Is Your Home a Safe Place for Your Kids?

According to Eurosafe, there are around 9.2 million home injuries across all ages. Indeed, the numbers are alarming.  However, we can make adjustments in our home and learn first aid; we can make our home a safer environment for the kids and the whole family.

This blog post is the first of the three articles to cover the common accidents in the home.  We will go over the causes of injuries, preventive actions, and proper first-aid.

1.     Falls

How to prevent falls:

·       Never leave your child unsupervised in a high place such as the changing table, bed, or sofa.

·       Place your child’s bouncing seats or car seats on the floor.

·       Place safety gates in both the top and bottom of the staircase.

·       Always stay with your child during bathtime.

·       Keep the doors leading to unsafe areas locked.

·       Fasten the safety belt while your baby is on the high chair or changing table.

·       It is better to have carpets installed on your staircase, so it’s not slippery.

·       Stick your rugs using double-sided tape.

·       Do not let your child walk with something inside his/her mouth like a spoon, toothbrush, or toy.

·       Install window guards.

·       Avoid placing furniture that your child can climb to near windows.

·       Put safety rails on the beds if your child is already sleeping on his/her bed

·       If your child is using a walker, make sure it is compliant with the British Standards BS EN 1273:2005

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

What to do when your child falls:

·       Call the emergency hotline, 112, if the child is

o   Unresponsive or unconscious

o   having trouble breathing,

o   Not breathing

o   Having a seizure

o   Appearing to have a head, neck, back, hip, or thighbones injury.

o   Vomiting.

·       Do not move the child if he appears to be in a critical condition, as mentioned above.

·       Comfort your child.

·       Apply cold compress on any bumps or bruises.

·       You may give pain killer but do not give ibuprofen.

·       Let your child rest but observe the child closely for the next 24 hours.

·       Call your family doctor if you observe any of these during the observation period at home.  Your child

o   Feels very sleepy or is hard to wake up.

o   Gets easily annoyed or upset.

o   Vomits two times or more.

o   Experiences pain in the head, neck, back, hip, or thighbones.

o   Is not walking normally.

o   Complains of increasing pain anywhere in the body.

o Cannot seem to focus his eye on you or an object.

o   Displays any unusual behavior that is bothersome to you.

2.     Falling Object

How to prevent falling objects:

·       Secure your dresser, mirror, bookcase, and TV using straps or screws.

·       Avoid putting objects that they are attracted to, such as remote, toys, sweets.  This is to avoid them from trying to climb when you are not around.

·       Keep the things they need accessible to them—store toys and books on low-lying shelves.

·       Keep blind cords or dangling ropes out of reach.

What to do if a falling object hits a child:

·       Remove the object that fell on the child right away.

·       Check for injuries.

·       Call the emergency hotline for major injuries.

·       Refer to the first aid for falls and wounds section for additional tips.

3.     Cuts and Scrapes


How to prevent cuts and scrapes:

·       Keep sharp objects (e.g., knives, scissors, nails, tools) inside a safe location such as a locked drawer or storage cabinet.

·       Keep an eye on your child.  If the child is playing in the playground, avoid playground surfaces such as grass or dirt as it's not thick enough to cushion a fall. Concrete, asphalt, and hard surfaces can cause traumatic brain injury. The most recommended safest playground surface material is engineered wood fiber as it offers benefits such as slip-resistance, strong shock-absorbing qualities, and cost-efficient. 

·       Ask your child to wear pants/leggings and sturdy shoes when playing outside.

·       If your child is riding a bike or scooter, ask your child to wear protective gear such as a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads.

·       Do not allow your child to bike, roller-skate, or scooter after dark.

What to do if the child gets a cut or scrape:

For minor bleeding,

·       Rinse the wound under running water to clean out any dirt or debris in it.

·       Cover the injured area with a sterile adhesive bandage.

·       Check the wound daily.

·       If the bandage gets soaked with blood or gets wet by any liquid, change it immediately.

·       If the wound seems to be red, swollen, tender, warm, or with pus, get in touch with your pediatrician.

For deep cuts and severe bleeding,

·       Rinse the wound under running water to see the extent of the injury and its size.

·       If possible, raise the wounded part above the child’s heart.

·       Using the palm of your hand on a clean gauze or cloth, apply direct and steady pressure on the wound for five minutes.

·       If the gauze gets soaked in blood, get another gauze and apply it directly over it.  Do not remove the soaked gauze.

Call the emergency hotline if,

·       Bleeding does not stop after applying pressure over the wound for 5 minutes.

·       Debris is stuck on the wound.

·       The injury is on the face or neck.

·       Injury is caused by an animal bite, a burn, an electrical injury, or a punctured wound.

·       The wound or cut is more than an inch long or appears to be a deep cut.

·       If you are not sure if stitches are needed for the large wound.

4.     Glass-related accidents

Broken glass can result in serious cuts. 

How to prevent glass-related accidents:

·       Install safety glass for low-level areas such as doors and windows.  It is stronger than regular glass.  Look for the British Standards (BS) kitemark.

·       If you have a standard glass at home, install a shatter-resistant film.

·       Ensure that your furniture has glass. Ensure that the glass has the BS kitemark.

·       Dispose of broken glass or mirror immediately.

·       If you have a greenhouse, make sure it has a fence.

·       Do not let your child play with items made out of glass.

Refer to the Cuts and Sprain section for the first aid tips. Watch out for the next week’s blog post as we will tackle causes, prevention, and first-aid for bruises, sprains, strains, poisoning, drowning, strangulation, and suffocation.

Tiny Steps

We play, learn and grow with children. 

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