Home can be a safe place for children to learn and grow. However, most injuries to young children do occur in their homes. Children are vulnerable in this environment because heights, space and structures are built for adult use and comfort, but often create hazards for children.
Each year, more than 20,000 children are seen in emergency departments across Canada with injuries that occurred at home. This means that every day, approximately 60 young children suffer injuries in the home serious enough to be taken to the hospital.
Injuries in the home are most often caused by falls, burns, poisoning, choking, strangulation and drowning.
- Falls account for more than half of all the injuries and most often children fall from furniture and stairs, in addition to falling through windows.
- Burns are usually caused by hot liquids and tap water that is too hot. Scald burns can lead to longer hospitalizations and lifelong treatment.
- Poisoning is most often from medication, household cleaning products and personal care products.
- Choking is typically caused when eating food, while strangulation of toddlers and preschoolers is most often caused by entanglement in window blind cords.
- Drowning frequently occurs in bathtubs and home swimming pools.