No parent ever wants to think about something terrible happening to his or her children—I know I always get chills thinking about it—but, the fact of the matter is that it happens and, according to the National Library of Medicine, the leading cause of death among children who have reached their first birthday is accidents which cause them to sustain fatal injuries. This remains the leading cause of death in the United States until people have reached the age of 24.
In seeing this information, it is obvious why people should help reduce the number of accidents children sustain—they don’t want what could have been a “boo-boo” to turn into a trip to the hospital and later the morgue. However, there are a few ways that each person is able to reduce accidents without even thinking about it, which include observing speed limits, encouraging children to come inside when it gets dark and placing chemicals out of reach.
Observing speed limits in neighborhoods really can save lives. The next time you think about doing 40 in a residential area at three o’clock on a sunny Saturday afternoon so you can make it to work, think again. Observing the speed limit will allow you to stop in a timely fashion if a child runs out into the street to grab a ball or some kids are simply playing hockey in the middle of the street. It can be tempting to race through neighborhoods when you think children aren’t around, but children, or even other people, could be out at any time of day and it’s important to realize that driving just a little bit slower until you’ve reached the entrance to the neighborhood really could save someone’s life.
Encouraging children to come inside when it gets dark, even when they’re not your children, can also keep them from getting hurt from drivers who potentially can’t see well at night. A rule of thumb for everyone can be to come inside when street lamps come on. Kids can always continue playing in the morning.
Placing chemicals out of reach is quite possibly one of the best things adults in a house with young children can do. Children frequently think that laundry detergent pods are candy. Children can easily spill bleach on themselves if walking by a loosely closed bottle and they knock it with their hand. Placing chemicals out of their reach and out of their view will keep them from getting anywhere near it and getting sick. Of course there are actions that can be taken afterward, but it’s much better to just have these things be completely avoided.
Children can be wonderful. They bring joy to our lives, but sometimes they’re not always the most careful. Even though we may not all be parents, it’s our duty to work together to keep kids safe. After all, accidents will happen!