Safe Kids: Keeping Children Safe from Accidental Injury in the Home

A group of social workers is set to teach younger parents about keeping their kids safe

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Safe Kids educators say keeping small children from accidental injury involves more than storing cleaning fluids out of reach.

It’s why a team of social workers and home visitors are getting the tools they need to educate younger parents across the valley.

A child care specialist said more kids are getting accidentally poisoned by prescription medication than cleaning fluids.

Experts at the Safe Kids home safety training session said suffocating when asleep is a leading cause of death for infants.

“For newborns, out biggest message is about safe sleep,” said Safe Kids specialist Patty Olsen. “Kids sleep alone, on their backs and in cribs.”

Social workers and home visitors spent the day learning how to prevent accidental injury so they can pass the info down to at-risk families.

They classify “at-risk” as low-income, younger than usual parents and new Americans.

“You don’t know what you don’t know and we can’t fault people for that,” said Sarah Myers. “So the more we can get this information out to parents and anyone taking care of children, the better we are.”

They say common products like baby walkers can be dangerous.

“We could have hazards happen,” Myers said. “Either them falling down the stairs or them getting to a location that would not be safe for them to go to.”

But newer statistics show lessons like these have a lasting effect.

“Safe Kids Worldwide was started 28 years ago,” said Olsen. “The injury statistics for children were quite high and that’s how it got started. The numbers of kids getting hurt unintentionally has gone down dramatically in those last 28 years, but one death is too many.”

More than 30 home visitors from the Grand Forks and Fargo areas took part.

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