• Safety Tips for Injury Prevention

    The Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center (CCIC) provides the following safety tips to help parents become better informed on injury prevention tips for children.

    Specifically written for children ages 5 and under, our Child Safety Brochure (PDF) is filled with information about car seat safety, preventing injuries in the home, in the water and outdoors.

  • ATVs are not toys!

    • No child under the age of 16 should ride on an adult ATV.
    • About 1/3 of ATV related deaths and injuries involve children.
    • An ATV can travel at speeds up to 60 miles per hour and can weigh close to 700 pounds.
    • An ATV can easily flip or turn over which is why wearing safety equipment so important!
    • A child should always be wearing a helmet while riding on an ATV.
      • The helmet must be appropriate for an ATV, not just a bike helmet. Never ride on an ATV as a passenger. Many ATVs are only made for one person to ride at a time.
    • Stay off of paved roads or uneven terrain.
    • Make sure you know your state’s laws regarding ATVs.

    For more information, go to www.atvsafety.gov


    • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for a “Fire Resistant” label.
    • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness
      • Make sure the needles are soft and don’t fall off
      • Live trees need water, and lots of it! Check your tree’s water level daily.
      • Dry trees can burn in seconds!
    • Don’t block your home’s exit with the tree.
    • Remove live trees from your home as soon as possible. Many tree fires occur on or after New Year’s Day.


    • Check each set of lights for damaged sockets or wires. Throw away any bad strands.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations concerning the maximum number of light sets that can be connected together.
    • Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
    • Use only light sets and extension cords marked “for outdoor use” outside your home.


    • Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree.
    • Never use lighted candles on or near a tree or other evergreens.
    • Keep children and pets in mind when placing decorations on a tree.


    • “Think Big” when choosing toys for small children
      • Small parts could be a choking hazard.
      • Make sure gifts are appropriate for the child’s age.
    • “Think Easy” when choosing a gift for someone who may have arthritis or some other physical challenge.
    • Consider giving the gift of safety!
      • Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers make great gifts!

    Fireplaces and Heaters

    • Before starting a fire in a fireplace, remove all decorations (including stockings) and be sure the flu is open.
    • Do not burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. They can burn extremely fast and throw off sparks.
    • Always place a screen in front of the fireplace.
    • When plugging in electric heaters, make sure the outlet was designed to handle the load.
    • When using kerosene heaters, make sure you use the correct fuel.
      • Using the wrong fuel can cause a fire or even an explosion.

    Be Prepared!

    • Check the batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector monthly!
      • Change the batteries as instructed by the manufacturer.
    • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near sleeping areas.
    • Develop a fire escape plan and practice the plan with your family!

    Pedestrian Safety

    • Never go trick-or-treating alone. Make sure an adult is always with you.
    • Walk from house to house. Don’t run!
    • Stay on well-lit streets. Look left, right and then left again before crossing the street.
    • Walk with a flashlight and put reflective tape on your child’s costume and/or bag so drivers easily see them.

    Costume Safety

    • Use nontoxic face paint instead of masks. Masks can limit the child’s ability to see.
    • Test the face paint or makeup on a small part of the child’s skin to check for allergic reaction.
    • Toy swords, knives, and other toy weapons should be short, soft, and flexible.
    • Wear flame-resistant costumes. Look for a tag or sticker saying the customer is flame-resistant before purchasing.

    Nutrition and Treat Safety

    • Don’t allow your child to eat any candy that looks like it has been tampered with.
    • Check candy for choking hazards (hard or chewy candy) for younger children.
    • Limit the amount of candy eaten each day.
    • Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
    • Brush teeth well after eating candy, especially sticky candy.

    Other Halloween Options:

    • Try decorating pumpkins with markers and stickers instead of carving.
    • Invite children over to have a costume party with games. This will limit the dangers of walking from house-to-house in the dark.
    • Many recreation centers, schools, churches, and community centers host a Halloween party, harvest festival, or fall party.
    • All fireworks are potentially dangerous and can cause injury.
    • Children aged 5 to 9 years have the highest injury rate.
    • Sparklers can burn at temperatures over 1000 degrees F and can easily set clothing on fire and cause serious burns.
    • It is strongly recommended that fireworks only be used by professionals.
    • If you choose to use fireworks, please follow these tips:
      • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
      • Read and follow all warnings and instructions before use.
      • Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from houses, dry leaves or grass, and flammable materials.
      • Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that do not go off.
      • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
      • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
      • Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially in a glass or metal container
      • Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
      • Store fireworks in a dry, cool place.
      • Never have any part of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
      • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.

    IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure you know what your local laws are. Many states do not allow the use of fireworks.

    Why is Lawn Mower Safety so Important?

    • Lawn mower injuries can:
      • cause life changing injuries, both physical and emotional
      • be very painful and disfiguring
    • Following safety guidelines can save lives.

    How Common Are Lawn Mower Injuries?

    Lawn Mower injuries are on the rise, up 3% since 2009.

    Common Causes of Lawn Mower Injuries:

    • Contact with rotating blade
    • Being hit by flying objects
    • Overturning
    • Ride-on mowers running over person

    Injury Prevention Tips:

    • Do not let children less than 12 years old operate any lawn mower.  For ride-on mowers, children should be at least 16 years old.
    • Never have passengers on ride-on mowers.
    • Keep young children at a safe distance from the area you are mowing.
    • Pick up stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.
    • Use a mower with a control that stops it from moving forward if the handle is released.
    • Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary – carefully look for others behind you when you do.
    • Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing – not sandals.
    • Always wear eye and hearing protection.

