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Protecting Babies and Small Children from Accidents

Children explore their surroundings and display great curiosity. This is part of growing up, but it is also associated with dangers. Accidents also happen to babies. 

How can you identify the main sources of danger and avoid accidents?  

Babies and small children develop quickly. From one day to the next, the baby can suddenly roll over and fall down somewhere more easily. Over time, babies begin to crawl and discover new spaces. This can easily lead to minor 'accidents' and injuries such as abrasions or bruises. This isn't too serious. However, there are also greater dangers in the home environment.

Recognise, reduce and identify sources of danger

Major dangers at home include the cooker, stairs or small objects that can be swallowed. It is important for children's development that they are able to discover their living space. You can, however, do a lot to remove or minimise sources of danger. At the same time, you should point out dangers to your child. This teaches them to recognise dangers themselves.

The most common accidents involving babies and small children are:

  • falls from the changing table, for example from furniture, stairs, etc.
  • burns, for example from the pot on the hob or the oven
  • drowning 
  • choking due to swallowed objects
  • road accidents

Here's how to protect your baby or small child from accidents:

  • Never leave babies and small children unattended, especially in unprotected places. 
    There are various dangers at the changing table, when the window is open, in the paddling pool, at the pool, etc. Caution: small children can drown in water as shallow as 5 cm.
  • Keep dangerous items such as knives, cleaning products, medicines or small objects out of the reach of children

Be careful if you have pets (due to ingestion of pet hair or pet food, but also bite injuries).

Additional precautions to protect your child:

  • window locks to prevent children from opening windows on their own
  • child safety guards for sockets, the oven, etc. 
  • cabinet and drawer locks to protect against dangerous items such as knives, cleaning products, etc. 
  • bed rails or children's rails on stairs, etc. 
  • age-appropriate child seat or infant carrier and appropriate seat belt fastening in the car

What should you do in an emergency?

  • Keep calm.
  • Provide first aid.
  • Call the emergency services on 144. 

If you are unsure whether it is an emergency, contact 1450.

How does first aid for children work?

First aid works for children over the age of one just as it does for adults. A specialised first aid course will teach you what else you need to consider with babies and small children.

The Austrian Red Cross offers first aid emergency courses for children. There may also be another regional first aid centre in your area.

Further information on accident prevention: