Love Your Child, Prevent Injuries (1-3 years)

Is your toddler safe?

  • Injury is a major child killer. Many children are killed or disabled by injuries every year. To protect your toddler from injuries, beware of his/her behaviour and remove all potential risks.
  • Children aged 5 or below may not understand or remember what is dangerous. Parents should not over-estimate their ability.
  • Statistics show that the home is the most common place of injury in children aged 0 to 5 years.

Common injuries in toddlers aged 1 to 3 years:

  • Toddlers are curious, innocent, rebellious and active. They love to explore new horizons. Being able to walk, climb or even run, they search for interesting objects everywhere. They like to explore with their hands and put things into their mouth.
  • During this period of active growth and development, hidden traps are everywhere. Common injuries include falls, suffocation and finger pinching.
  • Seek medical advice promptly after the injury.

Common injuries and preventive measures:

  1. Falls
    • Always keep an eye on what your children are doing. Don't let them play in the bedroom or other places without the company of an adult.
    • To prevent children from falling, install window guards and fences or wire meshes around balconies.

    Kids could fall or knock themselves against furniture when climbing.

  2. Suffocation
    • Empty plastic bags should be stowed or disposed of properly to prevent children from slipping them over their heads, which can result in suffocation.
    • Foldaway furniture such as chairs and tables should be stowed away safety.
    • Avoid using curtain cords. If you have to use them, don't let them dangle. Tie them up so that children cannot play whit them.

    Put cords and plastic bags away to prevent suffocation

  3. Finger pinching
    • Beware of children around when you are opening or closing the door to prevent pinching their fingers.
    • Fix doors in place with magnets or use finger pinch guards so that doors remain partly closed.
    • Do not let children run around. Also do not let children open or close doors, cupboards or drawers. Have safety locks fitted to cupboards to prevent children from opening the doors.

Conclusion:

  • Most injuries are preventable. Therefore, parents should be vigilant and learn more about childhood development so as to take appropriate preventive measures.
  • Parents should keep an eye on what children are doing at all times. Never leave them alone at home or put them in the care of an older child.

Parents who need occasional child care services can approach the Occasional Child Care Service, Mutual Help Child Care Centres or Neighbourhood Support Child Care Project of the Social Welfare Department. For information or enquiries, please visit the Social Welfare Department website at www.swd.gov.hk or contact its Child Care Centres Advisory Inspectorate at 2835 2016.

For more information, please call the following hotlines of the Department of Health:

24-hour Information Hotline (Family Health Service) 2112 9900
24-hour Health Education Hotline (Central Health Education Unit) 2833 0111

Or visit the following websites:

Family Health Service, Department of Health www.fhs.gov.hk
Central Health Education Unit, Department of Health www.cheu.gov.hk
Hong Kong Childhealth Foundation www.childhealthhongkong.com
Hong Kong Childhood Injury Prevention and Research Association childinjury.org.hk
(Content revised 02/2016)