How to avoid the 3 leading causes of accidental infant and toddler deaths

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Infant and toddler deaths: Make sure your little one is always safe by taking precautions against these three common accidents at all times.

Preparedness and quick thinking are often the only things that can keep you from experiencing every parent's worst nightmare.

Here's the three leading causes of unintentional and preventable deaths and what parents can do to avoid them, according to the CDC.

Suffocation

Infants: According to the CDC, 85% of unintentional infant deaths are caused by suffocation.

Unlike SIDS, which has no known cause, death by suffocation can be avoided by following sleeping guidelines, which include:

  • Placing your baby to sleep on her back, on a firm surface, like a crib with a tight-fitting sheet.
  • Keep the crib bare. Avoid using soft pillows, bedding, bumpers, and blankets.
  • Have your baby sleep in the same room with you, but not on the same bed until they reach the age of one.

Toddlers: About 10% of unintentional toddler deaths are due to suffocation and choking.

To avoid this, remember the following precautions.

  • Instruct them to sit down while eating.
  • Cut their food into pieces that are smaller than a half inch.
  • Keep choking hazards out of their reach. Examples of these are: plastic bags, cords, ribbons, toys with small parts, coins, and marbles. To know more about unusual choking hazards, refer to this article.
  • Make sure to choking-proof your home. Keep shoelaces, pant drawstrings, and blind cords out of your little one's reach.
  • Make sure you memorise how to do first aid in the event of choking. These methods include the Heimlich manoeuvre, CPR, and tongue-jaw lift.

How to avoid the 3 leading causes of accidental infant and toddler deaths

Drowning

Infants: Sadly, 3% of infant deaths are due to drowning. Remember infants can drown even while bathing! DO NOT leave them alone in a bathtub or bucket even for a second. Infants can drown in an inch of water.

Make sure you know the right way to do CPR on an infant.

Toddlers: Remember that drowning happens silently. Enrolling your child in swimming lessons could help equip them at a young age. If you have a pool at home, make sure to put up a fence around it, which can be easily installed whenever it's not in use.

  • Master the right way to do CPR for kids.
  • Don't leave them even for a few seconds when swimming, even if they're with family.
  • Make sure you're not distracted by your phone when you're out swimming with kids.

Motor vehicle accidents

Infant: Installing car seats are an important safety measure.

Choose a rear-facing car seat from birth until about the age of two, or until your child reaches the height limit of the car seat.

Car seats have been found to reduce the risk of infant deaths by 71% and toddler deaths by 54%

Toddlers: Switch to forward-facing car seat once your child grows. Once they reach 5 or 6 years old, you can switch to a booster seat, like MiFold grab-and-go booster seats.

It's important to install a dash cam as well as a rearview camera, to avoid accidental injuries caused by running small children over.

*Republished with permission from theAsianparent Philippines

sources: Parent.co, SafeKids.org, CDC, Red Cross

READ: Keep your child safe with these crib safety tips

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Written by

Bianchi Mendoza