As parents, teachers, and role models we know how important it is for kids to get out and explore, discover and creatively problem solve at home and in the great outdoors. At the same time, we want to protect them and keep them safe from injury. Finding a healthy balance can seem tough!
The good news is that many injuries at home, at play and on the road can be predicted and prevented.
The first step in preventing injuries is to learn about how they happen. It might surprise you to hear that most childhood injuries happen at home. Common causes include: falls, burns, poisoning, choking, strangulation and drowning. Of course playing outside the home has risks too! Falls and serious injuries (like concussions) can also happen at the playground or while playing organized sports. And although walking and wheeling are great ways to get exercise, lack of experience / traffic safety skills, high speeds, loss of control and trying stunts can all put kids at higher risk of injury when getting from point A to point B.
Step two is to create safer spaces for kids to learn, grow and play. Putting safety measures in place at home, checking for dangers before play, and finding safe routes for your child to walk/wheel can all help keep them safe. Parachute Canada’s website offers lots of great information to help you learn how to create a safer environment for your child at home, at play, and on the road.
Step three is to set clear, age appropriate safety rules and supervise closely! Most injuries can be prevented by watching your young child closely and by talking with them about safety from an early age. As your child gets older and gains more critical thinking skills and responsibility, you’ll be able to give them more independence. Teach them how to play with safety in mind; then let them get adventurous. Look for ways to make it enough to say yes!
This week marks the 20th anniversary of Parachute Canada’s “Safe Kids Week”. Join us in raising awareness to keep kids in Simcoe County safe, and have a safe and healthy summer!
~ Stephanie Jones RN
Follow the Healthy Schools team on Twitter @SMHealthySchool
Have more questions? Visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s website www.simcoemuskokahealth.org or call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 to speak with a public health nurse.