Child Safety is No Accident
From their first crawl, children are prone to accidents. Dental injuries may be more common during those early adventuresome years, but the risk to teeth doesn’t diminish as children grow older.
The best way to avoid dental injuries is to anticipate them and take precautions. Here are some guidelines that may help parents, grandparents, teachers, and childcare providers prevent dental injuries to children:
- Protect children from falls which can lead to dental injuries. Put safety gates across stairways to keep toddlers from falling. Keep doors and drawers closed and floors free of objects that children could trip.
- Match toys with the age of the child (softer toys with younger children) to discourage misuse. Dental injuries can occur when children are hit in the mouth with toys that are too heavy or too big for them.
- Protect toddlers from electrical burns by keeping outlets covered and cords out of sight or disconnected. A plugged-in extension cord that’s not in use can be especially attractive since the receptacle end of the cord is small enough to fit in a child’s mouth.
- Make sure older children who are involved in contact sports use mouthguards.
- To avoid injuries related to auto accidents, use approved car seats for infants and toddlers and be sure older children are secured by seat belts.
Because children are curious and unpredictable, you may not be able to prevent every accident. But by taking certain precautions, you can decrease the likelihood that a child in your care will suffer a dental injury.