A parent’s guide to safety: falling, biking, and communication

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With school out for the summer, kids spend more time at home without a parent’s watchful eye. Whether parents hire a babysitter or leave their children with an older sibling, accidents are much more prone to happen. Debbie Coshatt of Children’s Patient Health and Safety area offered some great tips on home safety.

Falling
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Injuries from falling often affect younger children. For this reason, it is important for parents to have gates installed at the top and bottom of stairways. Also, babysitters should be sure to buckle children into highchairs during feeding.

Do not leave small children unattended when changing diapers. In fact, in order to prevent injury, sometimes it is better to change the child on the floor instead of on a changing table.

Older children are more likely to obtain injuries from falling when playing outside. In order to prevent falls, parents should instruct their children not to climb trees or roughhouse outside, particularly when a parent is not home.

Biking
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Truly, there is one rule when it comes to riding anything with wheels: always wear a helmet.

Otherwise, it is important to follow basic traffic rules, such as stopping at stop signs, riding with the flow of traffic, and walking your bike across a busy intersection. The key is to be aware of your surroundings.

Also, based on the individual judgement of the parent, it may be best to avoid bike riding without parental supervision.

Communication
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photo via Huffington Post

Whether parents hire a babysitter or leave their children with an older sibling, it is important to establish ground rules before leaving. Obviously, accidents happen. But, some accidents can be prevented if parents instruct the sitter to avoid activities that are likely to result in injury.

In case of emergency, it is important to ensure the sitter has a way of communication via telephone. A lot of homes no longer have landlines, so parents should make sure sitters have access to a cellphone. Also, ensure the sitter has parent contact information, as well as an emergency contact and phone numbers for a doctor, poison control, etc.

For more information about safety, visit kidshealth.org. Or, stay tuned for Bham Now’s continued safety series with Children’s of Alabama!

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