Injuries are the leading cause of death and disability to U.S. children 1- to 18-years-old. Every day, 20 children die from preventable injuries—resulting in more deaths than all other diseases combined. 

Injuries are a significant problem in Arkansas. While the number of injuries and deaths vary across the state, every county in Arkansas is impacted by injuries. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for children in the state, and our infant and child mortality rates are extremely high compared to the rest of the country. Arkansas ranks in the top five states for deaths of children 1- to 14-years-old and is in the top 10 for teenagers 14- to 18-years-old.

The good news is, many of these injuries are predictable and preventable with the use of safety practices and equipment and the implementation of strong legislation. 
When it comes to the safety of your children, you already know the basics: make sure to buckle up when in the car; wear a helmet when you’re riding your bike; wear a life jacket when you’re around water; look both ways before crossing the street.

Here are some lesser-known, but just as important, tips from injury prevention specialists at Arkansas Children’s Injury Prevention Center.

  1. If your child’s car seat moves more than one inch at the base, tighten it up. Have questions or need help with your child’s car seat? Call the Injury Prevention Center at 501-364-3400 to make an appointment with a car seat technician. 
  2. Make sure to secure furniture and TVs. Young kids and toddlers learning to walk may try and pull up on furniture, and when not secure, it could fall on top of them, potentially injuring them.
  3. Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly. Replace batteries every year and replace devices every 10 years.
  4. Check your home for places kids can get into medicine. Remember the pills in your purse, the vitamins you left out on the counter and daily reminder boxes that curious kids get into. A lot of pills look like candy to kids. Don’t have a way to keep them secure? Contact the Injury Prevention Center at 501-364-3400 for medicine lock boxes that can help.
  5. Check around your house for coin-sized button batteries. These can be found in hearing aids, remotes, key fobs and even some toys. Any time you even suspect your child may have swallowed a button battery, get to the nearest emergency department immediately. 

Want to learn more about what injury prevention experts are doing to address injuries in Arkansas and across the country? Find out at noon on Nov. 18, National Injury Prevention Day, by tuning in to a Twitter chat hosted by the Injury Free Coalition for Kids. Follow the handle @InjuryFree or the hashtag #BeInjuryFree.