Let Mummy Kiss it Better
Children are eager to explore the world around them, but unfortunately, their curiosity often gets the better of them, and accidents can and do happen. According to Kidshealth.org, household injuries are one of the top reasons behind a trip to the emergency room for children under the age of three! What’s more, accidental injury was found to be the leading cause of death in children aged 14 years old and under, with more than a third of these injuries happening at home.
PREVENTION IS KEY
Accidents can be prevented, and childproofing your home is one of the best ways to avoid the unwanted trip to the hospital. Here’s what you can do to make your home safer for your child:
- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Use socket covers to protect a curious toddler from unattended power sockets.
- Install safety gates so your child cannot access dangerous areas, such as the kitchen or stairs.
- Make sure your grills and windows are secure and that your toddler cannot reach them — children love to climb, so avoid placing furniture right below a window.
- Switch to milder household cleaners, and keep all chemicals and medicines out of your child’s reach. Put them in a high cupboard, or lock the cupboard door.
- Keep a first aid kit handy and make sure it’s well stocked.
There are also many things you can do to ensure your child’s safety at all times, including:
- Don’t leave your child unattended in a bath or when playing with water. Even a few centimetres of water is enough to drown a child.
- Don’t let your child use a walker, swing or jumper unless supervised by an adult.
- Get a cordless phone, so that you won’t have to leave your child unattended to take a call.
- Teach your child about dangerous situations and explain to him what is off-limits – for example, stoves, kettles, irons and other hot items.
- Allow your child to play with toys suitable for his age – avoid giving a baby toys with small parts that he could easily swallow.
- Cut up round food objects (such as fishballs) and remove all bones from meats (such as fish and chicken) before feeding them to your child.
MY CHILD IS HURT! WHAT DO I DO?
If an accident does happen, don’t panic. Stay calm, reassure your child and assess the situation. While most accidents are likely to be minor injuries, it’s important to know when to call for help. If your child has stopped breathing or is struggling for breath, or cannot be roused or is having a fit for the first time, call an ambulance.
Take your child to the nearest Accident and Emergency department if he has a fever and is persistently lethargic, has difficulty breathing (panting or wheezing), has severe abdominal pain, has a cut that won’t stop bleeding, or has swallowed something he shouldn’t have (such as a poison or tablets).
If your child has something lodged up his nose or in his ear, don’t try to remove it on your own. You could easily push it in further. Teach your child to breathe through his mouth (if his nose is blocked) and take him to the nearest Accident and Emergency department.
If your child has a cut, press firmly on the wound until the bleeding stops. If there is a lot of bleeding, raise the injured limb and take him to the nearest Accident and Emergency department. If it’s only a minor cut or scrape, clean the wound with soap and water, apply an antiseptic lotion and bandage the wound to help it heal.
If your child has burned or scalded himself, immediately put the wound under running cold water to reduce heat in the skin. Cover the wound with something clean and non-fluffy – do not put oil, ointment, butter or anything else on a severe burn or wound as it will have to be cleaned off before doctors can treat the injury. Depending on the severity of the wound, take your child to the doctor or to the nearest Accident and Emergency department.
The Health Promotion Board has plenty of details on how to prevent child injuries. Visit www.hpb.gov.sg for more information. Plus, check out the kid-friendly learning resources at http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/health-article/6626.
A Child First Aid training course is one way to ensure you have the skills to handle whatever calamities might happen at home. Visit Singapore First Aid Training Centre (http://www.firstaidtraining.com.sg) or Singapore Red Cross Society (https://www.redcross.sg/) for more information.
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