June is National Safety Month, so let’s talk about a problem many Americans aren’t aware of: unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for our children.
Surprised? You probably thought it was cancer or another disease, but no, it’s injuries: drowning, poisoning, car crashes, choking, and the like.
Although people often shrug and say that injuries are just something that happens, that’s usually not true. We know the causes and circumstances that are often associated with injuries. We have the power to stop them without waiting for a new drug or device, but we do need effort. And because our children are out and about, we need everyone, not just parents, to help with prevention of injuries, just like we do for diseases.
To show your support for National Safety Month and the children who live and play in our communities, decide to do something to be safer. It could be as simple as being a good role model by putting on a helmet when you’re riding a bike or slowing down when driving around a school or playground. Even small actions can create big change when everyone pitches in.
The bottom line: children’s lives are at stake, and each of us can do better to protect this vulnerable population. We just have to decide to do it. Get started with one of the actions below, or learn more about child safety at www.preventchildinjury.org/toolkits/why-injury.
- Look for hazards in your home using an app or checklist
- Share safety information on social media
- Submit an article on safety to an organization’s newsletter or blog
- Ask questions about home safety when taking your children to visit family and friends
In Your Community
- Set up a car seat check in your neighborhood or at a church, school, or recreational event
- National Child Passenger Safety Certification https://cert.safekids.org/
- Help students find safer routes to school
- Send a letter to your local newspaper editor
- Decide to be a good role model by not texting or looking at your phone when driving or walking