The most common causes of injury in children are due to falls, choking, strangulation, suffocation, burns, poisoning, drowning or near drowning.

Falls are the leading cause of injury in children. The most common areas for falls in children are in the home and in playgrounds.

Examples of how falls can occur in the home:

  • on the stairs and steps
  • off furniture, e.g., change tables, cribs, beds and other elevated surfaces
  • when car seats are placed on top of furniture
  • when being carried or supported by another person
  • by slipping, tripping and stumbling
  • by using furniture to climb out windows or balconies

Examples of how falls occur in playgrounds:

  • not using age appropriate playground equipment
  • falling on hard surfaces
  • lack of adult supervision

Choking, strangulation and suffocation are leading causes of injury-related deaths for children in Canada.

Children can be harmed by:

A child’s skin burns four times faster and deeper than an adult’s at the same temperature.

Common causes of burns include:

  • scalds from steam, hot bath water, tipped-over coffee cups, hot foods or cooking fluids
  • contact with flames or other hot objects such as curling iron or fireplace
  • chemical burns from items such as batteries or bleach
  • electrical burns from biting on electrical cords or sticking fingers or objects into outlets
  • too much exposure to the sun

Half of all poison exposures happen to children under five years of age.

Common poisonous products:

  • medications
  • household cleaners
  • alcohol
  • plants
  • fertilizers
  • pesticides
  • paint thinner
  • antifreeze
  • carbon monoxide

Drowning is a leading cause of injury related death for children. It can happen quickly and silently in only a few centimeters of water.

Children can drown in:

  • bathtubs
  • pools
  • open water

All children are at risk for drowning but children under age five have a higher risk. Babies under age one are more likely to drown in the bathtub than any other place. Bath seats and bath rings are not safe.