The Healthy Child

Physical Development

Growth and Development

Normal Growth
A child's growth not only involves the length and weight of his or her body, but also internal growth and development.
Letting Kids Grow Up…At Their Own Pace
As much as parents might want to hurry their little ones to the next stage of development, most children follow the same general growth and development pattern that can't be changed much.
Understanding the Teen Brain
Parents need to realize the rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until he or she is 25 years old or so.
The Growing Child: 1 to 3 Months
At this stage of growth, your baby will gain 1-1/2 to 2 pounds in weight and more than an inch in height each month.
The Growing Child: 10 to 12 Months
Your child can now says da-da and ma-ma, and possibly two other words, as well. He or she can also make a simple gesture such as shaking the head.
The Growing Child: 1-Year-Olds
Your child is a toddler now and very active! He or she can climb stairs while holding on and play with push and pull toys.
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
Speech at this age is becoming clearer. Your child has a vocabulary of 200 to 300 words and can tell his or her age and name.
The Growing Child: 3-Year-Olds
Most 3-year-olds have lost the rounded tummy of a toddler. Your child can use a spoon well and can wash and dry his or her hands.
The Growing Child: 4 to 6 Months
This age is very social, and babies begin moving in much more purposeful ways.
The Growing Child: 7 to 9 Months
A baby of this age rolls over easily from front to back and back to front, and bounces when supported to stand.
The Growing Child: Adolescent (13 to 18 Years)
Adolescence is a time for growth spurts and puberty changes. Sexual maturation may occur gradually or several signs may become visible at the same time.
The Growing Child: Newborn
In the first month of life, babies usually catch up and surpass their birthweight, then steadily continue to gain weight.
The Growing Child: Preschool (4 to 5 Years)
Children at this age begin to understand concepts and can compare abstract ideas.
The Growing Child: School-Age (6 to 12 Years)
Although friendships become more important at this age, children are still fond of their parents and like being part of a family.

Stages of Play

Stages of Play
Children go through distinct stages of play as they grow. Each stage is critically important to the development of the next.
Infant Play
Hang brightly colored objects near your newborn. Sing and talk to your baby. Rock your baby, and take him or her for walks.
Toddler Play
Ideas for toddler toys: a rocking horse, a shovel and a bucket, and toys that can be pushed or pulled.
Preschool Play
A preschooler needs space in which to run and explore. Take him or her on trips to the playground, park, or beach. Encourage him or her to play with other children.

Promoting Intellectual Growth

Cognitive Development
During adolescence, the developing teenager acquires the ability to think systematically about all logical relationships within a problem.
For Kids, Games Can Build Strong Minds
Citing the latest research on the brain, experts say chess, Scrabble, Monopoly -- even jigsaw puzzles or tic-tac-toe -- help children build analytical, organizational and creative skills.
Making This School Year Your Child's Best Ever
The amount of planning help a student wants differs by education level. An elementary-schooler needs plenty of help, a middle-schooler expects more freedom. But parents should find ways to stay involved.
Reading to Kids Helps Their Development
Research shows that reading regularly to young children, especially those between ages 6 months and 5 years, is central to their overall growth and development.
Making the Grade on School Tests
Parents can do a lot to ease test anxiety, both in their children and themselves. Start by focusing on the learning and not the scoring.
Five Tips for Handling a Bad Report Card
A disappointing grade can become an emotional tripwire for parent and child alike.
Sports and Music: Both Good for Kids
Organized sports for children offer obvious benefits such as physical fitness and sportsmanship, but did you know that a musical education program has many of the same benefits? Music education and participation in sports are both great ways to prepare your child for future success.

Nutrition and Eating

Infant Nutrition

Healthy Diets Overview
Eating healthy is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and is something that should be taught to children at a young age.
Infant Nutrition
Choosing how to feed your baby is an important decision that has life-long effects for your baby and for you.
Feeding Guide for the First Year
It's important to feed your baby a variety of healthy foods at the proper time. Solid foods should not be started before 4 months of age.
Babies and Toddlers Need Iron to Thrive
Is your new baby getting enough iron? It’s important to know. The mineral provides fuel for growth spurts, brain development and more. Find out the exact amount your new baby needs and good food sources of iron.
Failure to Thrive
Failure to thrive means that a child is not growing as he or she should. Psychological, social, or economic problems within the family almost always play a role in this condition.

