Toddlers’ Preventable Injuries (#1 Their sippy cups and bottles)

OR “sit down with snacks & drinks”

If you have toddlers, learning to walk & run, you’ve probably used that same phrase. Unfortunately well over 2,000 parents each year get to see what happens when you forget. Want to keep your kids safe? Read on….

Preventable Injuries

Preventable Injuries are those which we look back at, and say ‘yes’ you could see that coming. The parent or carer or whomever could have done something to stop it happening. That’s why they are preventable injuries. (Not to imply blame, who knows what was happening at the time!)

Can you predict Preventable Injuries?

One way you can ‘see it coming’ is by looking at what happens to other people. So here are some numbers for you:

  • In the years 1991-2010,
  • There were more than 45,000 visits to E.R. (in the USA)
  • In toddlers under 3
  • Caused by walking or running
  • While using Bottles, Pacifiers or Sippy-Cups

That’s 45,000 visits in 19 years or about 2,368 a year. Shall I go further? If you sit down with snacks…. sorry, habit….. Sit down with a calculator…. you’ll see that works out a seven kids a day. It’s an amazing number!

Seven toddlers are hurt each day with their own drinks


Sadly during the time period studied, there were also seven deaths from related events.

Most injuries were caused by a fall, while the toddler had the bottle/cup in their mouth. The result is a cut lip or roof of mouth.

Other injuries included:

  • 1,321 inhaled or swallowed objects
  • 1, 895 burns
  • 1,821 fractures

Are these preventable injuries? Looking back (and not knowing the situation) we can say ‘sure they are’. So let me ask you, do you always have your toddlers sit down with snacks?

First Aid in case you forget

1. Don’t forget – tell them to sit down with snacks. The best first aider is the one who does the least, after all!

2. Minor cuts can be dealt with using a little pressure (and a lot of persuasion). An ice pack may help reduce swelling and bleeding. Do not put ice directly on their lips!

(If you don’t have an ice pack, then next time you’re at your favourite fast food joint, grab an extra baby bag of Ketchup & put it in your home freezer – instant ice-pack for toddlers mouths & noses and safe if they bite it!)

3. Sit them down, head forward. Let the blood drain away. If they swallow it, there’s a chance they vomit it back – all over you. If they sit forward, that won’t happen.

If they’re afraid of the sight of blood (or if you want to preserve that white wool carpet) then a dark coloured towel (brown/black) will soak it all up without showing much.

4. If it doesn’t stop within 5-10 minutes, consider calling expert help.

5. If you’re in the small minority of more serious injuries, then get them off to the doctors.

(See also this article on burns, and this about choking. Oh, and if you don’t know how to treat choking toddlers, get a training course now. Seriously – their lives are at risk here!)

Finally, if all that seems too much and too serious then it’s simple:

Tell them to sit down with snacks and drinks!

Credit: Health Day via USN for the statistics.

About Tony Howarth

Tony is a First Aid & CPR Instructor Trainer with Sea 2 Sky Safety Training Services and the company founder. Tony started with the British Red Cross in 1994. Has acted as first aid attendant for hundreds of events & treated many hundreds of people as a result. He is experienced in training a wide range of courses. He previously worked as an ambulance attendant with the British Red Cross. He is now in BC as a first aid instructor, and an instructor trainer (one who trains others to become instructors) Finally, Tony works at Squamish General Hospital as the pharmacist manager when not busy training safety
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4 Responses to Toddlers’ Preventable Injuries (#1 Their sippy cups and bottles)

  1. Pingback: May 30, 2012 | Opinions | Healthcare News | Health Insurance News | Healthcare Informatics | Care411

  2. Pingback: Toddlers’ Preventable Injuries (#2 Your stairs) | Safety un-Limited

  3. Pingback: First Aid – a Blog Round-up | Safety un-Limited

  4. Pingback: Choking at Christmas? | Safety un-Limited

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