COVID-19 and Injury: Staying at home with young kids

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Young kids require lots of attention and energy. Make the most of this quality time together. Take time to get down on the ground and look around to see the world through your child’s eyes. This can help you to identify hazards around your home.

  • In the home, stairs, furniture, and other structures pose a risk for toddlers and babies who are curious and love to climb. Window guards and stair gates can help to fall-proof your home.
  • Kids can fall through windows that are open as little as 12 cm wide, and window screens will not prevent a fall.1 Move furniture away from under windows and balconies.
  • For kids under 4-years-old, concussions happen most often at home.2
  • Infants and toddlers have thinner skin than older children or adults and are burned by a hot liquid, like tea or hot chocolate – even their bath water, 11 times more often than by a flame.
  • Burns or scalds can occur faster and may be more severe in infants and toddlers. Move pot handles, loose cords, and hot mugs of liquid out of reach of young children.
  • Cleaning more often? Bleach products should never be mixed with other cleaning products. Store them out of the reach of children and never leave cleaning products open or unattended. 3
  • Do you know what to do if your child is poisoned? Call the BC Drug and Poison Information Centre at 604-682-5050 or 1-800-567-8911. If they are unconscious, having a seizure, difficulty breathing, or chest pain, call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • It’s easy for a child to mistake cannabis edibles for candies or sweets. Keep them out of sight and locked up tight.
  • Never call medicine “candy” and do not take your medicine in view of a child because he or she might copy you.
  • Choking is a common cause of injury and death in children—even their favourite foods, such as grapes, or hot dogs, can pose a choking hazard until up to 5 years of age.4
  • Early data and research indicate that child abuse, especially shaken baby syndrome/ abusive head trauma (SBS/AHT), increases during times of stress and economic uncertainties.5 Infant crying is the number one trigger for SBS/AHT.
    • It’s OK to feel angry or upset, especially when your baby is crying inconsolably. If you are feeling frustrated put your baby in a safe place and take a few minutes to walk away in order to calm down. For more information, visit https://dontshake.ca.


  1. BC Children’s Hospital (May 30, 2019). Father speaks out about window safety. Accessed from: http://www.bcchildrens.ca/about/news-stories/stories/father-speaks-out-about-window-and-balcony-safety
  2. Discharge Abstract Database (DAD), Ministry of Health, BCIRPU Injury Data Online Tool (iDOT), 2014/15 to 2016/17.
  3. Health Canada. COVID-19: Cleaning products and bleach. Accessed from: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/home-safety/household-chemical-safety.html#a0
  4. Be Smart, Don’t Choke. Accessed from: https://dontchoke.ubc.ca/
  5. Berger RP, Fromkin JB, Stutz H, Makoroff K, Scribano PV, Feldman K, Tu LC, Fabio A. Abusive head trauma during a time of increased unemployment: a multicenter analysis. Pediatrics. 2011 Oct 1;128(4):637-43. Accessed from: https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/128/4/637
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