Nutrition for Pre-school Children

Preschooler Nutrition
Preschool children are still developing their eating habits and need encouragement to eat healthy meals and snacks.
How to Raise Healthy Eaters
Here are suggestions to help you help your children attain and maintain a healthy weight.
Toddler Nutrition
Mealtime with a toddler can be challenging, because children at this age are striving for independence and control. It's best to provide structure and set limits.
Helping Picky Eaters Expand Their Palates
Although a lot of young children are finicky about food, they need help when they won’t eat the amount or variety required to keep up their nutritional status.
Why the Family Meal Is Important
When a family sits down together, it helps them handle the stresses of daily life and the hassles of day-to-day existence.

Nutrition for School-age Children

School-Aged Child Nutrition
Eating healthy after-school snacks is important at this age, as these snacks may contribute up to one-third of the total calorie intake for the day.
Find Nutrients for Children in Food, Not Pills
While you want to make sure your child gets the right vitamins and minerals, it's best for kids to get all the nutrients they need from food. But there are some children who may need a supplement.
School Lunches: Going Beyond Peanut Butter
Some kids don't want to try new things in their lunch. But a variety of foods gives children a variety of nutrients and expands their palates.
Kids Need Their Nutrients
Learning a bit more about vitamins and minerals can help ensure your kids are on the right nutritional track.
What About Energy Drinks for Kids?
As some schools ban colas from vending machines, ads are hyping a source of even more caffeine: energy drinks.
Prevention of Heart Disease Starts in Childhood
You may think of heart disease as a problem for adults, not your young children. But diet and exercise habits started in childhood can begin a lifetime of heart health, or a lifetime of heart damage.

Nutrition for Adolescents

Healthy Diets Overview
Eating healthy is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and is something that should be taught to children at a young age.
What Kids Drink Is Important, Too
Just what should kids be drinking? "I think good old H2O,'' says the director of the Nutrition Information Center in New York. But you can add pizzazz: Buy flavored water or make your own with lemon or lime.
Vegetarian Teens Need Diet Advice
If your teen wants vegetarian options, you may worry that dropping meat, poultry and fish will be unhealthy.
Healthy Eating During Adolescence
Encourage your teen to eat three balanced meals a day, with fruits or vegetables as snacks.

Dental Care

Dental Hygiene

Oral Health and Dental Specialists
A general dentist has had three or more years of undergraduate college education plus four years of dental school.
A Child's First Dental Visit Fact Sheet
Your child should see a dentist six months after eruption of the first tooth, experts say. The dentist can provide or recommend preventative information regarding baby bottle tooth decay, infant feeding practices, mouth cleaning, teething, pacifier habits and finger-sucking habits.
Dental Health Overview
Generally, dental examinations and cleanings are recommended every six months for children. Encourage good oral hygiene at home by helping your child brush his or her own teeth.
Care of the Mouth and Teeth
Most children should begin regular dental care by the time they turn 1 year old.
Brushing and Toothpaste for Children
You should begin brushing your child's teeth around 24 months of age, or as directed by your child's doctor. Children will need help brushing their teeth until they are 7 to 8 years old.
Flossing and Children
Flossing should be started when your child is 2 to 3 years old, under the direction of your child's dentist. Children younger than 2 don't need to floss.
Fluoride and Children
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay, strengthens tooth enamel, and reduces the harmful effects of plaque.
Anatomy and Development of the Mouth and Teeth
Children's teeth begin developing in the fetus. Good nutrition from the mother during pregnancy is important in the development of the teeth.

Common Dental Problems and Concerns

Tooth Decay (Caries or Cavities) in Children
Tooth decay first appears as white spots on the teeth. The cavity then turns a light brown color and progressively becomes darker.
Nursing Bottle Caries
Did you know that babies can get cavities? They can—usually when they go to bed with a bottle filled with milk or juice. Find out how to prevent this type of tooth decay, which is also called nursing bottle caries.
Teething
A baby's first tooth usually appears between 5 and 7 months of age. Often, the two middle bottom teeth come through the gums first, followed by the middle four upper teeth.
Periodontal Disease
Periodontal diseases, also called gum diseases, are serious bacterial infections that destroy the gums and the surrounding tissues of the mouth.
Thumb Sucking
Thumb sucking is normal in infants and young children. It shouldn't cause any permanent problems if your child stops by age 5.

