Injuries are the leading cause of death and disability to U.S. children ages 1-18. Every day, 20 children die from preventable injuries-resulting in more deaths than all other diseases combined. 

Injuries are a significant problem in Arkansas. While the number of injuries and deaths vary across the state, injuries impact every county in Arkansas. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for children in the state, and our infant and child mortality rates are extremely high compared to the rest of the country. Arkansas ranks in the top five states for deaths of children 1- to 14-years-old and is in the top 10 for teenagers 14-18.

The good news is that many of these injuries are predictable and preventable with the use of safety practices and equipment and the implementation of strong legislation. 
When it comes to the safety of your children, you already know the basics. Make sure they

  • buckle up when in the car
  • wear a helmet when they're riding a bike
  • wear a life jacket when they're around water
  • look both ways before crossing the street.

Here are some lesser-known but just as important tips from injury prevention specialists at Arkansas Children’s Injury Prevention Center.

  1. If your child’s car seat moves more than one inch at the base, tighten it. Have questions or need help with your child’s car seat? Call the Injury Prevention Center at 501-364-3400 to make an appointment with a car seat technician. 
  2. Make sure to secure furniture and TVs. Young kids and toddlers learning to walk may try and pull up on furniture. If it is not secure, it could fall on top of them.
  3. Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly. Replace batteries every year and replace devices every 10 years.
  4. Check your home for places kids can access medicine. A lot of pills look like candy to children. If you don’t have a way to keep them secure, contact the Injury Prevention Center at 501-364-3400 for medicine lock boxes.
  5. Check around your house for coin-sized button batteries. These can be found in hearing aids, remotes, key fobs and even some toys. Any time you suspect your child may have swallowed a button battery, go to the nearest emergency department immediately.