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Center for Childhood Safety

A child smiles in a car seat for the Center for Childhood Safety at Children's Mercy.

Keeping kids safe starts with all of us. And there are countless opportunities to prevent injuries starting today and beginning at home. That is why Children's Mercy created the Center for Childhood Safety. Here, we provide education and resources in our community to promote safety in the home, in the community, and on the go.

We are here to help—whether you are looking for information for your family or your community. 

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Most common injuries to children 

There are several common circumstances that lead injury and death in children. These include falls, burns, motor vehicle crashes, drowning, poisonings, and firearms. By understanding how these injuries occur, we can all help keep children safe.

Every day, more than 300 children are treated in an emergency room for burn injuries from fire, scalds, electrical and chemical burns. Burns from hot liquids (scald burns) are more likely to occur in younger children such as toddlers. Burn injuries from fire are more likely to occur in older children. 

You can help your children stay safe from burn injuries by testing your smoke alarms regularly, carefully supervising kids in the kitchen, and keeping the water heater thermostat at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. 

Any time children are near a water source, they need constant, direct supervision from an adult. Drowning is the single leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4, and each week, 150 families are impacted by child drowning.

For water safety, remember these guidelines: 

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends "touch supervision." This means that any child who cannot swim must be within touch distance from the parent/guardian.

  • Do not swim near pool drains.

  • Adults who are supervising children in the water should be fully focused on the task. There must be clear hand-off when turning over responsibility for watching children.

  • Securely fence home swimming pools with fencing that is at least four feet high, with self-closing, self-latching gates. 69% of children under the age of 5 years who drowned were not expected to be near a pool.

At Children's Mercy, falls are consistently in the top two preventable injuries we see. In fact, the CDC reports that unintentional falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all children ages 0-19. 

Each day, approximately 8,000 children are treated in Emergency Departments for fall related injuries, including falls down stairs, falls out of windows, and from elevated surfaces. Infants have a higher risk of fall-related head injuries than older children, even from low heights, because of their larger head size in proportion to the rest of their body.

The best way to prevent dangerous falls is by installing items such as stair gates and devices that prevent windows from opening more than four inches. Window screens do not prevent falls out of windows. Window screens are meant to keep bugs out, not children in.

Each year, nearly 1,300 children are killed and over 5,000 are treated for gunshot wounds. The vast majority of unintentional shootings that involve children happen in the home, while children were playing with a gun, showing the gun, or shot by another child. 

Access to guns in the home significantly increases the lethality of suicide attempts, especially in teenage boys. Handguns are the most common method of suicide in males, and more than 80% of guns used in teen suicide attempts were kept in the home of the victim, a relative, or a friend. 

You can prevent injury and death by firearms by keeping guns away from kids, locked securely, with ammunition stored in a separate location. Free guns locks are available at all Children’s Mercy locations, no questions asked.  

Read more about keeping kids safe from guns in the home from the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. Most children killed in car crashes are either unrestrained or have improper restraints. 

To keep children as safe as possible when traveling in a motor vehicle, always use the correct car seat for their age, size and developmental needs. 

Car Seat Program

Children's Mercy offers the Car Seat Program to the community. Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will inspect car seats already installed in vehicles and show parents how to make the necessary adjustments for a safe and secure installation.

View and download an overview of our program:

Learn how to schedule an appointment by visiting our Car Seat Program page.

More than 60,000 children are treated in emergency departments each year due to accidental unsupervised ingestions, and about half of these are children under age six. Medications are currently the leading cause of child poisonings. They can also be a danger for older children and teens who are at risk for suicide. 

To keep kids and teens safe from ingesting unsafe substances, discard any unused medication appropriately. Find out more about how to safely dispose of unused medicines. 

Medications that are currently in use should be kept out of reach of children and locked in a metal lockbox in the home of anyone at risk for suicide. 

SIDS remains one of the leading causes of death in infants under one year of age. According to the AAP, approximately 3,500 infants die annually in the United States from sleep-related infant deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome. 

Placing infants to sleep on their back on a firm surface with no blankets, bedding or soft objects is the safest position for babies under one year old. Babies should only sleep in a car seat when traveling in the car, not as a substitute for a crib or bassinette at home. 

View an overview of safe sleep practices:

Learn more about safe sleep practices, which have helped to dramatically reduce SIDS deaths by visiting

Contact the Center for Childhood Safety

We are happy to address any concerns or questions regarding injury prevention in children ages 0-17 years old. We make every effort to respond within 24 hours or next business day. 

(816) 234-1607 
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Product Safety and Recalls Resources 

Community Resources 

Many organizations work to make our communities a better place. Families we have worked with have found many of these resources valuable. We hope you do too.

Building community 

When everyone is thinking about safety first, our community will be healthier. We can provide information for community fairs and on occasion, join for events.

Tell us more about what you are looking for by completing a brief Community Request form.