Childhood unintentional injury represents a major global health issue. Many unintentional injuries to children less than 5 years occur at home or out side and are preventable. The aim of this and the subsequent article is to educate the parents regarding risk management.
Birth to 5 years is a time of rapid changes in children’s physical and cognitive abilities which can increase their risk of unintentional injury. Changes in the child’s developing mobility, cognitive ability and receptive understanding, requires different parental anticipatory and safety strategies in order to minimise potential injury risks.
With three risk management strategies namely environmental changes, supervision and child based strategies such as teaching about safety, these accidents can be reduced to a great extent.
Keeping in mind the following points and quick action during emergency situation pertaining to baby safety will ensure a safe environment for thriving of the kid
- Never leave the baby/toddler unattended at any time. A close supervision of their activities will prevent any mishap. Never leave them at a higher platforms like beds, playpens or changing tables as falls are a likely incidents which can lead to injuries. Avoid leaving them with siblings or pets unattended.
- Avoid hot liquids or hot utensils near the baby. Microwave bottles/milk/utensils may not seem hot but can lead to burns due to unequal distribution of heat.
- Never shake or play throw the baby in the air as it can lead to brain injuries and accidents.
- Bathing should be done with close supervision and with optimum temperature of water. Avoid leaving baby unattended in the bath area.
- Inspect your child’s toys and make sure they are unbreakable and devoid of small parts. Ingestion of small parts can lead to medical emergency.
- Feed the baby in propped up position and never leave baby alone with the milk bottle as there is a risk of choking. Avoid giving hard raw vegetables, fruits, nuts or hard candies to toddlers as it may be a choking hazard.
- Avoid soft bedding and blankets around the infant as there is a risk of suffocation. Infants should be put to sleep on their backs to avoid suffocation.
- Dress them in comfortable, cotton clothes to avoid overheating at night.
- Put all the electrical appliances and sockets out of reach of kids to avoid any electrical injuries.
- Make sure all the objects at home like home appliances, furnitures, medications, chemicals are off limits for kids. Cushion hard edges of doors, furniture to avoid injuries.
- Take all the safety precautions while travelling with the baby. Use car seats/baby seat belts while travelling. When in lap, sitting on the rear seat and wearing seat belt while holding the baby firmly is a good practise.
- Always keep emergency numbers ready in case of any emergencies.
Being proactive and alert can revert major emergencies in kids. In the next article, we will discuss the measure to be taken in case of any emergencies or mishaps related to kids safety.
-Dr Prerna Gaur