Prevention in Childhood
By Dr.Niranjan Shendurnikar
Accidental injuries to infants and
young children are often serious, but are largely preventable with appropriate
information and safe practices. Young children are particularly vulnerable
to accidents due to their innate desire to explore their world and the
inability to perceive the dangers of their actions. As children learn through
experience, minor injuries are inevitable but providing a safe environment
can reduce the risks, coupled with close supervision and setting the limits
of safety. Parents should remember that they need to maintain a constant
balance between overprotecting the child on one hand and giving him freedom
in his process of learning the hazards of his environment.
What to do to
Prevent Accidents in Young Children?
Use appropriate barriers for stairs,
landings, rooftops and fireplaces. Vertical banisters for windows are preferable
to horizontal ones, as children cannot climb upon them out of curiosity
and risk falling from a height.
Supervise young children particularly
during the use of fireworks, escalators, kite- flying and swimming.
Use dummy plugs to cover unused sockets
and install safety circuits. Alternatively place heavy furniture in front
Keep your cupboards securely locked,
as these are one of the favorite places for young children to hide. Accidental
closure can result in choking.
Always read labels carefully before
administering any medication to the child. All medicines should be kept
away from children's reach as even apparently harmless tablets and syrups
such as iron tablets and paracetamol can prove dangerous as they look attractive
and may result in a fatal overdose if taken accidentally. Discard all old
and partially used medications.
Instruct your children to hold on firmly
to swings, slides, and seesaws while playing.
Small objects like beans, buttons, beads
and safety pins must be kept out of reach of children particularly below
the age of two years.
Teach your child to look left and right
before crossing roads. Preferably, make your child wear brightly- colored
clothes, as it is safer while walking at night.
Preferably, young children should be
made to sit in the backseat of the car. If they sit in front, the use of
seat belts should be mandatory.
Never leave your infant or young child
alone near a bathtub, bucket, hot iron, teapot in the kitchen, etc.
Do not allow children to play with plastic
bags covering their heads and faces, as these can cause asphyxiation.
Do not hold your baby in the lap while
drinking anything hot or while cooking.
Do not allow children to play and run
with sharp objects in their mouths. Accidental falls can result in severe
lacerated wounds in the mouth and throat.
Do not allow children to perform new
skills without giving them proper demonstration and training.
Anticipating potential dangers
and taking simple measures will go a long way towards preventing suffering
and making your home a safe place for your little ones.
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