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Safe Children & Families

Injury Prevention Program

Protecting Your Children and Home

A little education goes a long way toward preventing accidental childhood injury in the home. Learn more from the injury prevention experts at Phoenix Children’s about preventable injuries and other safety measures.

Dog Bite Prevention 

Active children can seem threatening to even the gentlest of family pets. Children can also be caught off-guard by a new family pet or an unpredictable stray. Start early to teach children safe habits and be sure that responsible adults are there to supervise when pets are around. 

Follow the reminders here and use the resources linked below, so you and your loved ones know how to avoid pet injuries.

Dog Safety Reminders

Do your children know how to approach and behave around dogs? Watch and guide them as they interact with family pets or other animals. Learn and share these and other dog safety reminders for children and caregivers:

  • Supervise. Never leave children alone when pets are around – regardless of a dog’s size, breed, temperament or age.
  • Touch safely. Pet and hold the dog gently, especially around the shoulders or chest. Avoid petting the dog’s head, face, ears or tail. Pet in the direction that the fur is growing.
  • Stay calm. Remind your child to be gentle and calm around dogs. Tell them that if their behavior is rough, it can scare the dog, and the dog may become aggressive.
  • Don’t disturb. Never interrupt or bother a dog who is sleeping, eating, or chewing on a bone or toy. Even friendly dogs can become possessive and aggressive over food, toys and territory. Give pets their space to avoid accidental injury.
  • Be aware. Always walk aware of your surroundings.  Stray dogs may be thirsty, hungry or injured.  If you see a stray dog in the distance look for a safe location to walk to or a store to walk into.

Prevent Accidental Poisoning and Other Risks

Children of all ages face changing risks throughout their lives. From a curious toddler to a distressed teen, a safe environment can make impulsive or accidental injuries far less likely. The following information can help you to keep younger and older children safe in your home:

Avoiding Accidental Overdose and Toxic Household Hazards

Here are things you can do right away to keep kids safer at home:

  • Lock up all medications – Secure any and all prescription drugs and over-the-counter cold medicine, pain-relief medications and even vitamins or supplements. Store them in a locked box, cabinet or pantry.
  • Don’t leave any medications – including supplements or vitamins – unattended – Once you take prescription or over-the-counter medications, close the cap securely. Put them in a locked place, and don’t leave them around where they can be accessed by toddlers, teens and young adults. Keep them securely locked and out of sight. 
  • Store meds in their original containers – Don’t use household cups, bottles or organizing containers to store medications or other potential toxins, such as detergents, household cleaners or other non-food products. 
  • Check expiration dates – Don’t keep old or expired medications around the house. Ask your doctor or pharmacy about safe disposal options. Remove personal identification and labels before disposal.

In case of emergency, get medical help right away:
Poison control: 1-800-222-1222 or dial 911

Secure Other Household Hazards

Certain objects and tools can pose varied risks to small, curious children or older adolescents who might be at risk of suicide or impulsive acts when distressed.

You can help by staying aware and taking proactive steps:

  • Store firearms in a locked safe or lockbox – Firearms should be locked in a certified safe or box designed for this purpose. 
  • Store ammunition separately – Keep it in a separate safe or lockbox that is certified for firearm security.
  • Lock up sharp knives, tools and other hazardous objects or products – These include toxic chemicals, detergents, paint, cleaners and other household hazards. 
  • Use childproof locks, lockboxes or other locks – A simple but secure lock can protect young explorers or older kids from harm.

Related Resources  

•    Educational Video – Dog Bite Prevention
•    Blogs about bite prevention and related topics

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