Create a safe home for your children

While most people think of their home as a safe place, injuries among children at home are a common occurrence. In the U.S., nearly 5.6 million children are treated for injuries in emergency departments every year. Children are lost to tragedies, such as fires, drownings, firearms, falls, choking and poisoning. The important thing to remember is by knowing the basics of home safety, most injuries are preventable.

Home Safety Tips

Use the links below to learn about the potential risks and ways to minimize the chance of injury.


Falls are the leading cause of injuries in children of all ages. The type of activities that children are engaging in when falls occur vary greatly based on age and developmental level. It is important to encourage your children to be active and explore the world around them, but it is equally important to think about ways to keep them safe during these activities. Check out the tip sheet below for more details.

Falls Prevention Tips

Fire and burns

Home fires remain a leading cause of injury death in the United States. Your ability to get out of your home quickly and safely during a fire depends on early warning from smoke alarms and having a plan of action. Because every home is different, every home escape plan will also be different. Make sure to think about children, older adults and people with disabilities who may need assistance to wake up and get out safely. See the tip sheets below for more information.

Suffocation and choking

Most injuries occur while a child is awake and active, but there are risks to a child even during sleep. Creating a safe sleep area can help reduce your baby’s risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related deaths, such as accidental suffocation and strangulation.

Choking is also a leading cause of injury and death, especially among children 3 years old and younger. Avoid these injuries by keeping small objects and toys out of reach and preventing children from walking, running or playing when they have food or toys in their mouth.


Contrary to what we often see on TV and in movies, a drowning person can’t shout for help or make much noise. The best way to prevent drowning is to use several layers of protection. These include barriers around sources of water, close supervision of children near water and teaching children to swim. Water can be a great source of fun and enjoyment, but safety guidelines must be followed to minimize risk.


Firearms are now the leading cause of death for U.S. children and teens under the age of 18. Roughly a third of homes with children have guns. Unintentional shootings happen to children of all ages. In homes with guns, the likelihood of accidental death by shooting is four times higher. Teaching kids about gun safety, or to not touch a firearm if they find one, is not enough. If you own a gun or your child will be in an environment where guns are present, ensure they are stored safely.

Gun Safety Tips


Children under 5 are most at risk for swallowing or coming into contact with a poisonous substance. The most dangerous substances are prescription drugs, cleaning products, liquid nicotine, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, pesticides, furniture polish, gasoline, kerosene, lamp oil, cosmetics and personal care products. Children are also being exposed more often to addictive substances such as nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, marijuana and illicit drugs. Keeping these products out of reach and out of sight, along with close supervision, is the best way to protect your child from these dangers.

If your child is unconscious, not breathing, or having convulsions or seizures due to poison contact or ingestion, call 911 immediately. If you have non-emergent questions about potential poisons, you can get help from Poison Control by using their online tool or calling 1-800-222-1222. Both options are free, expert and confidential.