Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ten Ways to Avoid the Death of Your Baby or Child

There is nothing sadder than the death of a child. Some deaths, such as due to pediatric cancer, are unavoidable. But other deaths are avoidable as shown by these recent examples in the news:

1. August 2012: A baby in Utah was killed after his father straddled him between himself and a gas tank while riding a motorcycle too fast, losing control, and throwing the baby off the vehicle.

Lesson: Never ever allow a baby to ride with you on a motorcycle.

2. August 2012: A baby in Indiana died after falling asleep on his grandmother’s chest.

Lesson: Allowing a baby to fall asleep on your chest can be deadly because the baby can die from accidental suffocation since they are primarily nose breathers.  This is why doctors recommend always lying babies on their backs in a crib and not keeping other items in the crib (including blankets and pillows) when the bay is sleeping.

3. August 2012: Eight children across the U.S. died when left unattended inside hot vehicles.

Lesson: Look before you lock! Never leave a child unattended in a car, especially in hot temperatures with the windows closed.

4. August 2012: A two-year-old child died in Utah after falling out of a three story window, tumbling through the window screen.

Lesson: If you have small children, keep the bottom aspect of windows locked (even if a screen is in place because children can easily rip through it) and only open the top part of the window (if out of the child's reach) for fresh air.

5. August 2012: An eight-year-old child died in Toronto when his father reversed his car and backed into him.

Lesson: Never reverse your car when your child is behind you. Know where they are at all times. Preferably have the child in the car before reversing or make sure the child stands to the side of the vehicle while reversing.

6. August 2012: A three-year-old child died in Atlanta when playing in a shallow area of water in a park. There was a shallow drop off to a deep area, where the boy fell in. No one in the area could swim well to save the child, including the parents.

Lesson: Even in shallow areas, small children should not be in the water without close physical assistance and supervision. Children can fall and drown in just a few inches of water.

7. August 2012: Making the point I made in the lesson above, a 11-month-old child died after being placed in the bathtub with her 4-yearold sister by her father. The father then fell asleep on the couch.

Lesson: Again, children should not be left unsupervised by adults in the water, even a bathtub lightly filled with water. Also, young children should not be left to supervise other young children, which is what sounds like may have happened here.

8. July 2012: A one- year-old child dies in San Antonio, Texas, when trying to climb furniture, causing the dresser to tip, resulting in a 32-inch television crushing him to death.

Lesson:  Don’t let your children climb furniture, particularly furniture that can easily tip over.

9. April 2012: A 6-year-old boy from Connecticut died when he was pulled into a wood chipper while placing wood inside the machine. He was helping his father on a landscaping job when his father turned his back.

Lesson: Don’t let your children place items into a wood chipper and never turn your back if your child happens to be near power tools.

10. April 2012: A 2-month-old boy in South Carolina was killed after being dismembered by the family dog while the mother was away and the father slept.

Lesson: Do not leave small children unattended with animals, particularly dogs. Even dog breeds you would not expect to be violent sometimes can be. The dog in this case was a retriever.

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