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Keeping Your Child Safe

Most injuries in babies and young children are preventable. Learn more about the most common types of injuries for babies and young children, and how to prevent them.

Injuries in babies and young children are common, but most injuries are preventable. Parents and caregivers… you are your child’s best protection against injury! The most common types of injuries for babies and young children are falls, choking, burns, poisoning and shaken baby syndrome. Learn about your child’s risk for injuries and how you can prevent them.

In Halton, falls-related injuries are the most common cause of injury in babies and young children. Common ways children fall are from furniture, down stairs, and sometimes through windows. Most falls are preventable.

Preventing falls:

  • You are the best prevention against your child falling.
  • Babies should never be left alone on surfaces they can fall from - like couches, tables, or change tables (even if in a car seat, bouncer or other baby seat).

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Preventing choking:

  • Keep small objects out of your baby's reach.
  • Avoid feeding your child foods that are easy to choke on (external link) or cut up easily choked on foods.
  • Always supervise your child while they are eating.
  • Ensure your child is sitting at the table while eating, and not walking or running around.
  • Avoid clothing or accessories with strings or cords and do not put a necklace on your baby.
  • Do not prop a bottle in your baby’s mouth.


Preventing burns:

  • Test your child's bathwater - it should feel warm, not hot.
  • Turn your hot water heater temperature down to 48°C (120°F). Your tap water should not be hotter than 43°C (110°F).
  • Never hold your baby when drinking something hot, cooking or smoking.
  • Ensure hot drinks and food are out of your baby’s reach.
  • Make sure that you have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors with charged batteries and a fire extinguisher that works.

Scalds and Burns

Common causes of poisoning in children are:

  • Medication (even small amounts can be fatal).
  • Household cleaners.
  • Personal care products like nail polish and mouthwash.

Preventing poisoning:

  • Store poisonous items away from children.
  • Keep poisons locked or in secure locations.
  • Avoid taking items out of their original containers or changing their containers.

Poison Prevention

Shaking a baby can cause brain damage or death.

It can be very frustrating to listen to your baby cry for long periods of time. If you feel like you might lose control:

  1. Place your child safely in the crib.
  2. Take a time-out and leave your baby's room for a few minutes.
  3. Call someone to come and help you if possible.

Tips to reduce stress/frustration:

  • Learn to read your baby's cues and respond before they start crying.
  • Go to your baby as soon as they start crying.
  • Have someone you trust come over and look after your baby to give you a break.
  • Talk to someone about your feelings.

Health Canada offers recalls and safety alerts relating to products that may cause injury to your child.