Dental Procedures

How to Tell if Your Child Needs Braces
Orthodontic treatment most commonly begins between ages 9 and 14 because kids in this age range have at least some permanent teeth and are still growing.
Fillings
Teeth that have tooth decay must be repaired. Advances in dental materials and techniques provide new, effective ways to restore teeth.
Sealants
Dental sealants are thin, plastic films painted on the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. They are highly effective in preventing tooth decay.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Because most mouths are too small for the four additional molars called wisdom teeth, these teeth usually must be extracted.
Dental Emergencies
One type of dental emergency is a knocked-out tooth. If it's a permanent tooth, rinse it and place it back in the socket. Then immediately take your child to the dentist.
Dentistry: It's Not the Same Old Drill
A revolution in dentistry is spawning new devices and products, from laser "drills" to high-tech toothpaste and mouth rinses.
Orthodontics/Braces for Children
Orthodontics is the dental specialty that focuses on the development, prevention, and correction of irregularities of the teeth, bite, and jaws.

Hearing, Speech, and Language

Anatomy and Physiology of the Ear
The main parts of the ear are the outer ear, the eardrum (tympanic membrane), the middle ear, and the inner ear.
Anatomy and Physiology of the Nose and Throat
The sinuses are cavities, or air-filled pockets, near the nasal passage. They are lined with mucous membranes.
Age-Appropriate Speech and Hearing Milestones
A hearing problem may be suspected in a child who is not responding to sounds or who is not developing language skills appropriately.
Hearing Loss in Children
Sensorineural hearing loss involves the inner ear or its connection with the brain. Conductive hearing loss involves the middle or outer ear.
Hearing Loss in Babies
Hearing loss in babies is rare in this country, but when it does occur, it's important to diagnose it early. Undetected hearing loss can delay speech and language development.
Types of Hearing Tests for Infants and Children
One type of hearing screening test for newborns uses a tiny, flexible plug that is inserted into the baby's ear. The other type of test uses electrodes attached with adhesive to the baby's scalp.
Management of Hearing Loss
A child's hearing loss may be helped with hearing aids or cochlear implants. Training in sign language and lip reading is another option.
Hearing Aids for Children
Hearing aids can help improve hearing and speech, especially in children with hearing loss in the inner ear caused by damaged hair cells or a damaged hearing nerve.
Sound Advice for MP3 Users
Experts say today's small music players pose a big risk of hearing loss. One reason: The "earbuds" used with iPods and other MP3 players fit into the ears, not over them.
Age-Appropriate Speech and Language Milestones
Here are guidelines on speech and language development that may help you decide if your child is experiencing hearing problems.
Signs of Problems in Speech, Language, Hearing Development
One sign of possible hearing loss is an infant who does not move or jump when a loud sound is made.

Vision Care

Anatomy of the Eye
The structures of the eye include the cornea, iris, pupil, macula, retina, and the optic nerve.
Normal Vision
Light enters the eye through the cornea and passes through the pupil. It then hits the lens, which focuses the light rays on the retina. The optic nerve carries the image from the retina to the brain.
Age-Appropriate Vision Milestones
An infant's eyes are sometimes uncoordinated and may look cross-eyed. Within two months, the child can follow faces and objects and look at his or her hands.
Eye Care Specialists
An ophthalmologist is either a medical doctor (M.D.) or an osteopathic physician (D.O.). An optometrist is a doctor of optometry (O.D.) but is not a medical doctor. An optician is a technician who fits eyeglasses.
Eye Examinations and Visual Screening
At 6 months of age, an infant should have a vision screening during a well-baby visit. In particular, the doctor should check how well the eyes work together.
Types of Visual Screening Tests for Infants and Children
Many types of vision tests can be used to check your child's ability to see. Some of them can be used at any age, and some are used based on your child's age and understanding.
Keep an Eye on Your Child's Vision
It's best to catch vision problems while a child is very young. Later, problems are harder to correct.
Signs and Symptoms of Potential Eye Problems
Symptoms of eye problems in children include crossed eyes, redness in the eyes, squinting, and excessive tearing.
Problems with Vision
Eye disorders in children are either refractive or non-refractive errors. Refractive errors are those caused by the shape of the eye. Non-refractive errors are caused by disease.
Refractive Errors in Children
The most common refractive errors in children are nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
Crossed-Eyes (Strabismus)
A child with strabismus has one or both eyes that turn inward, outward, up, or down. At times, more than one of these conditions are present.
Glasses Can Help Even Young Children
Doctors who specialize in children's eye care say children usually become near- or farsighted between ages 6 and 12. But even infants can wear glasses if they need help to see well.
Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses
A child who needs vision correction may wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. Either choice comes in a range of options.
Eye Care/Avoiding Eye Injuries
Children should wear protective eyewear during sports and recreational activities. In the classroom, they should wear eye protection when doing lab experiments.
First-Aid for the Eyes
A child with a foreign object in the eye should not rub the eye. An eye wash may be able to flush the object out of the eye. If that doesn't work, seek medical attention immediately.
Cosmetic Safety for Adolescent Contact Lens Wearers
Cosmetics are among some of the most common sources of problems for contact lens wearers. Misusing cosmetics can lead to severe adverse reactions.

