It is difficult to imagine your cute little baby ever getting into any trouble, much less a serious accident that could alter his and your life forever. Believe it! It happens far too often to ignore.
“The number-one killer of children these days is accidents: it is of epidemic proportions”, Dr. C. Everett Koop, then United States Surgeon General, told reporters at a news conference a number of years ago.
Dr. Koop went on to add; “Every year 8,000 kids aged 14 and under are killed, and another 50,000 permanently disabled as a result of injuries in accidents. Between 80 and 90 percent of those injuries were preventable.”
What Dr. Koop has actually indicated is that almost 7,000 child deaths and 43,000 of the permanent disabilities suffered were not accidents at all by definition. They were preventable injuries. Injuries that could be foreseen and prevented if parents had been aware and taken action to reduce the risk of serious injury.
According to Dr. Koop, one child in four (approximately 12 million) will suffer an injury severe enough to require medical attention — in just the next 12 months! Public inattention to safety kills more American children than all diseases combined.
We are all aware of what vaccinations are required to ensure healthy starts in life and adhere to these preventative measures with vigor. Why not the same attention to preventable injuries involving young children? Surveys indicate that a general lack of public awareness is the answer and that translates to parent awareness.
Dr. Eichelberger, director of the trauma center at the Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC, said “We find it unacceptable to continue seeing these children sustain preventable injuries. We need to teach people that they can have some control over these tragedies. They can take steps that will save kids’ lives.”
“Prevention is not much fun: it is not interesting. Parents do not tend to think about it until it is too late. Getting prevention into the family unit is a very difficult job, but it is the only way to decrease this problem.” Dr. Eichelberger acknowledged to reporters for The Washington Times.
Our efforts are directed in helping to prevent in-home accidents for children who are at an age to be crawling through two years old. No home can be completely “childproofed” but for this age group there are a number of preventative measures that can be easily accomplished by any household.
Parents who take precautions do a much better job of avoiding preventable injuries than those who only scold and lecture. Remember a toddler’s attention span is not very long!
The concept that we advocate is simply and best described as: LAYERS OF PROTECTION.
Your supervision, of course, always being the primary layer; but looking at what else that can be done to give us further Layers of Protection for our children; the more the better.
“Childproofing” in your home increases the odds against having a preventable injury, and that’s your goal. Or in one word: PREVENTION.