• Safety Tips for Children at Play

    The Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center (CCIC) provides injury prevention tips for children ages 5 to 9 years old.

  • Only about one in four children ages 4-15 years wears bicycle helmets when riding.  Some 140,000 children are treated in emergency departments each year for head injuries sustained while they were bicycling.  85% of head injuries can be prevented through proper helmet use, always supervise young children during wheeled activities and make sure they are properly wearing their helmet.

    • Your child should always wear a helmet when riding a bike, scooter or skateboard.
    • Buy the helmet when you buy the bike, scooter or skateboard!
    • Never let your child ride a bike, scooter or skateboard in the street. Your child is too young to ride in the street safely.
    • Be sure that the bike your child rides is the right size. Your child must be able to place the balls of both feet on the ground when sitting on the seat with hands on the handlebars. Your child's first bicycle should have coaster brakes. Five-year-olds are often unable to use hand brakes correctly.

    Children ages 5 to 9 have higher rates of emergency department visits for playground injuries than any other age group.   Falls on the playground are a common cause of injury.  Parents and caregivers can play a key role in protecting children by providing supervision and making sure children are playing on age-appropriate equipment.

    • Check playgrounds where your children play. Look for age-appropriate equipment and hazards, such as rusted or broken equipment and dangerous surfaces. Report any hazards to the school or municipality.
    • Avoid playing on non-impact absorbing surfaces, like concrete or gravel.
    • Remove hood and neck drawstrings from all children’s outerwear to avoid strangulation hazards.
    • Remove bike helmets before using any playground equipment.
    • Teach children proper playground behavior: no pushing, shoving or crowding.

    Childhood drowning and near-drowning can occur in a number of settings -- pools, hot tubs, beaches, lakes, bathtubs, and buckets. Activities such as boating, jet skiing, water skiing, sailing, and surfing are also associated with water-related injuries and fatalities. Most drowning incidents happen when a child falls into a pool or is left alone around water. It can take only a couple of seconds for a child to drown, and drowning typically occurs when a child is left unattended or during a brief lapse in supervision.

    • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water
    • Make sure kids wear life jackets in and around natural bodies of water, such as lakes or the ocean, even if they know how to swim.
    • Teach children basic water safety tips
    • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
    • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim
    • Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly
    • Floatation devices such as armbands, flotation rings and inflatable toys give parents a false sense of security. These devices should not be relied on to keep your child from drowning.

    More than 38 million kids under 14 participate in organized sports, and more than one in 10 ends up in the emergency room after suffering from a sports injury.  As a parent make sure your child wears all the protective equipment made for the sport.  Additionally, proper hydration and recognition of heat illness symptoms (such as nausea, dizziness and elevated body temperature) can help reduce the risk of severe sports-related heat illness.

    • Always wear appropriate protective gear for the activity - for practice as well as games - and make sure it's the right size and properly adjusted.
    • Check athletic grounds for hazards like rocks, holes and water. Also consider current and potential weather conditions such as lightning.
    • Make sure your child has a screening physical before playing.
    • Actively supervise children at play.
    • Make sure responsible adults know and enforce the safety rules of the sport, are present to provide supervision and are trained in first aid and CPR.
    • Learn to recognize the signs of a concussion and seek medical attention.
  • Additional Resources

    Safekids
    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.