Safety and Injury Prevention
Injury is the leading cause of death for children in New York State. The New York State Department of Health wants kids in NYS to grow up healthy and injury-free.
By following four simple steps your children can always be safe riding in a car:
- Rear-Facing Child Seats: Use a rear-facing child seat to at least age 1 AND 20 pounds. Continue to use a rear-facing seat if the seat has a higher weight limit.
- Forward-Facing Child Seats: Use a forward-facing child safety seat from a minimum of age 1 AND 20 pounds until your child reaches the upper weight or height limit of the child safety seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds).
- Booster Seats: Use a booster seat for children age four and older who are over 40 pounds and under 4 feet 9 inches tall.
- Safety Belts: Use lap and sholder belts when they fit properly, usually at age 8 or when children are at least 4 feet and 9 inches tall.
All children under the age of 13 should ride in the back seat.
The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office has a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician to assist with instruction and proper fitting of child passenger safety seats. Safety seats are avaliable for lower income families by contacting the Sheriff's Office at (518)548-3113 for an appointment. The car, the seat will be used in, as well as the child must be present for proper fitting and education.
By law, all bicyclists under the age of 14 are required to wear approved bicycle helmets when bicycling or riding as passengers on bicycles in New York State.
Bike helmets for children are avaliale by calling the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office at (518)548-3113 or the Public Health Nursing Service at (518)648-6497. Parents must be present and will be instructed in proper fit and use of the helmet for each child.
In New York State fall-related injuries are the leading case of injury hospitalizations among children ages 0-14 and adults 25 years and older. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for those 45 years and older. Falls can results in serious injuries such as traumatic brian injuries (TBI) or fractures. There is also a heavy financial burden to fall-related injuries with a yearly cost of $1.3 billion in New York State for hospitalizations alone.
Infants/Children Ages 14 and Under
In childhood falls can be an everyday occurrence. The most common causes of fall-related hospitalizations for chidlren included: slipping or tripping, falling from playground equipment, falling from bed, and falling on or from stairs or steps.
- Use child safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs
- Never leave an infant unattended on a table, bed, or other elevated surface
- Use safety straps to secure your child in strollers, shopping carts and infant carriers
- Place you child in a stationary play-station rather than a mobile walker
- Playground surfaces should consist of shredded rubber, fiber mulch, or fine sand and extend 12 inches deep and 6 feet around equipment to reduce the severity of falls.
Older Adults Ages 65 and Older
Fall-related injuries in older adults often lead to hospitalizations beginning the downward spiral that can result in long-term disability or death. Common injuries as a result of a fall include brain injuries, and fractures of the hip, vertebrae, and pelvis. Over 60% of falls that lead to hospitalizations occur in the home.
- Improve home safety by installing handrails on stairways and removing loose rugs or other clutter
- Use ample lighting throughout the home, install illuminated light switches at the top and bottom of stairs, and night lights in the bathroom
- Use a step-stool and grab bar to reach objects on high shelves
- Use non-slip bath mats in the shower and tub
- Wear shoes with non-slip soles
- Talk to your health care provider about gait, balance, and strength training
Safety and Injury Prevention Resources
- Safety Factsheets
- Child Passenger Safety - A Parents Primer
- Get the facts about LATCH
- 4 Steps 4 Kids - The Right Seat Matters for Safety
- Child Passenger Safety for Infants and Young Children with Special Health Care Needs
- Wake Up! to the Risks of Drowsy Driving
- Teen Driving Safety Booklet for Parents
- Bike Helmets Save Lives! It's the Law!
- Smooth Moves; Skateboarding Safety
- Fall and Hip Fractures Among Older Adults
- Home Safety Council
- What YOU Can Do To Prevent Falls
- Falls in Older Adults