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Injury prevention is a large subject to tackle. This website covers a few of the more common accidents and tips on how to prevent them, but is by no means a complete list on injury prevention. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA,) almost 2,500 children were injured or killed in residential fires in 2002. More than half of those children were under the age of five. Installing a smoke alarm in your home cuts your chance of dying in a fire by half. This is one of the most significant ways to not only protect your children, but everyone who lives in your home. Check the alarms monthly to make sure theyíre working, and change the batteries twice a year. Many people change batteries in the fall and spring when the time changes, since this is a good reminder. Itís also best to use long-life batteries. Establish a fire evacuation plan and discuss it with your children. Keep a fire extinguisher in your home in case of an accident in your kitchen. Itís also good to keep one near your fireplace, if you have one in your home. Consider flame-retardant sleepwear for your children.

Injury prevention also includes inspecting childrenís toys. Make sure there are no sharp edges or small removable parts on the toys that your child could remove and swallow. Itís estimated that three billion toys are sold each year in the United States. You want your child to have fun and enjoy these toys, but precautions are always advisable. Make sure the toys are age-appropriate for your child, read all the instructions included, and inspect all toys for safety. Avoid marbles or other toys with small parts that could pose a choking hazard. When buying paint sets and crayons, look that itís marked ďASTM D-4236Ē which means itís been inspected by a toxicologist.

Other ways to prevent injury include always having your child wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, a scooter, skateboard or horseback riding. If you have playground equipment in your yard, such as swing sets, check them regularly to assure they are in proper working condition.


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