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Last Updated:April 24, 2012

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Preventing Childhood Injuries

child with bandaid on knee Deaths from injury accounted for 29% of the 1,535 child deaths in NYC between 2001 and 2008. While lower than the national average, injuries are still the leading cause of death for children in NYC. Learning more about common causes of childhood injury can help us prevent them.


Key Indoor Safety Messages for Parents & Caretakers
  • Be sure your child is safe at home. Safeguard your home with devices like window guards, safety gates to keep children away from stairs and other dangerous places, safety latches for drawers and cabinets, electrical outlet covers, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.


  • Talk to your children about fire safety. The FDNY has resources for parents and children.


  • Make sure TV sets and other large household objects are on stable surfaces and are secured to avoid tipping over.


  • Never leave a child alone in the house or in a bathtub.


  • Do not keep firearms in the home. If there must be any kind of weapon in your home, put it where children cannot touch it. Keep guns unloaded with the trigger locked inside a lockbox.


  • Keep your home free of small objects a child can choke on (e.g., buttons, coins, jewelry, and small toys). Learn more about toy safety.


  • Lock up potential poisons out of children’s reach. Learn more about kids and unintentional poisonings


  • Post the phone number for Poison Control (800-222-1222) near the phone.

Key Outdoor Safety Messages for Parents & Caretakers
  • When you’re outside, watch your children closely.


  • Supervise your children while crossing the street. Children under age 10 should only cross the street with a responsible adult.


  • Teach your children about safety while at play; be sure they wear helmets and other protective gear whenever they are on wheels (bicycles, skates, skateboards, scooters). Learn about the Department of Transportation's Safety City program for kids.


  • Children should buckle up in the car and sit in a car seat or booster seat (depending on the age and weight of the child). The Department of Transportation can help you make sure your child's car seat is properly installed.


  • Never leave a child alone in a car or near water.


  • If you have a pool in your backyard, install fencing on all sides and a self-closing gate with a lock that is out of a child’s reach.


  • Learn how to swim and provide your child with swimming lessons. The Parks Department has Learn to Swim programs for kids and adults.

Indoor & Outdoor Safety Messages
  • Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). In the time it might take for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could make a difference in someone’s life.


  • Learn how to provide early treatment for children who are choking; know the right technique to help a choking child .


  • Make safety your priority when choosing caregivers and discuss all safety considerations thoroughly with them.


  • Teach your children about safety around dogs.

More Resources

Last Updated: June 27, 2012