No School Sports This Year? You Still Need to Prevent Childhood Injuries at Home

Given the ongoing threat of the novel coronavirus, it’s likely that your child’s school may be operating with certain restrictions in place. Whether their classrooms are fully remote or their school has embraced a hybrid model this year, many extracurricular activities like school sports have been put on indefinite hold to reduce health risks.

That may be just fine for some parents who are worried about their kids getting hurt on the court or field. Depending on the severity of an ankle sprain, those types of injuries can take anywhere from a week to 10 days — or sometimes even several weeks — to heal. You might assume that with no school sports to worry about, your child will be inherently safer. But aside from COVID-19 concerns, there are other hazards you might need to be worried about at home. Here are just a few things to watch out for in order to prevent childhood injuries this fall.

Store Toxins and Medications Securely

Whether your children are very young or you’re worried that boredom could result in tragedy, you’ll want to securely store all toxic chemicals and medications in a place that isn’t accessible to your kids. From household cleaning products to your daily vitamins, you can never be too careful. Statistics show that more than 300 U.S. kids visit emergency departments due to poisoning every day. Whether you baby-proof your cabinets or keep these items locked away, be sure to be proactive — and keep the number for Poison Control handy.

Practice Proper Kitchen Safety

Spending time together in the kitchen can provide ample opportunities for learning and health. But it’s important to ensure that cooking and food prep are properly supervised. Cuts and burns can happen quickly and have severe consequences. Even if you don’t allow your children to use knives or the stove, they can easily become hurt if they grab onto the handle of a pan or touch a burner they don’t realize is on. Set clear ground rules for kitchen safety and make sure your kids know they should never use any kitchen equipment without your observation.

Keep Your Property Clean

Maintaining a clean home can help you and your kids stay focused and productive. But it’s also a good way to keep everyone safe. Although you might not need to worry about lead exposure from old paint (which has been proven to affect a child’s memory, fine motor skills, learning ability, and even test scores), there may be other home issues that exist that could harm your child’s health. Mold growth and the use of products with high VOCs can be problematic, while too much clutter can pose a tripping hazard or exacerbate allergies. Make sure to use safe cleaning products and keep floors clear of obstructions to promote the health of everyone in your household.

Wear Protective Gear When Applicable

Bike rides and hikes can be excellent ways to get physical exercise while reducing the risk of viral transmission. But these activities can come with certain dangers — which is why protective gear is a great idea. Approximately 3.6 million open wounds are reported in the U.S. every year, but your kids can avoid getting bruises and cuts if they wear helmets, knee pads, or the proper footwear. Even if your teen feels they’re too old for this kind of gear, encourage them to wear it in order to avoid a trip to the ER.

Unfortunately, injuries are often an escapable part of childhood. But by following these tips, parents can often prevent some of the worst examples and keep their kids safe during these uncertain times.

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