From Fraser Health. As the May long weekend approaches families will head out to enjoy their first camping trips, BBQs and roads trips of the season. Virtually all related injuries include motor vehicle accidents, falls, choking and burns are preventable.
“Long weekends are a time to relax and enjoy the outdoors, so don’t let injuries upset your plans,” said Dr. Marcus Lem, Medical Health Officer, Fraser Health. “There are many things we can do to keep children safe from injury. Ensuring your child is buckled up properly in the right car seat, being aware of choking and burn hazards at home and using high chairs and booster seats properly are all things we can do to provide a safe environment for young children.”
Car Seat Safety
As you head out camping and road-tripping, remember that child car seats are required by law and must meet Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, which includes being made in Canada. Until one year of age, children must use a rear-facing child care seat when travelling in a car. After one year of age, parents have a few more options depending on the child’s weight and age.
Children love to put everything in their mouths as they explore the world around them. However, this can put them at risk of choking. Be aware of food choking hazards, cut up food into small pieces and avoid certain foods. Scan your home from a child’s point of view for choking hazards.
Everyone loves a cozy campfire and cook-out, but children will play with anything they can reach – even hot BBQs and fire. The skin of young children is very sensitive to heat and will burn quickly.
- Keep matches and lighters out of young children’s sight and reach.
- When using an electric kettle, make sure the cord is not loose and hangs over the edge of the countertop, where it could be grabbed by a young child.
- When cooking, use the burners at the back of the range and turn saucepan handles towards the back so they can’t be grabbed by little fingers.
- When you’ve finished using your iron or hair straighteners, put them out of reach while they cool down. Make sure your child can’t grab the cord while you’re using them.
- Teach children to always treat fire with respect.
Falls are the most common injury among young children both inside and outside of the house. Make sure that high chairs and booster seats are installed and used properly. Some flip flops may come loose and trip children. Footwear should be appropriate for the environment and type of play. The Healthy Families BC website has more information on safety measures that people can take.