By: Alicia Rennoll
It’s estimated that sadly 9,000 children die each year from accidents and almost half of these happen at home. Most shockingly, the bedroom is the third most dangerous room in the home after the kitchen and bathroom. While your priority might be to ensure your child always gets a good night sleep, their bedroom is home to a number of potential hazards from tippable furniture, blind cords, windows and high beds. Fortunately, by taking just a few simple precautions, most childhood accidents that happen at home are easily preventable.
Fall Proof Your Child’s Bedroom
Falls at home are one of the most common childhood injuries and in the US, around 36,000 children are injured from falling out of bunk beds each year. Due to the height of the top bunk, these injuries can be very serious and happen from falling off during play or sleep. The injuries tend to be severe cuts on the head and neck along with bruises and broken bones. These injuries can be prevented by not allowing children to play on the top level, while also ensuring there is adequate light there if they need to get out during the night to use the bathroom. A good way to prevent future falls is to change the bunk bed into two separate beds and incorporate a privacy tent to give the sense of enclosure and privacy they may have liked from bunk beds. The tent base fits at the mattress so children are secure in the bed and prevent tipping during the night. Windows present another fall hazard in the bedroom. More than 5,000 children fall from a window each year. While you may not be able to change the window itself, you can keep the windows locked, install a window guard or use window stops or a Charley bar to ensure the window is adequately childproof.
Remove Potential Hazards
While keeping your child’s bedroom tidy might seem like an impossible task, tidying up the clutter and keeping the floor clear removes potential trip hazards. This is particularly important if your child needs to get up in the dark to use the bathroom during the night. Create plenty of accessible storage in their bedroom for them to put away their toys so they don’t have to live on the floor. Meanwhile, two children are injured every day and one child is killed every month by injuries caused by window blinds. While the most common injuries were the child being hit by a falling window blind, entanglement has been linked with hundreds of hospitalizations and deaths. While many window manufacturers now produce window blinds that are either cordless or have inaccessible cords, many cord blinds are still available. Removing blinds from your child’s bedroom window is the best way to remove any risk.
Prevent Furniture Tipping Accidents
Tens of thousands of children are injured and many killed by furniture that has toppled over onto a child. There have been a number of well-publicized cases of young children hurt or killed when the furniture has fallen on to them. A few years ago in Kansas City, one 2-year-old boy was crushed by a 30-inch dresser in his bedroom, meanwhile, a 3-year-old girl from Massachusetts was killed when the small dresser in her room fell on her. A number of furniture retailers such as Ikea, Amazon, Wal-Mart and Target have recalled items of furniture over concerns about them toppling over. While it’s crucial that children are taught not to climb on furniture, it’s also important to ensure that mirrors, bookcases, dressers, bookcases and other pieces of furniture are secured to the wall, ideally with dry-wall screws into a stud. Don’t overload dressers or bookcases and mount TVs to a wall or a piece of furniture.
While you supervise your children as much as possible, when they are in the bedroom at night, you aren't there to keep a watchful eye. So by removing hazards that could cause them to trip over, choke, fall or be hurt by tipped-over furniture, you can ensure that their bedrooms are a happy and safe place for them to rest and play in.