Child Health, Safety, and Well-being

 Child Safety Hazards

Last Updated: November 06, 2023

​​​Maintaining your child's health means being aware of how to protect them from common hazards in your home environment. This Consumer Product Safety Commission flyerExternal Link summarizes the top 5 hidden hazards in the home. See below for more information about serious child hazards in the home. ​​​​​​

​Drowning

Fatal drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1-4, and the second leading cause of death among children ages 5-14. For infants under 1 years old, two-thirds of all drownings occur in bathtubs; for ages 1-4, most drownings occur in home swimming pools. Certain factors can increase the likelihood of drowning including not being able swim or a weak swimmer, missing or ineffective fencing around water, lack of supervision around water, location, not wearing a life jacket, alcohol, and drugs. To prevent this tragedy from happening to your child, click HEREExternal Link.


Lead Poisoning and Other Military Housing Concerns

Per the CDC, even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect learning, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. While effects of lead exposure may be permanent, if caught early there are things parents can doExternal Link to prevent further exposure and reduce damage to their child's health. Lead may be present in several sources in the home that parents should consider: 


A child may be exposed to lead from more than one source. A child with lead poisoning may not have visible signs or symptoms. A blood lead test is the best way to find out if a child has lead poisoning. During a blood lead test, a small amount of blood is taken from the finger, heel, or arm and tested for lead.

While there is no safe level of lead in a child's blood, the CDC currently uses a blood lead reference valueExternal Link of 3.5 μg/dL to identify children with blood lead levels that are higher than most children's levels in the United States.

The Army currently routinely reports results of child blood lead testing from Army installations here

If you are concerned about possible lead or mold hazards​ in Army housing Contact the Army's Housing Environmental Health Response Registry.

Learn more about state and local lead programsExternal Link


Medicine and Household Poisonings

Hundreds of U.S. children are seen in emergency rooms each year due to accidentally ingesting household products (cleaning products, hand sanitizers, detergent pods, car fluids, medicines) or accidental overdoses of medicine given to them by a caretaker. Save the Poison Control Center Hotline 1-800-222-1222 in your cell.  

  • Before giving your child medications - read labels to ensure proper child dose and possible interactions. 

  • Save the Poison Control Center Hotline on your cell and on/near every phone in your home.
    • Call Poison Control if you think a child has been poisoned and if they are awake and alert.
    • Call 911 if your child has collapsed or is not breathing.

Motor Vehicle Safety

​​Sci​entific evidence continuously shows the value of safety features available in cars that can save the life of your child or infant. For example, the CDC reports that buckling children in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seat belts reduces serious and fatal injuries by up to 80%External Link

However - not all car safety products are equally effective, and some may be recalled if ineffective (see next section).


Safety Recalls

Every 3 minutes a child is in the emergency room for a toy, home or car product-related injury - which includes choking and suffocation hazards. Some are fatal. Before you buy, review safety recalls on consumer goods and child toys. Useful links include: 

  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)External Link for resources on car/booster seats (installation, where to get car seat installation inspected, etc.), recalls, safety ratings for cars, etc. Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. 


 

Disclai​mer: The mention ​​of any non-federal entity and/or its products is not to be construed or interpreted, in any manner, as federal endorsement of that non-federal entity or its products.​