Safety And Prevention
1 to 2 Years: Safety for Your Child
Did you know that injuries are the leading cause of death of children younger than 4 years in the United States? Most of these injuries can be prevented.
10 Years: Safety for Your Child
Did you know that injuries are the greatest threat to the life and health of your child? Injuries are the leading cause of death of school-aged children. Yet you can prevent most major injuries if you and your child take a few simple steps.
2 to 4 Years: Safety for Your Child
TIPP SHEETS: Injuries are the leading cause of death in children younger than 4 years in the United States, and most of these injuries can be prevented. Firearms in the home, poisons, falls, burns, drowning, and poor safety practices while driving with your child in a car all pose serious threats. These issues should be approached with increased caution.
2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) was discovered in December 2019 and has now spread throughout the world. As the virus spreads, we are seeing some people with mild illness, some who get very sick, and some who have died. The reason health officials are concerned is because the virus is new, which makes it hard to predict how it will continue to affect people. Researchers and doctors are learning more about it every day, including exactly how it spreads and who is most at risk.
5 Years: Safety for Your Child
Did you know that injuries are the greatest threat to the life and health of your child? Injuries are the leading cause of death of school-aged children. Yet you can prevent most major injuries!
6 to 12 Months: Safety for Your Child
Did you know that hundreds of children younger than 1 year die every year in the United States because of injuries — most of which can be prevented?
6 Years: Safety for Your Child
Did you know that injuries are the greatest threat to the life and health of your child? Injuries are the leading cause of death of school-aged children. Yet you can prevent most major injuries!
8 Years: Safety for Your Child
Did you know that injuries are the greatest threat to the life and health of your child? Injuries are the leading cause of death of school-aged children. Yet you can prevent most injuries!
A Guide to Children's Dental Health
The road to a bright smile begins long before the first tooth appears. Parents play a big part in helping their children develop healthy teeth. Early monitoring by your child's doctor and dentist is important. (See "What is a pediatric dentist?")
A Parent's Guide to Water Safety
Drowning is one of the top causes of injury and death in children. Children can drown in pools, rivers, ponds, lakes, or oceans. They can even drown in a few inches of water in bathtubs, toilets, and large buckets.
About Bicycle Helmets
You should only buy a helmet that meets the bicycle helmet safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Any helmet meeting these standards is labeled. Check the inside.
Air Bag Safety
An air bag can save your life. However, air bags and young children are a dangerous combination. The following information will help keep you and your children safe:
Anesthesia and Your Child: Information for Parents
Any time a child requires a hospital visit, it can cause anxiety for both a parent and the child. This especially may be the case when the visit involves any type of procedure that might require anesthesia. Examples of such procedures are surgery, medical imaging, and certain tests to examine the stomach or intestines. Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about anesthesia.
Antibiotics Aren't Always Needed
Parents need to know that using
antibiotics when they are not the right medicine will not help and may even
cause harm to children.
Things that cause asthma (AZZ-muh) attacks or make asthma worse are called triggers. Asthma triggers can be found in your home, your child's school, child care, and other people's homes.
Parents should: Meet the siiter and check references and training in advance. | Be certain the sitter has had first aid training and knows CPR. | Be sure the sitter is at least 13 years old and mature enough to handle common emergencies.
Bicycle Safety: Myths and Facts
Learning to ride a bike is a developmental milestone in the life of a child. The bicycle, a child's first vehicle, is a source of pride and a symbol of independence and freedom. Yet all too often children are seriously injured, or even killed, when they fail to follow basic bicycle safety rules. The following is a list of common bicycle safety myths, coupled with the correct information you need to teach your children about safe bike riding. These facts will help you and your children make every bike ride safe.
Biking (Care of the Young Athlete)
Biking is a fun way for children of all ages to
get active and stay fit. Most children learn to ride a tricycle at around 3
years of age. Between 4 and 7 years of age most children learn to ride a bike.
However, remember that each child is different and will learn to ride a bike at
his or her own pace.
Birth to 6 Months: Safety for Your Child
Did you know that hundreds of children younger than 1 year die every year in the United States because of injuries — most of which could be prevented?
Breastfeeding During COVID-19 Pandemic
The outbreak of COVID-19 is a stressful time for everyone. This may be especially true for mothers who are breastfeeding and concerned about their baby’s health. However, new moms can successfully start and maintain breastfeeding during the pandemic, with some recommended precautions.
Bullying: It's Not OK
CONNECTED KIDS: Bullying is when one child picks on another child again and again. Usually children who are being bullied are either weaker or smaller, are shy, and generally feel helpless. Bullying most commonly takes place at school, when adults are not watching, or through email or instant messages. Whether your child is the one being bullied, doing the bullying, or simply a bystander, there are a number of measures you can take as a parent to improve their social skills and decrease their involvement in this detrimental practice.
Car Safety Seat Checkup
Using a car safety seat correctly makes a big difference. Even the right seat for your child's size may not properly protect your child in a crash unless it is used correctly. So take a minute to check to be sure.
Car Safety Seats 2020 Guide
One of the most important jobs you have as a parent is keeping your child safe when your child is riding in a vehicle. Each year, thousands of young children are killed or injured in car crashes. Proper use of car safety seats helps keep children safe. But, because so many different seats are on the market, many parents find this overwhelming.
Car Safety Seats 2020 List
Child Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse of children is more common than most people think. About 1 out of 5 girls and 1 out of 10 boys will be sexually abused during their childhood. Parents can take steps to help prevent and recognize sexual abuse in children.
Childproofing Your Home
Children are naturally curious and love to explore. Young children especially like to explore by putting things in their mouths. Before or as soon as children begin crawling or walking, parents and caregivers need to take extra steps to make sure harmful items are out of reach, out of sight, and locked up if possible.
Choking Prevention and First Aid for Infants and Children
When children begin crawling, or eating table foods, parents must be aware of the dangers and risks of choking. Children younger than 5 years can easily choke on food and small objects.
Choosing Over-the-Counter Medicines for Your Child
“Over-the-counter” (OTC) means you can buy the medicine without a doctor's prescription. Talk with your child's doctor or pharmacist* before giving your child any medicine, especially the first time.
Choosing the Right Size Bicycle for Your Child
A bicycle of the wrong size may cause your child to lose control and be injured. Any bike must be the correct size for the child for whom it is bought. To keep your child safe, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following:
Cloth Face Coverings for Children During COVID-19
To protect ourselves and others from COVID-19, the CDC now recommends cloth face coverings be used when outside. But what about children? Read on for answers to some frequently asked questions about cloth face coverings and children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Co-Parenting Through COVID-19: Putting Your Children First
While a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic can add to the stress of co-parenting, it can also help parents overcome their issues and work together to safeguard the children they both love.
COVID-19: Infant Formula Advice
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, significant shortages of infant formulas have occurred in some stores. However, these are mostly due to people over buying or stockpiling formula and not because of a national shortage.
COVID-19: Information for Families of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs
As COVID-19 continues to spread, children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN), may be at increased risk for complications. This includes children with chronic conditions, disabilities, and those with medically complex conditions.
Dangers of Secondhand Smoke
Even if you don’t smoke, breathing in someone else’s smoke can be deadly too. Secondhand smoke causes about 3,000 deaths from lung cancer and tens of thousands of deaths from heart disease to nonsmoking adults in the United States each year.
Deciding to Wait
No matter what you've heard, read, or seen, not everyone your age is having sex, including oral sex and intercourse. In fact, more than half of all teens choose to wait until they're older to have sex. If you have already had sex but are unsure if you should again, then wait before having sex again.
Decorative Contact Lenses: What Teens and Parents Need to Know
You may want to look like your
favorite movie star or singer or have the perfect look for Halloween, but
changing the look of your eyes with decorative contact lenses could cause a lot
of damage to your eyesight.
Firearms Injury Prevention
More than 44 million Americans own firearms. Of the 192 million firearms owned in the United States, 65 million are handguns. Research shows guns in homes are a serious risk to families.
