Unintentional injury is a leading threat to the health of Canadian children. It kills more children ages 1 to 14 years than any other cause and can lead to permanent, life-altering disability.
In Hastings & Prince Edward Counties, the leading causes of unintentional injury visits to the emergency department among children ages 1 to 14 years are falls, falling or striking against objects and sports. Similarly, the leading causes of injury hospitalizations are falls, poisoning and falling or striking against objects.
Most injuries are predictable and preventable if we:
- Consider injury risks as our children grow and gain new skills;
- Create safe places for our children to live, learn and play;
- Actively watch and listen to our children;
- Follow family safety rules, and;
- Act as a role model - our children will do what we do.
Fewer injuries. Healthier children.
Car Seat Safety
- Transport Canada - Keep Kids Safe
- Ministry of Transportation Ontario - Choose the Right Child Car Seat
- Public Health Agency of Canada - Safe Sleep for Babies
- Best Start Resource Centre - Sleep Well, Sleep Safe
Wear the Gear
Many Canadian children are injured during sport and recreation activities. Without protective equipment, a fall of as little as two feet can result in scrapes, broken bones, facial injuries, and head injuries. A head injury can affect a child’s ability to move, play, think, learn, behave, see, or speak.
Wearing a properly fitted helmet could prevent up to 80% of head injuries by absorbing and spreading the force of impact over the entire helmet.
In Ontario, children and youth under 18 years of age are required to wear a certified bicycle helmet. The fine for not wearing a helmet is $75.
Helmet safety tips for you and your family:
- Choose the right helmet for the right activity. Ensure that it has a certification label (CSA, Snell, ASTM, CSPC, etc.).
- When fitting a helmet for most sports, follow the 2V1 rule.
- Replace the helmet if there are any cracks or dents to the outer shell or damage to the foam liner.
- Replace the helmet after three to five years.
- Clean the helmet with mild soap and water and leave to air dry. Do not use a disinfectant.
Falls can happen to anyone, but as we age, the risk increases. The good news is that most falls are predictable and preventable. Here are ways to reduce your risk:
- Ask your health care provider to do a falls risk assessment
- Be active for strength and balance
- Choose medications wisely
- Plan ahead for good bone health
- Look for risks in your home and in public places
- Check your vision each year
Exercise and Falls Prevention
Keeping active is key to age well. A major cause of falls is loss of strength and balance. This need not happen as we age. Sometimes, it is difficult to get started on a daily exercise program.
The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care provides funding for every adult over age 65 in Hastings and Prince Edward to attend exercise classes and fall prevention classes. The are available free,through the Victoria Order of Nurses (VON).
- For more information and to find out where you can attend classes in your community, call the VON at 1-800-301-0076 ext. 2499 or click on the following link: Falls Prevention Exercise.
- What To Do If You Fall
- MedsCheck - Free medication review with your pharmacist.
- Age Well Age Safely
- Strong Smart Safe - Falls prevention classes if you have already had a fall.
- Renovating Your Home? How to prevent falls at home when you build or renovate. How to Build or Renovate for a Safer Home or Bathroom Renovation Guide
- Falls Related Injuries in Hastings & Prince Edward Counties (Factsheet)
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is involved, along with community partners, in a number of road safety initiatives aimed at helping to reduce injuries and deaths in our community due to motor vehicle collisions. We are partners in the Quinte Region Traffic Coalition (QRTC), which implements a number of on-road and off-road injury prevention programs.
Too much sun can be harmful for everyone. In particular, babies and young children have sensitive skin that can be damaged easily by ultraviolet radiation for the sun.
Sun Safety Tips
- Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat made from breathable fabric. When you buy sunglasses, make sure they provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Limit your time in the sun. Keep out of the sun and heat between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. When your shadow is shorter than you, the sun is very strong. Look for places with lots of shade, like a park with big trees, partial roofs, awnings, umbrellas, or gazebo tents. Always take an umbrella to the beach.
- Use the UV Index forecast. Tune into local radio and TV stations to find out the UV index for the day.
- Use sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30.
- Drink liquids (especially water). If sunny days are also hot and humid, stay cool and hydrated to avoid heat illness. Dehydration is dangerous and thirst is not always a good indicator of how often you should drink liquids.
- Avoid using tanning beds.