Unintentional Injuries are the leading cause of death in all children over the age of 1 years. Unintentional injury is the preferred term over “accidental injury”, because “accident” gives the impression that the injury was not preventable. In fact, the vast majority of injuries are preventable if the appropriate actions are taken. Injury risk is directly proportional to the amount of time the child spends in the specific environment or engaged in the specific activity.

While supervision is the gold standard for preventing unintentional injuries, buffering the child’s environment to reduce hazards is also very important. Listed below are resources to help guide you in providing the safest environment for your child.

General Safety Resources

Child Passenger Safety

Motor Vehicle Crashes are the leading cause of death in children age 5 years and older. The American Academy of Pediatrics and other safety organizations recommend that a child remain rear facing for a minimum of 2 years. Research of real life crashes has shown that a child 12-23 months of age is 5 times more likely to die or suffer a serious injury if sitting forward facing vs. rear facing in a motor vehicle crash.

By law, all children must be restrained in a federally approved car seat according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the age of 8 years. However, by best practice, children 8-12 years of age should remain in an appropriately fitting booster seat until they can pass the 5 STEP TEST.  This is typically when the child is 57 inches (4 feet, 9 inches) tall, which is the 50th percentile height of an 11-year-old girl and boy.

Premature graduation from a booster seat to an adult seat belt can result in head, spinal, and abdominal organ injuries. All children should ride in the back seat until they are 13 years old.

Rear Facing Car Seat

Rear Facing at 3 years!

Environmental Health

Children spend the majority of time in and around their homes so identifying and removing health hazards is important. Here are a few resources to help.

For a poison emergency call 1-800-222-1222

Safe Sleep Practices

Safety is Non-Negotiable!