How can I protect my children from skin injuries?

Dr. Elif E. Oker, MD
Medical Toxicology
Reality check: You cannot completely protect your children from skin injuries. Kids will be kids so it is inevitable that they will experience minor cuts, bruises and scrapes. 
What you can do is try to prevent serious injuries, such as lacerations, that require stitches or burns from heat or chemicals.
Prevention, education and planning are the key to preventing serious injury in children.
Some tips:
  1. Be sure your kids have scissors and utensils that are made for kids.
  2. Supervise children when they are handling objects that can cause injury including things that are made for kids.
  3. Teach your children about safety and safe habits.
  4. Child-proof your home and be sure to keep chemicals, matches, lighters, knives and similar objects out of their reach.
To help your children avoid skin injuries, you can take a few preventive steps:
  • Do not leave cooking items on the stove, and turn pot handles away from the stove.
  • Keep hot items and liquids away from children.
  • Do not let your children near space heaters.
  • Do not smoke in the house; be sure not to smoke in bed.
  • Set your water heater no higher than 120 degrees F.
  • Keep household chemicals locked away from children.
  • Keep children at a distance when loading or unloading diswashers.
  • Keep knives, razors, tools, glass, and other sharp or breakable items out of the reach of children.
  • Keep children away from paper shredders and any household appliances that have sharp blades or generate heat.
  • Make sure mirrors and framed pictures are out of children's reach or firmly attached to a wall.

If your child does sustain a burn, be sure to treat that burn as soon as possible to avoid infection. You can treat a burn by cooling the skin and applying antibiotic ointment. More severe burns require professional treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.