    What Kind of Injury can happen?

    • Dislocated bones
    • Deep cuts
    • Arm, leg or genital amputation
    • Missing fingers or toes
    • Burns
    • Eye injuries

    Treatment of Lawn Mower Injuries

    • Often requires a team of specialized doctors
    • Child may need multiple surgeries to repair the injury
    • May need therapy to help regain function to injured limb
    • The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation indicates that more than 5 million youth athletes are seen and treated in hospital emergency rooms each year due to sports-related injuries.
    • Before starting any sport, make sure your child has a physical health exam done by their provider.
    • Make sure your child wears all of the protective gear needed to safely participate in that sport
      • Your child’s coach can help you with this
    • Make sure your child also knows the rules of the sport to keep them safe.
    • Proper hydration is the key to prevent sports-related heat illness.
      • Have your child drink liquids before or during all athletic activities.
    • Coaches and other adults assisting the team should know CPR and First Aid to help out in the event of an emergency.

    Concussions-What you need to know!

    • A concussion is a brain injury and should be taken seriously.
    • Your child may have a concussion if they experience some of these signs and symptoms:
      • loses consciousness (even briefly)
      • may be confused
      • may complain of headache
      • may vomit
      • moves clumsily
      • can’t recall events just prior to or just after a hit or fall
      • shows behavior or personality changes
      • appears dazed
    • If your child does have a concussion
      • Pull them out of the game
      • Seek medical attention immediately
      • Keep them out of the game until medically cleared by their provider
    • Concussions take time to heal---so don’t rush the recovery process!
    • It is very important to protect babies and children’s skin from sunburns.
    • Babies under 6 months have skin that is thinner than other skin and therefore needs even more protection!
    • Most of our sun exposure (between 60-80%) happens before we turn 18 years old.
    • Sun exposure in early childhood and the adolescent years contributes to the risk of developing skin cancer later on in life.
    • Here are some great tips for children younger than 1:
      • Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of direct sunlight.
      • Dress your baby in comfortable lightweight clothing that covers their entire body.
      • If your baby gets sunburn, contact your pediatrician immediately.
      • If you cannot keep them covered or in the shade, sunscreen can be applied.
        • Before using sunscreen, apply a small amount to limited area and watch for any reaction
    • For kids older than 1 year old, here are some more safety tips:
      • Choose sunscreen specifically made for children, preferably waterproof.
      • If a rash develops, contact your child’s pediatrician.
      • Dress your child in clothing made of tightly woven fabrics.
      • Sunglasses with UV protection are also a great idea to protect your child’s eyes from the sun.
    • More Sun Safety tips:
      • Avoid going out in the sun when the sun is the strongest: between 10 am and 4pm.
      • Use sunscreen even on a cloudy day. The sun’s rays can still get through clouds.
      • Look for sunscreen that will protect against both UV-B and UV-A rays for the bet protection
      • Sunscreen should be reapplied often for the best protection.
      • Use a SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15.
      • Put on sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outdoors—it needs time to work on the skin.
      • If you child develops a sunburn, keep them out of the sun until the burn completely heals.
  • Child Passenger Safety Resources

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    • Must be in child restraint: 7 years and  younger
    • Adult Safety belt permissible: 8 to 15 years old
    • Maximum fine for 1st offense: $25


    • Must be in child restraint:
      • Child restraint = 40 inches or less.
      • Booster seat = Ages 6 and younger who are between 40 and 50 inches tall
    • Adult Safety belt permissible: Ages 6 and younger who are taller than 50 inches
    • Maximum fine for 1st offense: $50 child restraint / $30 booster seat


    • Must be in child restraint:
      • Child restraint = 3 years and younger or less than 40 pounds.
      • Booster seat = Ages 4 to 7 who weigh 40 pounds or more and who are shorter than 57 inches
    • Adult Safety belt permissible: 8 to 15 years old.
    • Maximum fine for 1st offense: CR Law $100 - $250. 2nd offense up to 30 day jail sentence. Booster seat law $25 - $75.
    • Infant
      • Rear-facing only
      • With or without a base
      • Upper weight usually about 22-35 pounds
      • Child’s head must be at least 1 inch below top of seat
      • Harness slots at or below shoulders
      • Check manufacturers’ instructions for weight and height requirements

    The AAP (American Academy of Pediatricians) recommends children remain rear-facing until 2 years old or until the upper weight or height of the seat.

    • Convertible
      • Rear-facing to a certain weight limit (usually from 5-30 pounds, sometimes higher)
        • Child’s head needs to be 1” below top of seat
        • Harness slots at or below shoulders
      • Forward-facing starting at a certain weight limit until an upper weight limit
        • Child’s shoulders should not be above top slots
        • Child’s ears should not be above top of seat
        • Harness slots at or above shoulders
      • Check manufacturers’ instructions for weight and height requirements.
    • Combination
      • Forward-facing only
      • Can be used with an internal harness up to usually 40 pounds or more
      • Can be used as a belt-positioning booster seat up to 100 pounds or more
      • Check manufacturers’ instructions for weight and height requirements
    • Booster seats
      • Belt-positioning booster seats can be used from 40 pounds to upwards of 80-120 pounds and the height of 4’9”
      • Must use both a lap and shoulder belt
      • Check manufacturers’ instructions for weight and height requirements.
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