Sports Safety and Injuries

Sports Safety

Sports Safety - Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
Almost one-third of all injuries incurred in childhood are sports-related injuries. By far, the most common injuries are sprains and strains.
Sports Safety--Identifying High-Risk Situations
High-risk situations include faulty or ill-fitting safety gear and equipment, lack of adult supervision, and an unsafe playing environment.
Sports Safety--Prevention
Safety gear should be sport-specific and may include such items as goggles, mouthguards, shin-elbow-knee pads, and helmets. The safety gear worn by a child should fit properly.
Cheerleading Safety
A safe cheerleading program will include direct adult supervision, proper conditioning, skills training and warm-up exercises.
Make Variety a Goal in Kids' Sports
Children should avoid specializing in a sport until they reach adolescence, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. Reason: for every prodigy who becomes a successful athlete, thousands of youths suffer physically or psychologically from being pushed to compete at a young age.
Protecting Your Child from Sports Injuries
Most children depend on recreational and school sports for exercise and fun. But too many young athletes suffer needless injuries.
Little League Goes to Bat for Safety
Pitchers ages 10 and under can throw no more than 75 pitches a game. After that, they can't pitch until they rest for four days.
Sports Eye Safety Is No Game
Sports is the leading cause of school-age children's eye injuries, but most of those injuries are preventable.
Mouthguards
Mouthguards are important to help protect your child's mouth and teeth from serious injury.
Keep Your Child Athlete Off the Disabled List
Each year, about one in 10 children receives medical treatment for a sports injury. Here’s how to protect your young sports star from concussions, sprains, fractures, and more.
Organized Sports for Kids
Picking the best sport for your child and providing the right level of encouragement can be a challenge, but with a little research, you will find the sports program that best fits your youngster and your family’s budget and schedule.
Preparticipation Physical Examinations
A preparticipation examination may be required for any child who wants to take part in a school athletic activity or in an organized sports activity outside of school.
Heart Screens for Teens: What You Need to Know
Most people don’t think of heart problems as an issue among teenagers, and for most of them, it’s not. But in rare instances, a teen can have a heart abnormality that can lead to health problems and even death.
Sports and Children with Special Needs
Special needs children are sometimes not encouraged to exercise, because their parents or guardians fear they'll be injured. But physical activity is as important for special needs children, as it is for any child.
Workouts to Help Prevent Sports Injuries
It may not be always possible to avoid injury when playing sports, especially physical contact sports, but participants can help protect themselves by properly preparing before and after a game or practice session by warming up muscles and then stretching.
Sports and Young Athletes with Hepatitis B and Sickle Cell Trait
Although youngsters with sickle cell disease may participate in sports for fun, they are unlikely to play competitive sports like basketball or football because they need to avoid sports that involve overexertion, overheating, dehydration, or chilling.
MRSA and Young Athletes: Prevention
MRSA most often causes minor skin infections in young athletes, but if untreated, the bacteria may invade the bloodstream and become a life-threatening infection.
Eating Disorders and Young Athletes
Playing competitive sports can boost self-esteem and teach teamwork and leadership lessons. But sometimes being on a team that focuses too heavily on performance—or appearance—may trigger an eating disorder.
Contacts Sports and Kids: How to Keep Your Children Safe
Kids are more susceptible to sports injuries than adults because they are still growing and developing. The risk for injury is even greater if the child plays a contact sport such as basketball, football, or soccer.

