Author: Lois Lee, MD, MPH

Dangers of button batteries

Lois K. Lee, MD, MPH of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Emergency Department Injury Prevention Program will be featured on ABC’s Nightly News later this week as part of a segment on the dangers of ‘button batteries.’ In an effort to better inform our readers, Lee wrote a Thrive post specifically detailing the dangers these tiny batteries pose to kids, and offers tips for parents on how to help keep their children safe from accidentally ingesting of one.

Lois Lee, MD, MP
Lois Lee, MD, MPH

Working in the very busy emergency room here at Children’s Hospital Boston, I have unfortunately had to take care of many children who have placed foreign objects in their noses or ears, or have swallowed a foreign object like a coin. Inevitably, parents usually ask me, “Why did they do it?” Often, the only answer I can give them is, “Because they can.”

Read Full Story

Water safety: Swimming pools aren’t the only drowning risk for toddlers

Lois Lee, MD, MPH
Lois Lee, MD, MPH, works in Boston Children’s Emergency Department Injury Prevention Program.

Every summer seems to bring a tragic reminder of the need for vigilance around children and swimming pools.

Drowning is the second leading cause of injury related death for kids in the U.S. One of the most common scenarios for these accidents involves toddlers drowning in swimming pools—usually when the parent thinks the child is safely inside the house.

Unfortunately, at this age, if a child ends up face down in the water, she usually does not have the cognitive ability or the coordination to pull herself out. Infants can drown in a just a few inches of water in the bathtub, which is why they should NEVER be left unsupervised in the tub. Toddlers can drown in water that is at a level less than their own standing height; so again, they should never be left unsupervised where there is standing water. This includes swimming pools, garden ponds, five gallon tubs and even toilets.

Every parent knows that toddlers need to be closely supervised at all times, but it only takes a blink of an eye for a toddler to wander away and get injured, especially around water. Considering the potential danger water poses, here are some important water safety practices every family should know.

Read Full Story

Home is where the hurt is? Child proofing your house

stockphotopro_7748403zhk_the_stair_masteLois Lee, MD, MPH works in Children’s Emergency Department Injury Prevention Program

As a parent, you might not think of your home as a hazardous place, but through the eyes of a pediatric emergency physician, the home can sometimes seem like a dangerous booby trap for young kids. Places where children can potentially come into harm are everywhere in the home, but with the proper precautions and carefully placed childproofing equipment, you can do your best to keep your child safe.

Falls are one of the number one reasons children come to the emergency department for an injury. Stairs are a common culprit, especially for young children who may not be able to climb stairs well (or maybe not at all.)

Read Full Story

Don’t run with food in your mouth! And other choking prevention tips

Candy Can BoyLois Lee, MD, MPH works in Children’s Emergency Department Injury Prevention Program

Hot dogs, popcorn, gum, candy, marshmallows—These may seem like fun delicious foods to most people, but to young children under the age of 3 they are potential choking hazards that can even lead to death. These foods are about the size of a young child’s airway and can cause a blockage which can be fatal if the child can’t breathe.

Read Full Story