It’s important to keep medicines, liquids, detergents, and all substances in their original containers and properly labeled. Children are intrigued by packaging and colored liquids and tablets. Keeping these out of reach and accounted for is advised. If your child is ever acting strangely or you see a substance in his/her mouth, immediately look for the bottle or packaging and call poison control immediately. Every second counts in a poisoning.
Always keep on your phone or refrigerator: Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.
2) Carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas produced by common household appliances. You can’t smell it, taste it, or see it; and it can kill you without warning.
Early symptoms are similar to the flu: headaches, fatigue, nausea, or rosy red cheeks.
Never warm your house with a gas stove or oven.
Make sure that the chimney flue is open when using your fireplace.
Check your carbon monoxide detector regularly especially during cold winter months. Never leave a running car or other motor in the garage. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get out of your house, call the fire department and immediately go to the emergency room. You may feel and look normal but poisoning may be present. Only the hospital can detect this poisoning.
At the same time you check your carbon monoxide detector, check your fire alarm too!
3) Head injuries
If your child is active in contact sports, a baseline ImPact test is advised and can be performed at our office after age 10 and should be repeated every two years. This is so important as it helps to identify and treat what head injury has occurred.
After a head injury the ImPACT test can monitor damage caused by a head injury and help with recovery. Head injuries are one of the most common injuries in young children and adolescents. Sports contact, bicycle accidents, falls, motor vehicle accidents are common causes of head injury. Helmets save lives and can protect against a severe brain injury.
4) Motor Vehicle Injuries
Passengers and especially children, not properly restrained are more likely to sustain severe life-threatening injuries.
Children less than 13 should never ride in the front seat.
Children still in car seats should have their car seats inspected since at least 80% of car seats have been found to be installed improperly.
Using cell phones, texting, and other distractions are now a significant cause of Motor Vehicle accidents in our adolescent population. Please be sure you have discussed this with your young drivers.
The Center for Advanced Pediatrics offers car seat inspections in our Norwalk office.
Make sure children are not left unattended during baths. Accidental drowning occur even while children are supervised. Being distracted or turning away for seconds lead to many drownings and near drownings. The water level does not need to be high especially for toddlers to drown, such as in the bathtub. The bathtub should be drained immediately when finished.
Toilet covers should have safety latches in homes with very young children.
Swimming pools should be surrounded by a fence a minimum of 48 inches in height with spacing between pickets of less than four inches. The AAP does not recommend swim lessons before the age of three. If boating, all children unless proficient swimmers, should be in a life vest.
Choking is one of the more common visits to emergency settings. Toddlers especially are fascinated by small parts, gadgets and their older sibling’s toys such as beads or legos. Avoiding foods that may be hazardous to toddlers is advisable. Swallowing toys, coins, pins, and magnets are common and need immediate medical attention. Check toys for small parts that can easily be removed.
Even foods that are soft and smooth can pose a threat (hot dogs, grapes) by lodging perfectly over the upper airway next to the esophageal opening.