In our last blog post, we learned about prevention and applying first aid in the event of choking, burns, and bruises at home. This is our final blog post from the series about accidents at home; we continue to look at sprains and strains, poisoning, drowning, strangulation, and suffocation.

Sprains and Strains

Strains are injuries that hurt the muscles or tendons caused by overstretching, while a sprain is a stretch or tear of the ligaments.  These happen more in bigger kids than the younger kids.

How to prevent sprains:

·       If your child is doing exercises at home, make sure that they do their warmups.

·       Wear protective gear applicable to their activity.

·       Make sure they use the right gears and equipment for their activity.

What to do when you suspect your child has a sprain or strain.

·       Stop the activity that causes the injury immediately.

·       For the next 48 hours after the injury,

o, Rest the part that was injured.

o, Apply a cold compress on the injured body part for 10 to 20 minutes.

o, Support the injured part with an elastic compression bandage for the next 48 hours.

o, Elevate the injured part above the heart.

·       Give the child an over-the-counter pain reliever.

·       Call the emergency hotline or contact your doctor if:

o   The child complains of severe pain.

o   You see more bruising.

o   The child feels numbness around the area.

o   The affected limb looks bent.

o   No improvement after five to seven days after the injury.


Accidental poisoning usually happens in toddlers who are curious and always put things in their mouths. Here are some indicators of poisoning:

·       Nausea

·       Vomiting

·       Drowsiness

·       Falling over

·       Pain in the abdomen

How to prevent poisoning:

·       Keep all medicines in a high and safe location.

·       Keep your cleaning materials out of reach of the children.  You may also install a safety lock in your storage cabinets.

·        If you are using liquid laundry capsules, keep them out of sight and reach.

·       Seal all the lids of containers tightly.

·       Make sure that you only have plants that are safe for kids and pets.

If you suspect poisoning, call the emergency hotline, 112, immediately.


Little toddler boy climbing into a bathtub. Domestic accident. Dangerous situation in the bathroom.

Babies can drown when their face is submerged in water as low as 2 inches.

How to Prevent Drowning: 

·       Do not let your child be alone and unattended in the bathtub.

·       Empty the bathtub after you have pulled out your baby.

·       Keep your bathroom doors, and toilet closed at all times.

·       If you have a swimming pool or a garden pond at home, put a fence around it.

·       Install an alarm to your doors leading to the pool area.

·       Remove the toys that may attract your child to the pool.

·       Watch over your child when they are playing near the pool.

·       Ensure that your garden is secure so that your child cannot get into your neighbour’s gardens.

·       Enroll your child in a swimming class.

What to do if your child is drowning:

·       Take the child out of the pool or tub immediately.

·       Check for signs of life (pulse, movement, and breathing).

·       If you have company at home, ask him to call the emergency hotline.

·       If the child is not breathing, has no pulse, and is alone, start CPR if trained.  Call the emergency hotline after two minutes of administering CPR.

·       If the child is not breathing, but you feel a pulse, perform rescue breathing


Toddlers are vulnerable to strangulation because they like to explore new things they see. They cannot judge what is safe or not. Their curiosity makes them climb, pull, and put things on their head.

Because their muscles are still developing, they may have difficulty freeing themselves from being tangled in a cord. With smaller windpipes, young children tend to suffocate far more quickly than adults.

According to CAPT, it can only take 15 seconds for a toddler to lose his/her consciousness if they get caught and tangled in a blind cord. In two to three minutes, it can all be over.

How to Prevent Strangulation:

·       Do not tie or clip anything (e.g., dummy) on your baby’s clothes.

·       Keep the curtain or blind cords out of reach of the kids.

·       Move the cot away from the window.

·       Keep any string or rope.  This also includes drawstring bags and gown cords.

·       If your gate or railings have more than 6.5cm gap, cover them with boards or a safety net.

·       Keep your child’s toy away from the clothing line.

·       Remove toys, pillows, or blankets from your baby’s cot.

What to do if the child is strangled:

·       Loosen or remove the object that is strangling the child right away.

·       If the child is hanging from a window blind cord, carry the child to loosen the grip.

·       If the rope or cord is too tight to remove, carefully cut it with a pair of scissors.

·       Once removed from the trap, gently place the child on a flat surface with his/her back on the surface.

·       Check for breathing and pulse. 

·       If the child is not breathing, perform CPR if trained.

·       If someone is with you, ask him/her to call the emergency hotline, 112, while you perform the first aid.

5.     Suffocation

Babies cannot lift their heads and so it's easy for them to get stuck in position.  If something gets on top of their face like a blanket, they will not be able to move and free themselves. This can lead to smothering or suffocation.

How to Prevent suffocation:

·       Avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by clearing the baby’s cot of any toys, pillows, or blanket that might cover his/her face.

·       Follow the T.I.C.K.S rule as published on the BabySling Safety website.

o   Tight: Baby slings and carriers should be tight enough to hug the baby close to your body. If the baby is in a loose position, he/she may not be able to breathe correctly.

o   In view always. You should be able to go to see your baby’s face whenever you glance down at him/her. If the baby is in a cradle position, your baby’s face should be facing upwards and not towards you.

o   Close enough to kiss. Try to look down and see if you can kiss your baby’s head.  If not, you should adjust to make the baby and sling higher.

o, Keep the chin off the chest – To ensure that the baby can breathe properly, make sure that the baby is not curled and that their chin is not forced to their chest.

o   Supported back.  If the baby is in an upright position, the baby should be close to you, and their chest and tummy should be against you. A baby in a baby cradle should be positioned with its bottom at the deepest part of the sling.

·       For those who babywear their babies, Pack away plastic bags so that the kids will never get the chance to get them and put them on their heads.

What to do if the child is suffocating:

·       Remove the object that is suffocating the child immediately.

·       Once removed from the trap, gently place the child on a flat surface with his/her back on the surface.

·       Check for breathing and pulse. 

·       If the child is not breathing, perform CPR if trained.

·       If someone is with you, ask him/her to call the emergency hotline, 112, while you perform the first aid.

We hope that the series gave you practical tips to make your home a safe environment for your child to grow and explore safely.

Do you have any comments and suggestions, send us your feedback in the comments section below.

Tiny Steps

We play, learn, and grow with children.

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