Services at McKee Medical Center  

Injury Prevention Tips

 

Birth to Six Months

  • Children are totally dependent on adults to keep them safe.
  • Wash your hands! To help protect your baby from infection, wash your hands vigorously with soap and water each time before touching or feeding him, and after changing a diaper.
  • To reduce the risk of suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), place babies on their backs to sleep. Remove all fluffy pillows, toys and blankets. Make sure the crib mattress fits snuggly against the sides of the crib.
  • Don't smoke near your baby. Babies, children and adults who are exposed to second-hand smoke are more susceptible to colds and other diseases, including SIDS.
  • Babies need to spend some of their awake-and-alert time on their tummies. This time will give them the opportunity to strengthen muscles in their necks, backs and arms so that they will be strong enough to push up, turn over, creep and crawl. A good rule of thumb is "back to sleep, belly to play."
  • Never shake your baby. Shaking, bouncing or spinning a baby can cause blindness, learning disabilities, mental retardation, paralysis, seizures, and even death.
  • Newborns are able to wiggle, squirm, scoot, and sometimes turn over. Never leave your baby unattended on any surface higher than the floor. Don't leave him unattended on a bed, couch or chair, even if he's sleeping.
  • Before buying or using baby equipment or toys, check to make sure they comply with the standards set by the National Safety Council.  Mail in registrations and warranties, this will allow the manufacturer to notify you in case of a recall.
  • Use infant seats with caution; they can tip over easily. When using an infant seat, belt your baby in. And, unless you are holding the seat, place it on the floor.
  • Avoid burns. Babies have thin skin and any burn can be serious.
    • Set the hot water thermostat at 120 degrees.
    • Do not warm a bottle in the microwave. Microwaves do not heat evenly, so some of the formula may be just room temperature and some may be hot enough to burn your baby's mouth.
    • If a baby gets burned, hold the burned area under cool tap water; don't put any butter, oil or other ointments on burns. Call your pediatrician.
  • Be Sun Safe.  Protect your baby from the sun!  Hats, clothing, sunglasses ad shade help. Avoid the sun, when possible, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On hot days, breastfeed more frequently; or if you bottle feed, give your baby water in addition to his regular feedings to keep him/her hydrated. 
  • Your baby can drown in just two inches of water. Turn buckets and pails upside down. Close toilet seat lids. Never leave babies alone in the bathtub.
  • According to SafeKids Colorado, Colorado’s Child Restraint Law, Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-236,
    (Most recent changes effective August 1, 2010) states: Infants must ride in the back seat in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 1 year old and at least 20 lbs.
    • According to CPSafety, it is strongly recommended that all children stay rear-facing beyond the minimum requirements of 1 year and 20 lbs. Learn why.

Six Months to One Year

  • Childproof your home!  Your child will start to crawl/walk/grab/put things into his/her mouth.
  • Use gates on stairways and doors. 
  • Mount any large shelves and dressers to wall.
  • Children can suffer serious head injuries falling from shopping carts, tables and chairs. 
  • Make sure blinds do not have long strings that a baby could wrap around his/her neck.
  • Be sun safe.  Apply sunscreen with at least a SPF 15 to your child while in the sun and be sure to reapply frequently. Have your child wear hats, clothing, and sunglasses. Avoid the sun, when possible, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and drink plenty of water. 
  • To prevent choking, children under the age of four should avoid eating grapes, raw carrots, hard candy, hot dogs, spoonfuls of peanut butter or other small, hard pieces of food.
  • All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat of a car until they are at least two years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat's manufacturer. The back seat is the safest place for any child to ride in a car.
  • According to SafeKids Colorado, Colorado’s Child Restraint Law, Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-236,
    (Most recent changes effective August 1, 2010) states: Infants must ride in the back seat in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 1 year old and at least 20 lbs.
    • Best practice is to have children remain in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible for the best protection in a crash. Many convertible car seats allow children to ride rear facing until 30 lbs., refer to manufacturers' specifications.

Injury Prevention 1 to 2 years

  • Children at this age need constant supervision! Your child can run, climb, jump, open doors/cabinets, doesn't understand/remember what danger means, what hot means, what poison means, what drowning means. 

