CPSC: The ABC's of avoiding injuries

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Day Care & Education

It's that time of year again. School supplies have been purchased, new school clothes are hanging in the closet and everything is ready for the return to school. It's been a long, happy summer and even with all the crazy outdoor play, I am happy to report there were no injuries around my house requiring more than a kiss and a band-aid.

But with kids returning to school, there are new hazards to consider and the Consumer Product Safety Commission wants to help you avoid them. They have identified the top three things parents and kids need to pay attention to this fall and recommend your learn these ABC's:

Always wear the right helmet. Much to Ellie's dismay, we are sticklers about this around my house. Sometimes she is the only kid wearing a helmet while she rides her scooter, but she knows she isn't allowed to ride otherwise. Helmets significantly reduce the risk of head injury and it is important to wear the right helmet for the particular activity your child is engaged in. Whether it is a bike, football or baseball helmet, make sure your kid is wearing one. For more information on helmet safety, go to CPSC's "Which Helmet for Which Activity".

Be safe on the playground and on the soccer field. The most common way kids get injured on a playground is when they fall from equipment. To avoid injury, there should be at least a nine inch later of shock absorbing material on which to land. Hopefully, of the non-combustible type. Other hazards include exposed hardware that can snag clothing and free-hanging ropes on play equipment, which can both pose a strangulation hazard. Since 1979, CPSC has receive reports of at least 28 deaths related to movable soccer goals. These should always be securely anchored when in use.

Care with clothing and art materials. Hood and neck drawstrings on clothing can pose a strangulation hazard and CPSC recommends removing them. In the past 20 years, they have received reports of 23 deaths and 64 non-fatal accidents involving children's clothing drawstrings. For art supplies, make sure your kids are using only materials that say "CONFORMS TO ASTM D-4236."

To learn more about keeping your kids safe this year, visit the CPSC's "Back to School Safety Checklist."

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.