We want our homes to be safe, secure environments for our children to roam about, and not living deathtraps. However, in modern day, that task is easier said than done, as technology and innovation have brought along with the myriad of benefits, potential harm as well. A succinct example would be the electric plug before it was grounded. Nonetheless, I will tell you about how you can safeguard your home, and avoid child injuries and any tragedy from occurring.
If you’re staying in a home that has more than one story, an obvious hazard would be the stairs. A fall down the stairs can result in broken bones and various other preventable conditions. In order to prevent these falls, ensure that your child holds onto the handrails at all times, and make sure to cover the stairs with a carpet that reduces friction. This prevents the chance of a potential slip and will help in preventing child injuries.
Any fall should not be taken for granted as fractures can affect your child”s growth, especially when he or she complains of pain that does not go away. When in doubt, seek the opinion of an orthopaedic doctor.
In case you are wondering, I am talking about the physical injury that can come about from your television, and not ‘damage to their attention spans’ or anything like that. Modern day TVs can often be mounted onto the wall, whereas older ones are often blocky. Both can result in injury – if the TV mount is not installed securely, there is a chance that it can fall. A television that stands up flat can be knocked over by physical force, and if your energetic child is running about, he could potentially run into the television and cause it to fall over. In both situations, ensuring that the TV is either mounted adequately onto the wall, or ensuring that the TV cannot be easily knocked over by physical force, can prevent substantial injury from happening.
3) Choking hazards
Other than food, objects such as crayons or lego bricks might be swallowed by accident by your children, and cause them to choke. It is absolutely necessary to keep a constant watch on your children when they are playing with such choking hazards – usually you would be warned of their danger on the packaging of such objects. Employ the heimlich maneuver if your child is choking by putting your hand clenched into a fist on his belly button and push upwards to his chest. Repeat this until the object is dislodged from your child’s throat and he is able to breathe again. If your child is below the age of one, use two fingers and be gentle. Remember that vigilance can prevent all of this from happening to begin with.
4) Burn hazards
Most of objects that could potentially cause burns are located in the kitchen, but not all of them are. For example, a hair straightener can cause burns. In the kitchen, the gas stove or water boiler are all burn hazards that can cause injury, and thus supervision around such hazards should be employed. However, the best way to prevent such burns that often arise out of curiosity is to educate your child. If your child is of sufficient age to understand the concept of high temperatures, then it would be best to let your child understand that they can get very hurt if their skin makes contact with the stove or the hair straightener. Letting them know that they should stay away from such stimuli, to protect themselves, is the best way to prevent burns.
The medications that you take are meant for you and not your child, especially in doses that are intended for adults. It is easy for a child to overdose on any medication, because they are small in size, and what is a small dose for an adult can lead to extremely high concentrations in the small child. Regardless of size though, consuming medications not prescribed to you is not a wise nor safe move, and in order to prevent it, you should be keeping your medication in a space safe from the reach of your child.
However, remember that poisoning does not mean only consuming medications that was not prescribed to you, it can also mean consuming harmful cleaning chemicals such as bleach. If you store these chemicals in a drawer that can be opened by your child, that means that it is not being safely stored. To avoid such child injuries, always keep these harmful chemicals in the upper compartment of any storage area, to prevent those curious and pesky hands from reaching them.
If you suspect that your child has be poisoned, bring them to the A&E immediately along with the item(s) you think your child may have accidentally consummed.