and how they can be prevented, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched the Protect the Ones You Love initiative.

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    The best way to protect them in the car is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) helps give additional information on choosing and using car seats as well as a Child Seat Inspection Station Locator to help with installation of your seats.

    American Academy of Pediatrics
    Healthy Children is a parenting Web site backed by 60,000 pediatricians committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. Ideal, whether you're looking for general information related to child health or for more specific guidance on parenting issues.

    Injury Free Coalition of Kids
    The Injury Free Coalition for Kids is among the country's fastest growing and most effective injury prevention programs. They are comprised of hospital-based, community-oriented programs, whose efforts are anchored in research, education, and advocacy.