Poison Prevention:  Lock up all toxic cleaners/substances.  Leave in original container.  Do not leave medications in your purse.  Use safety caps.  Look for non-toxic household products to use.  Keep bottle of syrup of ipecac on hand, only use if poison control center has instructed you to use it.

  • To prevent choking, children under the age of four should avoid eating grapes, raw carrots, hard candy, hot dogs, spoonfuls of peanut butter or other small, hard pieces of food.
  • If you have a pool, have a self-latching gate, a fence that is   five feet tall surrounding the pool and the spaces between the slats should be three inches or less. If your child is missing, always check the pool first.  Children can drown in any standing water including just two inches of water. Turn buckets and pails upside down. Always close the toilet seat. Never leave children alone in the bathtub.
  • Be sun safe. Apply sunscreen with at least a SPF 15 to your child while in the sun and be sure to reapply frequently. Have your child wear hats, clothing, and sunglasses. Avoid the sun, when possible, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and drink plenty of water. 
  • Avoid burns. Babies have thin skin and any burn can be serious.  Set the hot water thermostat at 120 degrees. If a baby gets burned, hold burned area under cool tap water. Don't put any butter, oil or other ointments on burns. Call the pediatrician.
  • According to SafeKids Colorado, Colorado’s Child Restraint Law, Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-236,
    (Most recent changes effective August 1, 2010) states: Children 1-4 years old must ride in a car seat.
    • Best practice is to have children remain in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible for the best protection in a crash. Safety experts recommend restraining children in the back seat in a five-point harness car seat until at least 40 lbs. for the best protection.

Injury Prevention 2 to 5 years

  • Children begin to explore more and still need constant supervision.  Many accidents occur because parents/caregivers aren't aware of how much a child this age can do. 
  • A child three years of age is strong enough to pull the trigger of a gun.  Lock up all firearms and ammunition separately.
  • Any child who has outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for their convertible car seat should use a Forward-Facing Car Seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer.
  • If you have a pool, think about swim lessons after age three. Be sure to have a self-latching gate, a fence surrounding the pool that is   five feet tall, and the space between the slats is three inches or less. If your child is missing, always check the pool first.
  • Lock up all toxic cleaners/substances
    • Leave in original container. 
    • Do not leave medications in your purse. 
    • Use safety caps. 
    • Look for non-toxic household products to use. 
    •  Keep bottle of syrup of ipecac on hand, only use if poison control center has instructed you to use it.
  • Children should avoid (under the age of four) eating grapes, raw carrots, hard candy, hot dogs, spoonfuls of peanut butter or other small, hard pieces of food, to prevent choking
  • Avoid burns! 
    • Children have thin skin and any burn can be serious.  If your child gets burned, hold burned area under cool tap water; don't put any butter, oil, or other ointments on burns. Set the hot water thermostat at 120 degrees.
    • Teach your child not to play with matches or lighters. 
    • Check smoke detectors each month. 
    • Use your child's day of birth to remember when to change the batteries.
  • Be sun safe
    • Apply sunscreen with at least a SPF 15 to your child while in the sun and be sure to reapply frequently.
    • Have your child wear hats, clothing, and sunglasses. Avoid the sun, when possible, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and drink plenty of water
  • According to SafeKids Colorado, Colorado’s Child Restraint Law, Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-236,
    (Most recent changes effective August 1, 2010) states: Children 4-8 years old must continue to ride in a child restraint. Typically this is a booster seat.
    • It is best practice to have children remain in the back seat in a child restraint. Regardless of age, children weighing less than 40 lbs. are safest in a car seat.

