• 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.

    • 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.

    Pedestrian Safety

    • Never let your young children go trick-or-treating alone. Make sure an adult is always with them.
    • If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
    • Encourage your children to walk from house to house. Don't let them run.
    • Allow your children to only visit homes with a porch light on - remind them to never enter a home or car for a treat.
    • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. Look left, right and then left again before crossing the street in the crosswalk.
      • If no sidewalk is available, have your children walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
      • Instruct your children to never cut across yards or use alleys.
    • Walk with a flashlight and put reflective tape on your child's costume and/or bag so drivers easily see them.

    Costume Safety

    • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective.
    • Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement, or contact with flame.
    • 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.


    • 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!
    • When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators, portable heaters, and exits.
    • 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.
      • Make sure all bulbs work and there are no frayed wires, broken sockets, or loose connections.
      • 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.
    • Remove all wrapping paper, bags, paper, ribbons, and bows from tree and fireplace areas after gifts are opened. These items can pose as suffocation and chocking hazards to a small child or cause a fire if near a flame.
    • Keep potentially poisonous holiday plant decorations , including mistletoe berries, Jerusalem cherry, and holly berry away from children.


    • "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.
    • If a glass-fronted gas fireplace is used, keep children and others well away from it with a screen or gate. The glass doors can get hot enough to cause serious burns, and they stay hot long after the fire is out. Always place a screen in front of a wood-burning fireplace as well.
    • 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!

    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
    • 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.
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