Food Allergies and Your Child
A food allergy happens when the body reacts against harmless proteins found in foods. The reaction usually happens shortly after a food is eaten. Food allergy reactions can vary from mild to severe.
Four Steps to Prepare Your Family for Disasters
If there was a disaster in your area, would your family know what to do? Every family should have a plan. This 4-STEP guide developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics offers tips on how to 1) be informed, 2) make a plan, 3) build a kit, and 4) get involved.
Fun in the Sun: Keep Your Family Safe
Warm, sunny days are wonderful. It's great to exercise outside, and the sun feels good on your skin. But what feels good can harm you and your family. Read on for information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about how to keep your family safe from the sun’s harmful rays.
Getting Children Outside While Social Distancing for COVID-19
Many schools are now closed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. You may have created a schedule for your family. Ideally, it includes some outdoor time.
Giving Medicine to Children: Important Safety Information
Giving medicine in the right way can help your child feel better and get well. However, medicine information and labels can be confusing. Read on for information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about prescription and over-the-counter medicines, how to give medicine in the right way, and how to prevent medicine mistakes.
Help Stop Teenage Suicide
Home Safety Checklist
Is your house a safe place for your child to live and play? The following safety checklist can help you prevent serious injuries or even death. Though it addresses common safety concerns, it's important to remember that every house is different and no checklist is complete. Because there may be other safety concerns in your house, a more thorough safety check is recommended at least every 6 months.
Home Water Hazards for Young Children
Each year many young children drown in swimming pools, other bodies of water, and standing water around the home. Children must be watched by an adult at all times when in or near water. Children may drown in an inch or 2 of water.
How to Prevent Overuse Injuries (Care of the Young Athlete)
Over the past 20 years more children are
participating in organized and recreational athletics. With so many
young athletes playing sports, it's no wonder injuries are common. Half
of all sports medicine injuries in children and teens are from overuse. The
following is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about overuse
injuries and injury prevention tips.
How to Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome and Other Forms of Abusive Head Trauma
One of the skills parents and caregivers need to learn is how to deal with stress. This is especially important when there seems to be no end to a baby's crying. Too often, when a parent or caregiver loses control the results can be harmful or deadly.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Your Baby
Baby teeth are important. If baby teeth are lost too early, the teeth that are left may move and not leave any room for adult teeth to come in. Also, if tooth decay is not prevented, it can be costly to treat, cause pain, and lead to life-threatening infections.
Imaging and Medical Radiation Safety: Important Information for Parents
Pediatricians use different tests and tools to help them diagnose and treat injuries and illnesses. This handout was written by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to answer questions about imaging and medical radiation safety.
Immunizations: What You Need To Know
Immunizations have helped children stay healthy for more than 50 years. They are safe and they work. In fact, serious side effects are no more common than those from other types of medication. Vaccinations have reduced the number of infections from vaccine-preventable diseases by more than 90%! Yet many parents still question their safety because of misinformation they've received. That's why it's important to turn to a reliable and trusted source, including your child's doctor, for information. The following are answers to common questions parents have about immunizations.
Keep Your Family Safe: Fire Safety and Burn Prevention at Home
Fires and burns cause almost 4,000 deaths and about 20,000 hospitalizations every year. Winter is an especially dangerous time, as space heaters, fireplaces, and candles get more use in the home. It is no surprise that fires in the home are more common between December and February. However, you might be surprised at how easy it is to reduce the risk of fire in your home. Follow these suggestions to help keep your home and family safe from fire all year round.
Lawn Mower Safety
The power lawn mower is one of the most dangerous tools around the home. Each year, approximately 68,000 persons with injuries caused by power mowers were treated in emergency departments. More than 9,000 of the people hurt were younger than 18 years. Older children and adolescents were most often hurt while cutting lawns as chores or as a way to earn money.
Lawn Mower Safety
Each year many children are injured severely by lawn mowers. Power mowers can be especially dangerous. However, most lawn mower-related injuries can be prevented by following these safety guidelines.
