Most Common Injuries Seen in the ER and How to Prevent Them
By Deirdre Farrelly - Practice Administrator at Boston Children's Hospital
Children are curious and sometimes that curiosity can lead to injury. There are many different reasons to visit the emergency room with your child but injury is at the top of the list. Given that avoiding the emergency room at all costs is currently top of mind, below are some of the most common injuries seen in the emergency room and tips on how to prevent them.
About 8,000 children visit the emergency room (ER) every day due to injuries related to falls. In the home, installing gates at the top and bottom steps will prevent falls down the stairs. A child can fall from a window that is open as little as 4 inches and a screen is not strong enough to keep them in. Keep furniture away from windows and install window guards or locks to prevent falls. When using a highchair, swing or carrier always ensure your child is strapped in and always place a baby carrier on the floor, not on top of the table or furniture. Furniture and TVs should be securely fastened to the wall to prevent them from falling onto your child. If you are taking your child to the playground, look for one with a soft, shock absorbing surface such as wood chips, pea gravel, mulch, rubber or synthetic turf.
Every day, 2 children die from poisoning and another 300 go to the ER. The most common sources of poisoning are medication, household cleaners and chemicals. To children, medications, dishwasher and laundry pods look like candy. Storing these items up and away or locked in a cabinet is an easy way to reduce the likelihood of an accidental ingestion in your home.
Motor Vehicle Crashes
Motor Vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children. Properly securing your child in the correct child passenger safety seat or safety restraint based on their age/weight/height can greatly reduce the risk of injury if you are involved in motor vehicle crash. Local children’s hospitals or police stations can recommend someone to install or check your car seat. Remain distraction free and hands free. A good rule of thumb is: phone down, eyes up!
Every day, 300 children are treated in the ER for a burn-related injury. Use back burners on the stove whenever possible and always make sure pot handles are turned away from the edge. Do not let your children play in the kitchen or near the stove, especially when you’re cooking. Check bathwater before on your wrist, it should feel warm to the touch, not hot.
Drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1-4 years old. Never leave your child unattended around water. Empty buckets and kiddie pools when not in use; keep toilet seats down at all times; and always close the door to the bathroom and laundry room when not in use.