Most children are injured at home. Here’s how to baby and childproof your house
More than 50 per cent of children who attended an emergency department in 2021-22 were injured at home. Here are the most common hazards and how to childproof your home.
Remember the adage: most accidents happen in the home? Well, when it comes to children, some of the dangers are hiding in plain sight.
Research by Monash University Accident Research Centre’s Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit shows that during 2021/22, 30 per cent of hospital admissions and more than 50 per cent of emergency department presentations for children aged 0-14 were for injuries incurred in the home.
In 2021/22 there were a total of 13,692 hospital admissions for unintentional injury among children (0-14) in Victoria, with 4,867 admissions for children aged zero to four. For this age group, falls were the leading cause of injury (43.5 per cent), followed by hit/struck/crush injuries (16 per cent).
Males are more likely to get injured, accounting for 62.1 per cent of all children (0-14) hospital admissions and 58.5 per cent of ED presentations. For all children, fractures to the upper limbs (26.1 per cent) and open wounds to the head, face or neck (14.3 per cent) were some of the most common types of injury resulting in hospital admission.
While many dangers around the home can be easily eliminated with a bit of common sense, RACV Product Manager Property Inspections, Premika Banerjee, says it takes a trained eye to spot some hazards.
"It’s important to have a good look around your home to try to identify potential risks such as tripping hazards, dangerous curtain cords, drowning risks with pools, unsecured bookshelves and even low-lying medicine cabinets,” she says.
“These are some of the most common safety issues we encounter in our Child Safety Inspection Property Checks.”
To help protect your children from injury and reduce their chances of ending up in hospital emergency departments, we’ve pulled together a guide to the most common home safety hazards and what you can do to childproof against them.