From window falls to hot cars, spring time is filled with potential hazards. Here are a few simple safety tips to keep young ones and families safe from some common springtime injuries.


Falls are the number one injury for children up to age 15.

The cause of falls is influenced by the age of the child. Toddlers are very prone to head injuries because they are top heavy, have no fear or sense of consequence, and are discovering new things every day. When children are young, barriers and supervision are key, but as they grow older, they become more mobile and independent. Teaching them safe behaviors – such as wearing a helmet when riding a bike or scooter – limits risk-taking on playgrounds and will help keep them safe. Additionally, keep windows closed or only open from the top-down and never leave a child unsupervised on a balcony. 


Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death in children ages 1 to 4 years.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Never leave children alone near a pool
  • Fencing should be a minimum of 4 feet tall
  • Have safety equipment available
  • Empty all water sources such as buckets and kiddy pools when not in use 
  • Use only approved devices
  • Learn how to swim

Burn prevention

We see over 1,200 children a year with burns, and most are less than 4 years old.

Scalds and contact burns are the most common types of burn. So, a few simple reminders to prevent burns in children are:

  • Never leave children alone around flames, fire pits, campfires, grills, stoves and candles.
  • Keep matches, gasoline and lighters out of reach
  • Place hot food in center of table
  • Never carry children and hot food or drinks at the same time
  • Keep flammable items such as napkins and paper plates away from heat source
  • Teach children what is hot!

Children also need to be aware of sunburns. The sun’s rays are as hot in the spring as they are in the summer even though the air temperature still remains cool, and UV, or ultraviolet, rays can penetrate through clouds and fog. In sunny spots the sun can heat playground equipment and surfaces hot enough to burn young children’s skin. Please have children wear shoes and if infants and toddlers are still crawling, long pants will protect their tender skin, which can be burned on hot playground surfaces. Use sunscreen that has “Broad Spectrum” on label. Children on certain medications may require extra care in the sun. 

Car safety

The sun can heat a car quickly to life threating temperatures even if it is still cool outside. Here are some hints that we probably all know, but need to be mindful of: 

  • Never leave a child alone in a car
  • Look before you lock – put your purse or briefcase on backseat next to child
  • Call 911 if you see a child alone and in distress
  • Teach children that a vehicle is not a play area
  • Buckle up every ride, every time

Wishing you a safe and fun-filled spring! 


Sally Wilson, RN, BSN, was the Education, Prevention, and Outreach Coordinator for the Division of Trauma and Burns at Children’s National.

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