Sports Injuries

What to Do About a Sports Injury
Whether it's a twisted ankle, a shin splint or a strained muscle, when should you see a doctor for a sports injury?
Concussions: Caution Is a No-Brainer
Although concussions range from mild to severe, they're all serious injuries that can harm the way the brain works.
Sprains and Strains in Children
Strains, sprains, and bruises make up the majority of sports injuries. Treatment for a strain or sprain depends on the child's age and the extent of the injury.
Female Teen Athletes: At Risk for Injury?
Teen girls who are athletes face unique obstacles when it comes to their bodies and how well they perform.
Knees Are Casualties of Women's Sports
Active women are at least twice as likely to suffer serious knee injuries as men, but it's not just athletes who are at risk.
Heat-Related Illnesses (Heat Cramps, Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke)
Children and teens are at greater risk for heat-related illnesses for several reasons. They adjust more slowly to changes in air temperature. They also produce more heat with activity and sweat less.
Nosebleeds
Nosebleeds are fairly common in children, especially in dry climates or during the winter months, when dry heat inside homes and buildings can cause drying, cracking, or crusting inside the nose.
Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is a repetitive stress injury of the elbow that occurs when the muscles and tendons in the elbow area are torn or damaged.
Inguinal Hernia
An inguinal hernia is a bulge that occurs in your groin region, the area between the lower part of your abdomen and your thigh. Inguinal hernias occur because of a weakening of the muscles in the lower abdomen
What Is Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine physicians have special training to restore function to injured patients so they can get moving again as soon as possible. They are also knowledgeable about preventing illness and injury in active people.
Burners and Stingers Syndrome in Young Athletes
Burners and stingers syndrome is usually caused by an injury during practice or competition. The most typical injury occurs when a youngster falls or takes a blow to the neck or shoulder.
Stress Fractures in Young Athletes
Stress fractures occur when muscles are too tired to take on the impact of exercise, and the bones absorb the added stress. When those bones become too strained, they develop a tiny break known as a stress fracture.
Recognizing Internal Injuries in Young Athletes
Internal abdominal injuries from blunt trauma are serious injuries that occur when the body hits or collides with a large object. These types of injuries are most common in contact sports like football, ice hockey, soccer, and lacrosse.
The Pediatric Sports Medicine Specialist
A pediatric sports medicine specialist is a doctor who has chosen to train and focus his or her medical practice on healing injuries caused during sports or athletic activities.
Tackling Kids' Sports Injuries
Enroll your child in organized sports groups or clubs that demonstrate a commitment to injury prevention. Coaches should be trained in first aid and insist on proper use of safety equipment.

Activities and Exercise

Exercise and Adolescents
Teens need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity on most days for good health and fitness and for healthy weight during growth.
Make Exercise a Family Affair
Like adults, children should be physically active most, if not all, days of the week.
Teach Teens to Stretch
An adolescent athlete can never stretch too much, experts say. Stretching to stay flexible is vital -- particularly when a child reaches puberty and goes through a growth spurt.
Weight Room No Longer Off-Limits to Kids
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Sports Medicine now say that strength training is fine for kids, as long as they are supervised and don't try to lift too much weight.
Workouts to Help Prevent Sports Injuries
It may not be always possible to avoid injury when playing sports, especially physical contact sports, but participants can help protect themselves by properly preparing before and after a game or practice session by warming up muscles and then stretching.
Sports and Music: Both Good for Kids
Organized sports for children offer obvious benefits such as physical fitness and sportsmanship, but did you know that a musical education program has many of the same benefits? Music education and participation in sports are both great ways to prepare your child for future success.
Sports and Children with Special Needs
Special needs children are sometimes not encouraged to exercise, because their parents or guardians fear they'll be injured. But physical activity is as important for special needs children, as it is for any child.
Aerobic Exercises for Kids
Aerobic exercise is important for kids. It helps keep their heart, lungs, and blood vessels healthy. It can also help them keep or get to a healthy weight.
Exercise Goals for Kids
How much activity should your child get? What kinds of activity are important? Find out here.
Helping Your Child Choose a Sport
Before you look into a sports program, make sure your child is ready. A child’s readiness can depend on a number of factors.
Making Family Fitness Fun
Activity can help prevent heart disease, cancer, and stroke. It can also lessen feelings of depression, and boost confidence. As children get older, they often reduce their physical activity. Because of this, making activity a family priority is key.
Strengthening Exercises for Kids
. Stronger muscles can help prevent injury or make it easier to recover from injury. They can help a person keep a good level of body fat. Activities that build bone are especially important for children.