Injury Prevention 5 to 10 years old

  • Children need to wear a helmet whenever they ride a bike, skateboard, scooter or skates. They should never ride in the street. Teach children the rules of the road.
  • This is a good time to teach your child how to swim. 
    • There are many good programs at public pools. 
    • Don't let your child swim in canals or fast-moving water. 
    • Teach them not to dive into shallow water headfirst.
  • When a child is more than 80 pounds and is approximately 4'9", he/she can fit correctly in lap/shoulder belts. 
    • If your child is sitting in the front seat, move the seat as far back from the dashboard as possible.
  • Teach your child not to play with matches or lighters. 
  • Check fire detectors each month; use your child's day of birth to remember when to change the batteries.
  • Sports Safety
    • Make sure your child wears all the protective gear.  Never encourage you child to "work through the pain." 
    • Being active decreases the risk of Diabetes and increases self-esteem.
  • Gun Safety: keep all firearms and ammunition locked up!
  • Be sun safe 
    • Apply sunscreen with at least a SPF 15 to your child while in the sun and be sure to reapply frequently.
    • Have your child wear hats, clothing, and sunglasses. Avoid the sun, when possible, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and drink plenty of water
  • According to SafeKids Colorado, Colorado’s Child Restraint Law, Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-236,
    (Most recent changes effective August 1, 2010) states: Children 8-16 years old must use a seat belt. All passengers in a vehicle should always be properly buckled up, either with an appropriate car seat, booster seat or seat belt.
    • Safety experts consider proper seat belt fit to adhere to the following:
      • The child can sit all the way back against the seat with their knees bent naturally at the edge of the seat;
      • The shoulder belt comfortably crosses the shoulder between the neck and the arm; and
      • The lap belt sits low on the child’s hips and touches the thigh
    • It is best practice that children less than 57” inches tall remain in a booster seat regardless of their age or weight because of the above factors. The safest location for a child is in the back seat.

Injury Prevention 10 to 15 years

  • Home Alone: Your child may be "too old" for a babysitter but still need adult "backup." 
    • Set clear limits for home-alone activities, visitors, answering the phone/door, using the stove, etc. 
    • Make certain your child has a trusted neighbor or adult he can call when he/she needs advice or help.
    • Know your child's maturity level:  Don't set him up for disaster by expecting him to be responsible for younger siblings before he/she is ready.
  • Sports:
    • Make sure children wear protective gear.
    • Never encourage children to "work through the pain."
    • Encourage helmets for in-line skating, skateboarding and cycling.
    • Being active decreases the risk of Diabetes and increases self-esteem.
  • Guns:  keep all firearms and ammunition locked up. If your child is depressed, get the guns out of the house!
  • Be sun safe
    • Apply sunscreen with at least a SPF 15 to your child while in the sun and be sure to reapply frequently.
    • Have your child wear hats, clothing, and sunglasses.
    • Avoid the sun, when possible, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and drink plenty of water
  • Drug use: Talk to children about the choices they will need to make about drugs and alcohol.
  • Depression: Watch your child for signs of confusion, depression, withdraw, fear or other personality changes that may need your attention or professional help.
    Make sure everyone wears a seat belt in the car.

Injury Prevention 15 to 17 years

  • Learning to Drive:
    • Wear your seat belt.
    • Do not ride in the back of a pick-up truck.
    • Don't drink and drive. 
  • Sports:
    • Wear protective gear.
    • Don't try to work/play through pain. 
    • Being active decreases the risk of Diabetes and increases self-esteem.
  • Guns:  keep all firearms and ammunition locked up. 
    • PARENTS - if your child is depressed, get the guns out of the house
  • Water Safety: Water-related activities mixed with alcohol can be deadly.  Never dive head first into shallow water.
  • Sex
    • Get the facts from a reliable source, preferably your parents. Many sexually transmitted diseases have no cure (AIDS, Herpes).
    • Depression: If you experience a loss of energy, sleeplessness, anxiety, loss of interest in activities you normally enjoy, talk to a trusted adult - seek help.
    • Avoid experimenting with drugs or alcohol (self medicating). 
    • Mood swings are common at your age.
  • Tattooing and Body Piercing: The medical professionals at TSMC do not recommend any tattooing or body piercing and serious complications and infections may occur. What you need to know:
    • You will be unable to donate blood for one year after tattooing/piercing.
    • Reactions to dyes can happen years later.
    • Make sure all needles/ink are wrapped and sterile.
    • Tongue rings can create hazards and even block your airway if first aid is needed.
McKee Medical Center
2000 Boise Ave.
Loveland, CO 80538
(970) 669-4640
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