Lead Is a Poison: What You Need to Know
Lead in the body can affect child development and behavior. Lead is a metal that is found in a lot of places. Though you can't usually see it, there are things you can do to prevent your child from being exposed to lead. No safe level of lead has been identified for children. Children are at highest risk because they often put their hands and objects in their mouths, and their growing bodies tend to easily absorb what they eat. This publication was written by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help parents understand how lead can be harmful, where it may be found, and what they can do to keep their children safe.
Life Jackets and Life Preservers
If your family enjoys boating, sailing, canoeing, and using personal watercraft on lakes, rivers, and streams, be sure your children wear the correct life jackets. If you do, they will be able to take part in these activities more safely.
Making Healthy Decisions About Sex: Important Information For Teens
Before you decide to have sex or if you are already having sex, you need to know how to stay healthy. Even if you think you know everything you need to know about sex, take a few minutes and read on. Your doctor wants to make sure you know the facts.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Dental Caries (Early Childhood Caries, Tooth Decay, or Cavities)
Early childhood caries (commonly called cavities) is the most common chronic disease of childhood. Caries are the result of an infectious disease process that damages tooth structure and makes holes in the teeth. The consequences of early childhood caries are much more than unattractive teeth. Early childhood caries can cause severe pain, speech difficulty, and poor nutrition and can spread to cause serious infections. Treatment for caries can require expensive dental services, and younger children often require general anesthesia and treatment in the operating room.
Medicine and the Media: How to Make Sense of the Messages
Your child is sick or hurt and the first thought on your mind is, “How can I make my child better?” That's natural. No parent wants his or her child to suffer. So how do you decide what medicines to give or treatments to try?
Message to Parents of Teen Drivers, A
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and young adults. More than 5,500 young people die every year in car crashes and thousands more are injured. Parents can play an important role in reducing these numbers and keeping their teens alive.
Minor Head Injuries in Children
Almost all children bump their heads every now and then. While these injuries can be upsetting, most head injuries are minor and do not cause serious problems. In very rare cases, problems can occur after a minor bump on the head. This publication was written by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help parents understand the difference between a head injury that needs only a comforting hug and one that requires immediate medical attention.
A pulled elbow (also known as nursemaid’s elbow) is a common, painful injury generally among children under four years old but occasionally older. It occurs when the outer part of the elbow becomes dislocated or slips out of its joint.
Parent's Guide to Insect Repellents, A
Mosquitoes, biting flies, and tick bites can make children miserable. While most children have only mild reactions to insect bites, some children can become very sick. Some insects carry dangerous germs such as West Nile virus, Lyme disease bacteria, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever bacteria.
Parent's Guide to Pets, A
Pets are found in millions of American homes. If you don't already own a pet, at some point your child may ask for one. If you already own a pet, your child may want another one. So how do you decide?
Parent's Guide to Teen Parties, A
As a parent, you know the importance of your teen's social life and that parties are a way to socialize and relax. But an unsupervised or poorly planned party can result in unwanted or even tragic consequences. However, parental responsibility is the key to a fun and safe party.
Parent's Guide to Toy Safety, A
Children can have a lot of fun playing with their toys. However, it's important to keep in mind that safety should always come first. Each year thousands of children are injured by toys.
Parent-Teen Driving Agreement and a Message to Parents of Teen Drivers: Pediatrician Implementation Guide
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 16- to 20-year-olds, accounting for about 5,500 fatalities annually and injuring thousands more. A variety of legislative measures—graduated driver licensing (GDL), minimum drinking-age and drunk-driving laws, and improved seat belt laws—are saving teens' lives, but much work remains to be done, particularly in improving the way parents handle the issue of teen driving. Parents are too often unaware of their teens' risky driving habits and while parents do place restrictions on their teens' driving, they are often not the restrictions with proven safety benefits such as prohibitions on nighttime driving and limits on the number of teen passengers.
Each year, about 200,000 children get hurt on playground equipment with injuries serious enough to need treatment in the emergency department. About 15 children die each year from playground injuries. While many of these injuries happen on home equipment, most occur at school and public playgrounds.
