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
- Safe Kids USA
- Safe Kids Safety Tips (by risk area)
- Safe Kids Denver Metro
- Consumer Product Safety Commission Recalls
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.
- Car Seats Colorado Parent Info
- Colorado Car Seat Laws (English)
- Colorado Car Seat Laws (Spanish)
- Car Seat Options for Low Birth Weight Babies
- Used Car Seat Checklist
- Car Seat Options for Children Over 40lbs
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Car Seat Safety for Kids
- Video Animation of Rear vs. Forward Facing Neck Forces
- NHTSA Criteria for Replacement of Car Seat after Vehicle Crash
- Parents Are The Key to Safe Teen Driving
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
- Rocky Mountain Region Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU)
- Rocky Mountain Poison Control Poison Prevention Tips
- Professional Child Proofing