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Wear The Gown: Preventing injuries around the home

Kids at home means more injuries that typically don't happen until the summer, with danger posed by cleaning supplies, weapons, and things you may not think about.

SAN ANTONIO — With children at home and out of school longer than usual, injuries in the home are much higher than normal. In tonight's Wear The Gown we find out ways to prevent those injuries from happening in the first place.

"There are some key things you want to point out so children can stay safe in homes, especially as more parents are working from home and juggling responsibilities of their own work and helping children with their schoolwork," said Jennifer Northway, the Director of Adult and Pediatric Injury Prevention with University Health System.

She says there are many places around the home where things can go terribly wrong. The first involves cleaning products and the potential for poisoning. 

"We want to make sure nothing could come open and then have a child, ingest that liquid or fluid, or be exposed to some fluid that could be caustic to their skin," she said.

"We want to make sure folks are properly storing cleaning products up and away and that they also have to poison control number close by. We’ve already heard from the S. Texas Poison Center that they’ve seen an increase in calls to their helpline asking for information about poisonings and what to do if their child is ingesting things."

That number is 1-800-222-1222.

Weapons in the home also pose a threat to curious children, or even adults with dementia.

"We want to remind you during this time especially it is important to store it away, locked, without any ammunition, and separate from that ammunition," she said.

"I want to encourage families to take proactive steps if you didn’t have any other actions but to buy prepackaged foods then have an adult make that food and serve it to the child rather than a child make it themselves," Northway said. "Make sure it’s on a steady surface not a lap even a coffee table but keep those hot liquids and those hot foods on a steady surface rather than have a child hold them while they eat."

Other SafeKids tips:

  • Keep all medicine out of children's reach and sight, even medicine and vitamins you take every day
  • Watch kids of all ages when they are swimming in backyard pools
  • Keep hot foods and beverages away from the edge of counters and table
  • Separate toys by age and keep little game pieces away from little kids
  • Create a safe place for kids to play by installing safety gates on stairs and guards on windows to prevent falls

 "If you don't already have baby gates or if you've gotten used to not using it you might consider putting the baby gate back in place," Northway said. "If you have windows and you are in a second story home, make sure all windows are locked so no child could move the window open and unintentionally fall out of the window."

For more information about family health call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of Wear The Gown stories, just go to WearTheGown.com.

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