Pool Safety for Children
A swimming pool can be very dangerous for children. If possible, do not put a swimming pool in your yard until your children are older than 5 years. Help protect your children from drowning by doing the following:
Positive Parenting & COVID-19: 10 Tips to Help Keep the Calm at Home
Calmly teaching your child good behavior can become more difficult, though no less important, during stressful times. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers these tips for families facing long periods of time isolated at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Prescription Medicines and Your Child
There are 2 types of medicines you can buy:
Protect Your Child From Poison
Children can get very sick if they come in contact with medicines, household products, pesticides, chemicals, or cosmetics. This can happen at any age and can cause serious reactions. However, most children who come in contact with these things are not permanently hurt if they are treated right away.
Protect Your Child…Prevent Poisoning
Young children may put anything in their mouths. This is part of learning. Many household products can be poisonous if swallowed, if in contact with the skin or eyes, or if inhaled.
Protect Your Home Against Fire…Planning Saves Lives
Pulling the Plug on TV Violence
Raw Milk: What You Need to Know
Raw milk is milk that comes straight from a cow, sheep, or goat. Raw milk is not pasteurized (heated to kill germs) or homogenized (processed to keep the cream from separating from the milk).
Safe Bicycling Starts Early
When a child receives his or her first tricycle or bicycle, a lifelong pattern of vehicle operation is begun. A bike is not just a toy, but a vehicle that is a speedy means of transportation, subject to the same laws as motor vehicles.
Safe Driving…A Parent's Responsibility
Safe Sleep and Your Baby: How Parents Can Reduce the Risk of SIDS and Suffocation
Many infants die during sleep from unsafe sleep environments. Some of these deaths are from entrapment, suffocation, and strangulation. Some infants die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). However, there are ways for parents to keep their sleeping baby safe.
Safety of Blood Transfusions
Because of illness or injury, some children need to receive transfusions of blood and blood products. This procedure may be frightening for parents and their children. Many parents are also concerned about the safety of transfusions. While blood supply in the United States is considered very safe, parents should know a few things about blood transfusions and the safety of blood products for children. Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about blood and blood transfusions.
Safety Tips for Home Playground Equipment
Simple Ways to Entertain and Boost Your Baby’s Development at Home
During social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, you may be looking for new ways to entertain and play with your young child. Thankfully, all you need is loving attention and some basic household items.
Smoking and E-cigarettes: What Parents Need to Know About the Risks of Tobacco Use
Many people think that the only people harmed by tobacco use are smokers who have smoked for a long time. The fact is that tobacco use can be harmful to everyone. This includes unborn babies and people who don’t smoke.
Smoking and E-cigarettes: What Parents Need to Know About the Risks of Tobacco Use
Did you know that about 80% of teens in the United States don't smoke? They've made a healthy choice.
Social Distancing: Why Keeping Your Distance Helps Keep Others Safe
As the spread of COVID-19 continues, communities are being asked to reduce close contact between people. This is called social distancing, and it’s an important and effective way to slow down the spread of this virus.
Substance Abuse Prevention
The use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs is one of the biggest temptations facing young people today. As a parent, you are your child's best protection against drug use. You can start by telling your children that you expect them not to use drugs and become informed yourself about drug use. This publication was written by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help you identify the warning signs of drug use and provides tips on how to help your child (especially during the preteen and teen years) say no to drugs.
Talking With Your Teen About Sex
Children are exposed to sexual messages every day—on TV, on the Internet, in movies, in magazines, and in music. Sex in the media is so common that you might think that teens today already know all they need to about sex. They may even claim to know it all, so sex is something you just don't talk about. Unfortunately, only a small amount of what is seen in the media shows responsible sexual behavior or gives correct information.
Talking With Your Young Child About Sex
Children begin learning about sex and sexuality as soon as they are able to view, listen, and sense the world around them. As your children grow and develop, they may giggle with friends about "private parts," share "dirty" jokes, and look up taboo words in the dictionary. Their curiosity is natural, and children of all ages have questions.
Tattooing and Body Piercing
Teens get tattoos or body parts pierced for different reasons. Most teens get a tattoo or body piercing because they like the way it looks or to express themselves. Some get a tattoo or piercing to feel like part of a group. In some states and cities, you need to be 18 or have a parent's permission to get a piercing or tattoo.
