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Autumn Safety Issues

by Lori Sciame | September 19th, 2013 | Preschool, Safety

autumn girlEach season is unique in its own way.  Spring ushers in the newness of life, summer explodes in vibrant activity, fall signals a slowing down of the life cycle, and winter can be viewed as a time for renewal.  Because of seasonal changes in the environment, safety concerns continually change. Parents of preschoolers must be ever vigilant  when it comes to the well being of their young children.  Fall is upon us, so be aware of these season specific safety issues.

Fire Concerns

Many areas of the United States allow fall burning.  Homeowners rake leaves, twigs, garden debris, and more into huge piles to be burned when dry.  Imagine a preschooler’s delight in seeing the dancing flames and hearing the crackling wood.  Even the smell, dense and sharp, can attract the youngest of children.  Beware! If a child steps a little too close to the fire, he or she can slip and fall, or a gust of wind can change the direction of the flames in an instant.  Both scenarios would be tragic, as the child could be severely burned.

If you, or anyone your preschooler interacts with, burns during the fall season, take extra precautions.  Teach the child to respect fire, and to keep his distance.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Threat

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill.  In fact, hundreds of Americans die each year when exposed to it.  Fall is a time to be especially wary of this type of poisoning.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), outlines the places where CO is found: “CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by cars and trucks, small gasoline engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood, and gas ranges and heating systems. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned by breathing it.”

Families who own hunting cabins or trailers should not use stoves or lanterns to heat these spaces during autumn.  Even very old space heaters can emit deadly CO.  In addition, have your home heating system inspected at least once per year to ensure it is working properly, and invest in a CO detector for each level of the home.

Halloween Hazards

Preschoolers relish dressing up for Halloween. Running from house to house in their neighborhood also brings a sense of joy. However, Halloween can be dangerous.  Young children may dart into traffic in all the excitement, and they may fall due to costumes being too long or having on a mask.  In addition, the candy itself may be hazardous.

Safer alternatives include hosting a party at home or going to a sponsored event during the daytime.  Inspect all collected candy for brands that may cause a child to choke and for signs of being tampered with. DISCARD any candy that seems suspicious.

A crisp, fall day can be a joy to experience, or it can be a day full of hazards for preschoolers.  Know the risks, and take steps to avoid injury.

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