Do you know that there are hidden dangers for your child inside your home? Read about these common home injuries and ways to treat them.
By Dr Mohammed Shakeel
Parents often worry about the safety of their children outside the home. Most of them keep a close watch when their little ones are playing in the playground or park, lest they sustain an injury. But, what about the dangers lurking in the corners of the house? Take a typical scenario — you are engrossed in watching television while your toddler is playing with toys on the bed. He turns and falls down. It is just a matter of minutes, but your child could get seriously injured. Despite your best efforts to protect him from all dangers, accidents are waiting to happen in your home.
A study titled, 'An epidemiological study on home injuries among children of 0–14 years in South Delhi', by Bhuvaneswari N et al, was published in the Indian Journal of Public Health in January 2018. The study, conducted in 2015, reveals that in the preceding year, the prevalence of home injury in children was around 40 per cent and it was higher in the age group of 1–3 years (54.3%) followed by 5–10 years (45.1%). The most common type of home injury was falls (59.5%) followed by injury with sharp objects and burns.
Toddlers and preschoolers are rarely aware of their surroundings and may be oblivious to the potential dangers inside the house. So, the responsibility lies with the parents to identify such risks and safeguard their little ones in the confines of their home.
Falls are the most common accidents that occur around the house. Children in the age group of 1–3 years are more likely to fall from the bed and down the stairs. However, not all falls are bad. There is no need to worry if your child's behaviour is normal after an hour of the fall. These mishaps may occur because of the unstable gait of a toddler and a lack of childproofing measures indoors.
This is a common injury that occurs in the house or inside a car. It can lead to severe pain, swelling, bruising, skin discolouration and loss of sensation in the fingertip. This occurs when the child accidentally gets her fingers caught in a door or fails to remove them from between the door frame and the door, before someone bangs it shut.
A child younger than five years is always exploring his surroundings and curious about small objects. Sometimes, while playing, he may put a foreign object like a piece of chalk, cotton wool, an eraser, a bead or a tiny part of a toy into his nose. Some signs that your child has inserted a foreign body inside the nose are — discharge from the nose or a whistling sound while breathing.
Small children have the habit of putting objects in their mouth. That is why they are at a risk of choking after swallowing a foreign body.
Watch out for:
Children may ingest harmful substances such as detergent, cleaning liquids, insecticides and adult medication, out of curiosity when the parents are not paying attention.
Watch out for:
Apart from the above, there could be other accidents involving young children like strangulation with ropes and cords, accidental suffocation with a blanket or pillow while sleeping, or near-drowning. The following steps could go a long way in preventing such accidents in your home:
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