Celebrating Safe Kids Week

Safe Kids Larimer County Celebrates Safe Kids Week with Resources to Help Parents Protect Kids from Preventable Injuries

Safety Advocates Unite to Remind Busy Parents to Take Time to Focus on Simple Steps to Keep Kids Safe at Home, at Play, and on the Way

In honor of Safe Kids Week (May 8-14), Safe Kids Larimer County, based at UCHealth, is providing tips, resources, and activities to educate parents and caregivers about simple ways to keep their kids safe from a range of preventable injuries.

At a time when parents are focused on many priorities at once, Safe Kids Week is a national celebration dedicated to celebrating kids, raising awareness about child injury prevention, and inspiring parents to take the time to focus on proven and practical tips to keep their kids safe. 

Preventable injuries are the number one cause of death of children in the United States, and millions more are injured in ways that can affect them for a lifetime.

“Safe Kids Week is a wonderful opportunity for Larimer County residents to celebrate kids, learn about how to keep them safe and, ultimately, save lives,” says Alison Weston, Safe Kids Coordinator. “This is a week where we can all take just a little bit of time out of our busy schedules to focus on a few simple steps that can make a big difference in the safety of our children.”  

To support parents and caregivers, Safe Kids Larimer County is offering helpful resources, including:

  • Parent’s Guide to Child Safety – a comprehensive 24-page guide with expert advice and easy-to-follow tips to help families reduce risks, prevent injuries and keep kids safe at home, at play and on the road. Available in English and Spanish.
  • Family Safety Activity Book – a fun booklet that includes a maze, word search, coloring pages, puzzles, and other exciting games to keep you and your kids ages 4-8 entertained and safe. Available in English and Spanish.
  • Home Safety Graphic – an interactive graphic that takes parents room by room to show useful tips on how to keep their kids safe no matter where they live.

Safe Sleep Can Decrease the Risk of SIDS

October is SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Awareness Month. Hearing this topic may invoke fear in parents or caregivers, but it is important to gain more insight on SIDS as well as ways in which we can prevent this from happening to your baby. In 2020 alone nearly 3,500 babies died from SIDS, which is the sudden death of an infant that is younger than 1 year old and cannot be explained.

Although when this occurs there are typically no findings or explanation to determine the cause of death, there is current research on how to reduce the risk of SIDS. These actions include:

  • Use a firm sleep surface or mattress, covered with a fitted sheet and nothing more.
  • Always lay your baby on their back when putting them in their sleep space.
  • Keep objects such as pillows, loose beddings and stuffed animals out of your baby’s sleep space.
  • Share your bedroom with your baby, but not your bed. Your baby should not sleep in your bed with you, on chairs, couches or anyone else. If a baby is sharing a bed with a smoker, they have an even greater chance of SIDS occurring.

After having looked at ways to reduce the risk of SIDS when your baby is placed to sleep, there are also other recommendations on how to reduce the risk of SIDS. Although these will not diminish the chance of this occurring, it can greatly decrease the risk and allow for you to keep your baby safe to the best of your ability.

  • Avoid alcohol, smoking or other harmful activities while pregnant and after you give birth. This also includes keeping your baby away from people while they smoke. 
  • Breast feeding can also reduce the risk of SIDS by nearly 70%. If possible, it is recommended that mothers breast feed exclusively for 6 months. 
  • Sharing a room with your baby can allow for you to be alerted to any abnormal noises your baby may make. Keeping your baby in your room for the first 6-12 months of life is recommended.
  • Swaddling does not decrease the risk of SIDS; it can actually cause your baby to overheat or increase the chance of SIDS.
  • Skin to skin after delivery is recommended and can prevent SIDS.

Although there is not a guaranteed or definitive answer on how to prevent SIDS from transpiring, there are many recommendations to lower the risk. As mentioned, being sure that your baby is sleeping in a safe space, avoiding alcohol or smoking, and engaging in skin-to-skin can lower the chances of SIDS happening.

Baby Safety Month

As a parent your top priority is keeping your children safe, and there are never enough chances to educate yourself on ways to do so. With the arrival of September, you are now in luck, because it is Baby Safety Month. What better time than now to take action to keep your baby safe?

These are simple, quick, and effective tips you can easily put into action to better protect your baby.

  • When putting your baby down for a nap or for the night, lay them on their back and there only needs to be a firm mattress with a fitted sheet. As tempting as it may be to put cute stuffed animals or extra blankets in the crib with your baby, these can actually cause more harm than good.
  • Always keep an eye out for broken toys that may be scattered on the floor or near your baby. These items can pose as a choking hazard to young children and babies. Anything smaller than a
  • Be sure to keep your baby’s bed away from windows or furniture. Having cords, strings or high surfaces can be a strangulation or fall risk.
  • Utilize baby gates! Having baby gates around your home can help to keep your baby away from harmful items or rooms that may be unsafe for your baby.
  • When bathing your baby, be sure to have the water no hotter than 120 °F to ensure the water is at a safe temperature, so you do not burn or injury your baby.
  • Keep your child rear facing in their car seat at least until 2 years of age, longer if the car seat allows it. This protects their head, neck and back in a crash much more than forward facing.

Want to dive deeper into keeping your baby safe? This booklet has tons of great information. Or, make a list of these and put it somewhere you will see it often so you can be sure to remind yourself on how to keep your baby as safe as can be!