How to keep your kid out of the ER


November 3, 2021

These strategies can help prevent serious injuries.

A few preventive strategies can help keep kids safe and avoid a trip to the emergency room. Some of the top causes of unintentional injuries may be things you don’t expect to cause problems, but accidents can happen quickly. Keep the following in mind to help keep kids safe from these common hazards.

Lawn mowers

Your teen may want to make some extra cash this summer by helping with the lawn. Be aware that lawn mower injuries include cuts to their legs and feet and in some cases, amputation of fingers.

Prevention: Make sure your youngster shows maturity, good judgment, strength and coordination before teaching them how to mow the lawn. As a general rule, your child should be at least:

  • 12 years of age to use a walk-behind power mower or hand mower
  • 16 years of age to operate a riding lawn mower

While it might seem like a fun idea, don’t allow young children to ride as passengers on lawn mowers. They can fall and get caught under the mower.

Burns and scalds

Approximately 80,000 children are treated for burn injuries every year.


In the kitchen:

  • Cook on rear burners when possible.
  • Keep the handles of pots and pans pointing to back of the stove.
  • Never drink or prepare hot liquids while holding a child.

In the bathroom:

  • Check water temperature with your hand or a bath thermometer before placing child in the tub.
  • Reduce the temperature of your water heater so the water is never hotter than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Don’t leave young children unattended in the bathtub.
Father and young son at risk of obesity smiling at camera

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is among the top children’s hospitals in the nation. More than 500 physicians in 30 pediatric and surgical specialties offer everything from basic preventive care to treatment for the most complex pediatric conditions. Our specialists offer expert care close to home, throughout Middle Tennessee and beyond.

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