About Sleep

Healthy Sleep Habits
The normal amount of sleep varies depending on the age of your child. A 2-year-old needs 10 to 12 hours a night, plus naps during the day. By age 6, a child usually has dropped naps, but still needs 10 hours at night.
Infant Sleep
If you know anything about your baby’s sleeping pattern, it’s probably that it doesn’t coincide with yours. But learning more about your baby’s nighttime and daytime sleep needs can help you recognize what’s normal—and what’s not.
Nightmares and Night Terrors
A night terror is a partial waking from sleep with behaviors such as screaming, kicking, panic, sleep walking, thrashing, or mumbling.
Sleep and Your Child
Without enough shut-eye, children are more likely to struggle with their school studies, do poorly on the playing field, and suffer depression.

Safety and Injury Prevention

Home Safety

Accident Statistics
Injury is the leading cause of death in children and young adults. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury for children.
Minor Problem vs. a True Emergency
In general, take your child to an emergency room after an injury anytime you think the problem may need urgent attention.
Preventing Injuries--How You Can Help Your Child
You can help your child by being prepared and preventing injuries from occurring. It is important to take charge of your child's health and follow a program designed to help you and your family stay healthy and safe.
What to Do If You Have to Evacuate Your Home
Consider in advance what kinds of disasters might strike your area. Do you live in an earthquake zone? Is flooding a possibility? Then think about what you’ll do in an emergency.
5 Home Safety Threats You Might Overlook
For safety's sake, look through your home often. Keep an eye out for not-so-obvious hazards.
Keep Kids Safe During Yard Work
Power tools make yard work easier, from mowing the lawn to trimming the bushes. These tools, however, also pose a threat to children if precautions aren't taken.
Essential Guidelines for Fireworks Safety
It's best to let the professionals handle the fireworks displays. If you plan to celebrate the holiday with your own fireworks, these precautions can help prevent injuries.
Household Safety Checklist
Use this list as part of a thorough safety check of your home. It can help prevent accidents and injuries.
Emergency Contact Information
In an emergency, it is easy to "forget" even the most well-known information. That's why it is crucial to complete the information in this form for each member of your household.
First-Aid Kit
Detailed list of recommended items for a household first-aid kit
About Poison Control Centers
Poison control centers are always open—24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. They're staffed by pharmacists, doctors, nurses, and other experts who are available by phone.

Airway Obstruction

Airway Obstruction--Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
Children at highest risk for all forms of airway obstruction are age 4 or younger. Youngsters who sleep in adult beds are also at increased risk for airway obstruction.
Airway Obstruction--Identifying High-Risk Situations
Choking hazards in the home: round, firm foods such as grapes and popcorn, and small nonfood items such as coins, balloons, and marbles.
Airway Obstruction: Prevention
Because most accidental child strangulations, chokings, and suffocations occur in the home, it's important to carefully childproof your residence.
A Primer for Preschooler Safety
Your little ones can learn a lot about safety if you take some time to teach them. Here's an ABC that you and your children can recite together.
How to Help a Choking Child
One minute you and your child are laughing at the dinner table. The next minute the child is choking. Here's what you should do.
Emergency Contact Information
In an emergency, it is easy to "forget" even the most well-known information. That's why it is crucial to complete the information in this form for each member of your household.

Bicycle & Skating Safety

Bicycle, In-Line Skating, Skateboarding Safety--Identifying High-Risk Situations
Most crashes involving children on bicycles, in-line skates, or skateboards occur because the child breaks a traffic rule.
Bicycle, In-Line Skating, Skateboarding Safety--Prevention
Skateboards should never be used on surface streets. Your child should wear protective gear such as helmets, padding, and closed-toe and slip-resistant shoes.
Buying a Bike for Your Child
Most youngsters learn the basics of pedaling, steering and braking on a tricycle or "big wheel" cycle, and around age 4 are ready to try a two-wheeler with training wheels.
Kids Need Safety Gear for In-line Skating
Having your child wear the appropriate safety gear and use common sense when skating can help reduce the risk for injury.
Bicycle, In-Line Skating, Skateboarding Safety--Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
Most child and teen bicycle crashes occur between May and August and between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m.

