According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of death among kids in Singapore is injuries. Each year nearly 10 million infants and adolescents visit the emergency room to address an urgent problem. Unlike us, children are frail, weak and extremely curious creatures. While I personally think curiosity is anything but bad especially in modern days, for children it could mean the difference between life and death. There is a very good reason why there is a giant label attached to medication canisters that says, “KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN”. Children do not have a matured view of the world as compared to adults, and there is little stopping them from inadvertently consuming those shiny white tablets. The responsibility, therefore, lies on the educated, knowing caregiver to ensure that such a thing, as well as other accidents, does not happen. Today, I will tell you about some common kids injuries that come about from things you might not even know or ever thought about.
#1: Infant suffocation
A fearsome AND common injury in children. It is extremely easy to cause an infant to suffocate unintentionally. It can be a soft toy or a loose blanket that slightly covers his face that results in him not getting enough oxygen. In order to reduce the risk of causing your child to suffocate, ensure that he sleeps on a firm surface that is free from any loose objects or blankets. Also, ensure that he sleeps on his back at all times. An unobstructed breathing pathway will ensure that your child gets his necessary oxygen, and will prevent any unwanted tragedies.
When around large bodies of water, be it for swimming lessons or a pool party, ensure that your child is wearing a life vest, and keep a watchful eye on him at all times. Remember that accidents happen every day, and all it takes is a few seconds of unawareness for terrible incidents to occur.
This might not sound right as part of “common kids injuries” but it definitely is. As mentioned in the introductory paragraph, when young children get into medications intended for others, or a bottle containing detergent, they might consume them out of curiosity. Grandpa’s insulin jabs or dad’s high blood pressure medications can result in extremely bad side effects that a child should not be experiencing, such as seizures, or something subtle such as dehydration due to consumption of diuretics. Keep dangerous chemicals and drugs out of the reach of children, and always keep an eye on them! If an accident happens, be sure to seek medical advice immediately. The best place to go would be a children’s hospital.
While your child is imitating Tarzan and swinging across the monkey bars at the playground, he might be overzealous about his physical capabilities and trip. This could result in cuts and bruises, or even fractures. To prevent such incidents from occurring, ensure the playground is adequately padded with materials that can break falls. Did you know that these are common causes for a head injury? You don’t want that to happen, do you? So, here is one thing you can do – always examine the playground equipment in advance.
Now, other physical activities, such as riding a bike, can lead to a childhood injury. It is a good idea to ensure that he wears elbow and knee pads, and a helmet. This way when your child tumbles off, he will be protected. Unfortunately, related injuries are hard to avoid (kids love jumping around) but we can try to mitigate the risk of serious damage.
#5: Carbon monoxide poisoning
Though definitely a stretch in Singapore, carbon monoxide poisoning is sinister because it acts in ways you literally cannot see. Carbon monoxide is transparent and odourless and is highly toxic to humans because of the way it interacts with our body. Haemoglobin molecules in our blood carry oxygen to all the different parts of our body. However, when haemoglobin molecules come into contact with carbon monoxide, they get turned into carboxyhaemoglobin, which prevents the new molecule from carrying oxygen. If our body does not receive oxygen, things can go bad really fast. If your child is in your car, ensure that the car does not stay still with the engine on. Carbon monoxide from the exhaust can poison your child without you even knowing. Not the most common of common kids injuries but still a good safety reminder.
#6: Injuries from car accidents
Don’t underestimate the inclusion of this as common kids injuries just because we don’t hear it as often in Singapore. A LOT of kids have suffered small fractures because of a lack of safety seats in cars. Just as how statistically adult passengers who wear seatbelts that secure them to the car are more likely to survive than those who choose not to wear a seatbelt, children who are smaller in size than adults that are secured to the car are more likely to survive than those who are not. The seatbelt in cars are not designed for small children, so it is necessary for them to be seated in a child safety seat. And don’t forget, while you might be a safe driver, don’t overestimate the driving ability of our fellow Singaporeans.
There are many varieties of child safety seats, so educate yourself on how to properly install one in your car to make sure that your child stays safe should a car accident happen. Remember, when vehicles come to a sudden stop whilst previously running at high speeds, you will still be travelling at the speed the car was and you might be flung out your windshield. It goes without saying that this applies to your child as well.
Now that I brushed up on the most frequently occurring accidents in little ones, I hope you are prepared for whatever is coming. Remember that prevention is key to keeping your kiddo safe and sound. Things can go wrong very quickly. And while your heir is completely unaware of the dangers he is surrounded by, you, the caregiver, have the ability and knowledge to address the situation like the adult you are.
This article is for informational purposes only. No data is guaranteed or warranted in terms of accuracy or completeness.