Many childhood injuries are predictable and preventable. You can take action to prevent injuries at home. Below are the injury types that are most likely to cause pain, serious complications, or death in young children.
There are many places in the home where children can get burned. Keep children away from hot ovens and stoves.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
- Install and maintain a smoke alarm. Remember to change the batteries.
- Cover electrical outlets.
- Turn pan handles on the stove inward and use back burners when cooking.
- Set the hot water heater to 120 F or less. Ask a friend or your landlord if you need help.
- Test bath water temperature before putting your child in it.
Falling is part of learning. Use safety gates and create fall-safe environments.
- Watch your child constantly when they are in the bathroom.
- Install window guards on upper windows.
- Use stair gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
- Always use the safety latch in your child's chair or stroller.
Young children want to touch, taste, and smell the things around them. Keep chemicals out of the reach of children.
- Keep all medicines and cleaning supplies in containers with safety caps and store them in a locked cabinet.
- Buy and install a carbon monoxide (CO) detector in your home to save your family from CO poisoning.
- Act fast if you think your child has been poisoned by calling the Poison Control Centers at (toll-free) 800-222-1222.
Learn about choking hazards that can cause a child to stop breathing.
- Don't let children put small things in their mouths.
- Toys, household items, and food can all be choking hazards.
- Teach your child to chew his or her food fully before swallowing.
- Choose the foods you feed your child carefully — for example: popcorn, hard candy, nuts, hot dogs, grapes and avoid fish with bones.
Young children love water. The best way to keep children safe is to watch them at all times.
- Never leave your child unattended in a bathtub, bathroom, pool or even near a bucket.
- Install lid locks on all toilets and keep the lid closed.
- Never leave a child alone around water.
- Empty buckets after each use.
Many things can cause a child to stop breathing. Learn about safe sleeping choking hazards.
- Keep plastic shopping bags and trash bags away from your child.
- Keep toy chests, car trunks, and washer/dryer doors closed when not in use.
- Don't put pillows, blankets, bumpers, or toys in crib — these things can sometimes keep a baby from breathing.
- Place babies to sleep on their backs.
Never leave children unattended in cars, at home or anywhere else.
- Always use child safety seats. They protect your child from injury.
- Look before you lock your car to make sure no child is left behind.
- Lock unoccupied cars to prevent children from entering unlocked vehicles.
Resource Type: Publication
National Centers: Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety
Last Updated: October 3, 2023