Car Safety

Motor Vehicle Safety--Injury and Incidence Statistics
Most motor vehicle crashes occur within 25 miles of home and in areas where the speed limit is 40 mph or less.
Motor Vehicle Safety - Identifying High-Risk Situations
High-risk situations: improperly installing a child safety seat, allowing a child to ride in the bed of a pickup truck, and leaving a child unattended in a car.
Installing and Using Child Safety Seats and Booster Seats
As part of your preparation for your new baby, you probably got an infant safety seat for the car. But do you know how to make sure it’s installed properly? And when do you switch to a child safety seat? Learn the ins and outs of safe car travel for your little one.
Car Safety
Detailed information on car safety
All About Child Passenger Safety
Installing your child's car seat properly and using it every time your son or daughter rides in the car is one of the best ways to help keep him or her safe in case of an accident.
Pedestrian Safety
Children are at higher risk for pedestrian injury and death because they often don't understand traffic rules or the danger that vehicles pose. In addition, parents and caregivers often overestimate a child's traffic skills.
Safety Precautions for Kids in Cars
Motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of childhood death in the United States. But when properly installed and used, child safety seats reduce the risk of death by 70 percent for infants and 55 percent for toddlers.
Air Bags and Kids
A car with an air bag is considered safer than a car without one. But for children under 12 years old, air bags can be dangerous.
Driving Defensively: Rules of the Road
No matter how good a driver you are, high speeds or impaired or careless driving by others can place you in danger.
Preventing Car Crime
Vehicle thefts, carjackings and thefts of vehicle contents are common crimes. Here are suggestions that can help you prevent them.
Teen Suicide
Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15- to 24-year-olds. The strongest risk factors for attempted suicide in youth are depression, substance abuse, and aggressive or disruptive behaviors.

Fire and Firearm Safety

Fire Safety and Burns--Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
The most common causes of burn injuries among children ages 14 and under are hair curlers, curling irons, room heaters, ovens and ranges, irons, gasoline, and fireworks.
Fire Safety and Burns--Identifying High-Risk Situations
Children are at increased risk for serious fire and burn injuries and death because they have thinner skin than adults, resulting in burns at lower temperatures.
Fire Safety and Burns--Prevention
Develop a family escape plan and practice it repeatedly so that your children will have a better chance of escaping a fire unhurt and alive.
Play It Safe With Kitchen Fires
Most fires in the home start in the kitchen, and kitchen fires can quickly turn serious.
Firearms--Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
Having a firearm in the home increases the risk of unintentional firearm-related death among children, especially if the firearm is loaded and kept unlocked.
Firearms--Identifying High-Risk Situations
Parents often underestimate their child's ability to gain access to a firearm in the house, or even the child's ability to pull the trigger.
Firearms Safety
Detailed information on firearm safety and prevention

Toy and Product Safety

Toy Safety--Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
Almost half of all toy-related injuries occur to the head and face area. Most riding toy-related injuries occur when a child falls from a toy.
Toy Safety--Identifying High-Risk Situations
Small toys or toys with small removal parts are not appropriate for children ages 3 and younger.
Toy Safety--Prevention
To make sure a toy is appropriate for your young child, check the label. In general, most toys on the market today are safe.
Parents: Check Toys for Lead
If you have toys that have been recalled, don’t throw them out. Take them back to the store where they came from.
Buying Guidelines for Safe and Fun Toys
Toy-related injuries send tens of thousands of children to the emergency room each year. Most injuries occur when parents give their children toys meant for older children.
A Common Plastic Comes Under Scrutiny
Polycarbonate plastic is durable, impact-resistant, and clear. It is widely used in food and beverage containers, but research has raised concerns over its health effects.

Falls and Water Safety

Falls--Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
Infants are more likely to fall from furniture, baby walkers, and stairs. Toddlers tend to fall from windows.
Falls: Prevention
Make sure playground equipment is age-appropriate. Most equipment manufactured today is made for two age groups: children from 2 to 5 years old, and children from 5 to 12 years old.
Water Safety--Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
More than half of childhood drownings in pools occur in the child's home pool. Most of the victims are between ages 1 and 4.
Water Safety--Identifying High-Risk Situations
Water hazards in and around the home include buckets, diaper pails, toilets, ponds, and fountains.
Water Safety--Prevention
If your children are around bodies of water on a regular basis, learn CPR. CPR can save lives, reduce the severity of injury, and improve the chance of survival.
Water Safety and Teens
Encourage your adolescent to take swimming, diving, and water safety or rescue classes to give him/her the skills needed to swim and dive safely.