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Injury and Illness Management

Prevent Injury
 
 
Photo: A mother and child in a swimming pool.
 
When most of us are enjoying time at the pool or beach, injuries aren't the first thing on our minds. Yet, drownings are the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 4, and three children die every day as a result of drowning. Parents can play a key role in protecting children from drowning.
 
Boat safely.
Recreational boating can be a wonderful way to spend time with family and friends. Making boating safety a priority can ensure that it stays fun. By wearing a life jacket, you can dramatically decrease your chances of drowning while boating.
 

Child Passenger Safety: Make sure the ones you love are safe and secure—all the time, on every trip.
In 2008, about 4 children ages 14 or younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes every day, and many more were injured. But parents and caregivers can make a lifesaving difference. Whenever you're on the road, make sure your child passengers are buckled into appropriate safety seats. The safest place for children of any age to ride is properly restrained in the back seat. Children ages 12 and younger should always be buckled up and seated in the rear seat of vehicles. Infants in rear-facing car seats should never ride in the front seat of vehicles with airbags. Learn all you can do to keep your most precious cargo safe and locate a car inspection stationExternal Web Site Icon in your area.

Play it Safe. Prevent concussions.
There are things you can do to help lower the risks for concussion and other injuries. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Concussions can occur in any sport or recreation activity. Learn concussion signs and symptoms and what to do if a concussion occurs.

Prevent falls.
Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all children ages 0 to 19. Every day, approximately 8,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. This adds up to almost 2.8 million children each year. Many falls can be prevented, and parents and caregivers can play a key role in protecting children.

Prevent burns.
Every day, 435 children ages 0 to 19 are treated in emergency rooms for burn-related injuries and two children die as a result of being burned. Younger children are more likely to sustain injuries from scald burns that are caused by hot liquids or steam, while older children are more likely to sustain injuries from flame burns that are caused by direct contact with fire.
Thankfully, there are ways you can help protect children from burns.

Keep teen drivers safe.
Discuss your rules of the road with your teen. Talk about why they are important to follow, as well as consequences for breaking the rules. Work with your teen to draft and sign a parent-teen driving agreement. You may choose to hang yours on the refrigerator door to highlight the importance of safe driving. Let your teen know that following the rules and driving safely will result in greater driving privileges.

Photo: Two helmeted girls getting ready for a bicycle ride.

Promote Health

Prevent too much sun.
Just a few serious sunburns can increase your child's risk of skin cancer later in life. Kids don't have to be at the pool, beach, or on vacation to get too much sun. Their skin needs protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they're outdoors.

Have a healthy home.
Stay smart around the house. Get smart tipsExternal Web Site Icon on fire prevention, microwave use, and living with pets. Parents can also take many actions to protect their children's health and safety. At a very young age, children develop the habits and behaviors that will influence their lifelong health.

Keep cool in the heat.
Take steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths during hot weather. People who are at highest risk are the elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases. But even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.

Be active.
Youth gain physical and mental health benefits when they participate in regular physical activity. Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, increases self-esteem, and may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Positive experiences with physical activity at a young age also help lay the basis for being physically active throughout life.