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Special Report: Staying Safe with Kids

Special Report: Staying Safe with Kids

Posted - May 6, 2004 at 3:28 p.m.



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Nadine Wimmer reporting Parents will normally do everything possible to protect their children. But it could get more difficult with what doctors call the Summer Trauma Season.

We may not be guarding against the right things.

It seems like there are so many dangers out there. Which ones really threaten our children the most?

We dug into State Health reports, census data, even hospital stats and found our top fears may not help kids Stay Safe.

Cheryl Wagner/ Mom: "Stranger danger has been a big one lately."

Cris Baker/ Mom: "Injuries around the home are my top concern."

Aaron Gibbons/ Father: "Just going up and down the stairs when we're not watching him every minute."

Mark Wagner/ Father: 'You hear stories about people being kidnapped."

A Survey USA poll done for Eyewitness News found the threats that concern parents most are: abduction, car accident, violent assault, disease.

But the Centers for Disease Control found the top killer of Utah children are preventable injuries.

Cyndi Bemis/ Utah Dept. of Health: "People are worried about the wrong thing."

And of the preventable injuries, the number one killer in young children is drowning. Around 20 children each year in Utah drown.

Often with babies, the problem is parents left them in the tub with a slightly older brother or sister.

Kathy Chambers/ Injury Prevention Manager, Salt Lake Valley: "They shouldn't have an older sibling watch a younger sibling in the bathtub. You just can't trust the maturity of your child."

We asked this injury prevention expert to offer other top tips that are most likely to save a baby's life.

"Another place where they drown, believe it or not, is in the toilet. If the lid is up, they get curious about the water, they want to play in the water. They look over and they're top heavy and they fall in."

Another top reason babies die in Utah is suffocation-- not SIDS, but choking. Fifteen babies suffocated in Utah during 1999-2000.

Here's what to look out for.

Kathy Chambers: "Maybe they're playing in the chair and they start playing with the cords. Then they fall out of the chair and they've just hung themselves."

And if you have someone close to the floor, make sure you know what's on it.

"Let me show you something. It's very handy. If something will fit into a toilet paper roll, they can put it in their mouth and they can choke on it."

Finally, a big reason babies end up seriously injured in the hospital is falls. More than 400 children were admitted to Primary Children's Hospital last year for serious falls.

Our expert says whether in a carrier or sitting alone, keep baby close to the ground.

"They shouldn't fall from any height that's taller than they are high."

While these pose the highest risk, these obviously aren't the only measures needed to protect your child.

Safety leaders want parents to know the bottom line is supervision, because safety is no accident.

Cyndi Bemis/ Utah Health Dept.: "The word accident kind of means it was up to fate, there was nothing you could do to control it. But at the Health Department, we know that most injuries can be prevented. So we like to call them injuries, not accidents."

Do you think parents supervise their kids enough? 76-percent of Utahns polled agree there's too little supervision.

As kids get older cars start to become a bigger factor. Tuesday night, we'll show you a concerning trend in Utah, and if you drive an SUV or a van, you'll want to hear how to avoid it.

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