Teens & COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities During the Outbreak
Social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 can be especially hard for teens, who may feel cut off from their friends. Many also face big letdowns as graduations, proms, sports seasons, college visits and other long-planned events are cancelled or postponed. Here are a few ways you can help your teen through this difficult time.
The Child as a Passenger on an Adult's Bicycle
A young passenger on an adult's bike makes the bike unstable and increases the braking time.
The Medical Home for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder—Autism Toolkit
Parents, pediatricians, and other health care professionals are encouraged to work together so that all of the needs of children and youths are met. This partnership is at the core of what the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) calls a medical home. The medical home is not a physical place but rather a way of giving a child comprehensive and compassionate primary care. A medical home helps coordinate the medical care and other services your child needs into a single plan for your child’s health.
Tips for Coping with a New Baby During COVID-19
All babies cry. Most babies cry a lot from two weeks to two months of age. Some cry more than others, and some cry longer than others. For many new parents, crying is one of the most stressful parts of coping with a newborn.
Tips for Getting Your Children to Wear Bicycle Helmets
Have your children wear helmets as soon as they start to ride tricycles and if they are a passenger on the back of an adult's bike. If they learn to wear helmets whenever they ride tricycles and bikes, it becomes a habit for a lifetime. It's never too late, however, to get your children into helmets. Allow your child to participate in choosing their helmet. They'll be able to let you know if it is comfortable. And if they like the design, they are more likely to wear it.
Trampolines: What You Need to Know
If you choose to have a home trampoline, the AAP recommends the following safety precautions: adult supervision at all times, only one jumper on the trampoline at a time, and no somersaults should be performed. Also, trampolines should have adequate protective padding that is in good condition and appropriately placed. All equipment should be checked often and protective padding, the net enclosure, and any other parts should be repaired or replaced when damaged. Parents should check their homeowner's policy and obtain a rider to cover trampoline-related injuries if not included in the basic policy.
Using Liquid Medicines
Many children’s medicines come in liquid form. Liquid medicines are easier to swallow than pills. But they must be used the right way.
Using Over-the-Counter Medicines with Your Child
“Over-the-counter” (OTC) means you can buy the medicine without a doctor's prescription. This doesn’t mean that OTCs are harmless. Like prescription medicines, OTCs can be dangerous if not taken the right way. Talk with your child's doctor before giving your child any medicine, especially the first time.
Wandering Off (Elopement)—Autism Toolkit
Research shows that about 1 in 3 young children with ASD has tried to wander off. This behavior may continue to happen in older children and even teenagers and adults with ASD. This is concerning since many people with ASD may not be able to share their names, addresses, or phone numbers if they get lost.
Water Safety for Your School-aged Child
Swimming and playing in water can give your child much pleasure and good exercise. But you must take steps to prevent your child from drowning.
When Your Child Needs Emergency Medical Services
It is rare for children to become seriously ill with no warning. Depending on your child's symptoms, you usually should contact your child's pediatrician for advice. Early recognition and treatment of symptoms can prevent an illness or injury from getting worse or turning into an emergency.
Working and Learning from Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak
To help contain COVID-19, many schools are moving children to online learning at home. In addition, many parents are being asked to work from home. These forms of social distancing are needed to help slow the spread of the virus and prevent overloading the health care system.
Your Baby's First Steps
Learning to walk takes practice. Each child will learn to coordinate and balance at different rates. You can expect some wobbling and falling down at first, but before you know it, your child will be running circles around you.
Your Child and Medications—Autism Toolkit
While medications will not change your child’s autism spectrum disorder (ASD), they can be helpful when added to other treatments to help your child’s development and learning.
Your Child and the Environment
Environmental dangers are everywhere. Most of these dangers are more harmful to children than adults. However, there are things you can do to reduce your child's contact with them. Read more to learn about how to protect your family from environmental dangers.
Your Child is on the Move: Reduce the Risk of Gun Injury
ZIKA Virus: Pediatrician Advice for Families