Furniture and TV tip-over incidents are one of the top hidden hazards in the home. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) encourages you to inspect and anchor furniture and TVs in order to protect young children from a preventable tragedy.
Between 2000 and 2010, the CPSC received reports of 245 tip-over-related deaths, and more than 90 percent involved children 5 and younger. The majority of these children suffered fatal injuries to the head.
You can prevent tip-over accidents by following these safety tips in any home where children live or visit:
- Anchor furniture to the wall or the floor.
- Place TVs on sturdy, low bases.
- Push the TV as far back on the furniture as possible.
- Keep remote controls, toys, and other items that might attract children off TV stands or furniture.
- Keep cable cords out of reach of children.
- Make sure freestanding kitchen ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets.
- Supervise children in rooms where these safety tips have not been followed.
Learn more about preventing furniture tip-over accidents.
Acetaminophen is a medicine commonly used to reduce fever and relieve pain. While generally considered safe and effective if you follow the package directions, giving a child even a little more than directed can cause nausea and vomiting or lead to liver failure.
Confusion about dosing is partly caused by the availability of different formulas, strengths, and dosage instructions for children of different ages.
Use these tips from the FDA to safely give acetaminophen to your children:
- Never give your child more than one medicine containing acetaminophen at a time.
- Choose the right medicine based on your child’s weight and age. If a dose for your child’s weight or age is not listed on the label or you can’t tell how much to give, ask your pharmacist or doctor what to do.
- Never give more of an acetaminophen-containing medicine than directed. If the medicine doesn’t help your child feel better, talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
- If the medicine is a liquid, use the measuring tool that comes with the medicine—not a kitchen spoon.
- Keep a daily record of the medicines you give to your child. Share this information with anyone who is helping care for your child.
- If your child swallows too much acetaminophen, get medical help right away, even if your child doesn’t feel sick. For immediate help, call the 24-hour Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222, or call 911.
Learn more about how to safely give acetaminophen to your kids.
When we think of a child’s safety we think of physical and emotional well-being, but what about their financial safety? According to the Carnegie Mellon Cylab’s report Child Identity Theft, published in April 2011, children’s identities are increasingly used to commit fraud.
Just like a criminal can use personal information of an adult to commit fraud, they can use a child’s identity to:
- Open credit accounts
- Take out student loans, home, boat, and car loans
- Receive government benefits and unemployment compensation
- Receive tax refunds
- Access medical care
- Secure employment
Many criminals turn to stealing children’s identities because it can go unnoticed for many years and this crime offers virtually no consequences. The child victims, on the other hand, inherit significant debt, carry a tarnished credit history, and suffer emotional impacts—particularly if the offender is a parent or family member—all before they even reach legal age.
How is child identity theft even possible? Unfortunately, the biggest loophole is the credit granting system itself. The system isn’t set up to verify if the information provided in a credit application is accurate (i.e., that the Social Security number presented corresponds with the age and particular person to whom it was issued by the Social Security Administration).
For now, the most important step we can take is to help build awareness of this issue, learn more, and talk to our friends and family about child identity theft.
Learn more about child identity theft and what to do if your child’s ID is stolen.
Reduce your children’s risk of getting many types of cancer later in life. Start by helping them adopt a healthy lifestyle with good eating habits and plenty of exercise to keep a healthy weight. Then follow the tips below to help prevent specific types of cancer.
A few serious sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. To protect yourself and your family, seek shade, wear a hat, sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing, use sunscreen, and avoid tanning beds.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines can protect women against the types of HPV that cause most cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. They’re recommended for 11- and 12-year-old girls, and for females 13–26 years old who didn’t get all of the shots when they were younger.
The best way to prevent lung cancer is not to start smoking, or quit if you smoke. It’s important to prevent adolescents from starting to smoke. Talk to your children about why you don’t want them to smoke, and don’t expose them to secondhand smoke.
Learn more about reducing children’s cancer risk.