ACCIDENTS

By Amandeep Kaur

INTRODUCTION
Accidents are the main cause of injury and even death in children. People only relate accidents to traffic accident or accidents in outdoor activities. However, as a matter of fact, the place where people regard as the safest place – “home” … hides many “hazards”. The main cause of home accident is general negligence of safety at home. This pamphlet aims at providing some measures in preventing home accident, first aid measures and how to call for help.

Household injuries are one of the top reasons behind the fact that kids under age of 3 visit the Emergency, and nearly 70% of the children who die from unintentional injuries at home are 4 years old and under. Young kids have the highest risk of being injured at home because that’s where they spend most of their time.

Supervision is the best way to prevent injuries, in the home and out, but even the most watchful parents can’t keep kids completely out of harm’s way every second of the day.

DEFINITION

In general an unplanned, unexpected, and undesigned (not purposefully caused) event which occurs suddenly and causes injury or loss, a decrease in value of the resources, or an increase in liabilities. As a technical term ‘accident’ does not have a clearly defined legal meaning.

 Ways of accidents of children at home

  1. Fall
  2. Chocking
  3. Burn/scald
  4. Poisoning
  5. Cuts
  6. Drowning

A detailed discussion on these are as follows:

a) FALL OR FALLING OBJECTS

 Cause:

Unstable gait of the toddler, presence of objects on floor, lack of supervision, curiosity of the children etc. When children start to move around on their own, there is an increased danger of them pulling objects down on top of themselves.

Prevention:

  • Keep floors free of toys and obstructions.
  • Exercise close supervision when toddler learns to walk.
  • Never leave babies unattended on raised surfaces.
  • Check constantly floor surface for wear and tear.
  • Keep floor dry.
  • Always ensure bed-rail of the baby cot is raised when the baby is in the cot.
  • Always use a securely fitted safety harness in a pram, pushchair or highchair.
  • Windows and doors must be locked to avoid misadventure by children.
  • Avoid placing “step-stones” such as a chair next to a window.
  • Take extra care to avoid side-turning of a baby chair.
  • Being conscious of your kids health means making sure any trailing electrical leads, table cloth edges and dish towels are out of reach in order to help prevent accidents happening.

First Aid:

  1. Don’t panic. Call for help if necessary.
  2. Check the level of consciousness of the infant/child.
  3. Examine the child if airway is clear (e.g. can talk, cry or not); if breathing is adequate and circulation is normal (observe colour of the face, depth and rate of breathing).
  4. If breathing and circulation are normal, check for any other injuries on the body.
  5. If bleeding occurs, ensure there is no foreign body in the wound. Apply direct pressure to stop bleeding by covering clean gauze on it and add pressure on the gauze by your hand. Elevate the injured limb.
  6. If deformity is seen on the injured part, do not move it and call for help immediately.

b) CHOKING

Cause:

Accidental swallowing of foreign body, strangulation, covering of head by blankets, accidental suffocation by pillow while baby sleeps in a prone position, near-drowning etc.

Prevention:

  • Choose toys proportionately with the age of children. Avoid toys with detachable small parts.
  • Ensure small objects are kept out of reach of children.
  • Pull cords on curtains and blinds should be kept short and out of reach of children.
  • Strings and plastic bags should be kept out of reach of children.
  • Foldable furniture should be properly placed and locked. Instruct children not to play with them.
  • Instruct children not to play while eating.
  • Never let children use milk bottle by themselves without adult’s supervision.
  • Never use pillow for baby under one year of age. Do not use large and heavy blanket. Never let the blanket cover the face of children during sleep.
  • Avoid sleeping with baby on the same bed.
  • Never leave children alone in a bath tub or basin filled with water.
  • Bucket filled with water must be covered and keep children away from it.

First Aid:

  1. Do not panic. Remove the cause from the patient.
  2. Call for help immediately.
  3. Perform CPR if necessary.

c)  BURN/SCALD

Cause:

Scald by hot water, burn by fire, touch on hot objects such as cooking utensils, etc.

Prevention:

  • For adults, never hold a hot drink/food and a child at the same time.
  • Ensure milk, congee or other food stuff is at a reasonable temperature before feeding.
  • Ensure proper fence or door is installed at the entrance of kitchen. Such must be closed at all times. Instruct children not to go into kitchen.
  • While cooking, pay extra attention to the stove fire and the cooking utensil. Turn the pan handle away from the front, and close to the wall.
  • When running a bath for a child, always test water temperature beforehand.
  • All hot objects including an iron or containers with hot matter must not be placed near the margin of a table. Avoid using tablecloth. Matches and lighters should be placed out of reach of children.
  • Instruct children not to wander around when adults are preparing for a meal.
  • Install proper cover to sockets.
  • Warn children to never play with fire.

First Aid:

  1. Do not panic. If necessary, call for help.
  2. Examine the child if airway is clear (e.g. can talk, cry or not); if breathing is adequate and circulation is normal (observe colour of the face, depth and rate of breathing).
  3. If breathing and circulation are normal, check for the burn or scald injures on the body.
  4. Rinse the injury site with tap water for about 10 minutes. If the child feels chilled, stop rinsing.
  5. Cover the injury site with sterile gauze. Dress with bandages.
  6. Never apply toothpaste, soy sauce or other ointments on the injured sites.
  7. Do not puncture any blister.
  8. Do not tear off any burned clothing that sticks on the injured site.

d) POISONING

Cause:

Food poisoning, accidental swallowing of drugs, detergents, insecticides, etc.

Prevention:

  • Keep medicines and chemicals out of sight and reach of children, preferably in an isolated, locked cabinet.
  • Always store chemicals in their original containers with appropriate labels.
  • Never tell children drugs are “sweets” as this may give a wrong idea to children.
  • Ensure toys and dining utensils bought; meet the international standard, e.g. colouring materials being non-toxic etc.

First Aid:

  1. Do not panic. Call for help immediately.
  2. Examine the child if the airway is clear (e.g. can talk, cry or not); if breathing is adequate and circulation is normal (observe colour of the face, depth and rate of breathing).
  3. Start CPR if necessary. Be cautious not to contact any chemicals.
  4. If the child is unconscious but the airway is clear, breathing & circulation are normal, place in a lateral position.
  5. Bring along with any vomits and remains of drugs taken when seeking medical treatment.

e)  CUTS

Any cut means that there will be some blood, and this can be one of the most difficult things involved in first aid for children.

Apply pressure to stop the bleeding and apply an antiseptic to the area. Assessing the situation is important, but (generally speaking) if the blood stops following pressure, it is likely to be a minor cut that will not need stitches.

 f)  DROWNING

Young children can drown in very shallow water, so should be supervised at all times when near it. This includes ornamental garden ponds, water features and even baths.

 CALLING FOR HELP

  1. If necessary, call for ambulance service.
  2. Do not panic.
  3. Tell the call-taker how the injury happens and which part of the patient’s body is injured.
  4. Tell the call-taker if the child is conscious.
  5. Clearly tell the call-taker the address where the accident happens, the route leading to this address, and your contact telephone number.
  6. Do not hang up the phone until the call-taker had no further question. Do not rush.

CONCLUSION

Accident cannot be completely avoided, but its occurrence can be prevented. To prevent accident to children, adults should pay more attention to home safety. They should also clear any hidden “hazards” at home and teach children about safety. If accidents happen, stay calm and call for help immediately.

 

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2 thoughts on “ACCIDENTS

  1. This is an excellent paper. It should be read by all knowledgeable and careful parents. I am sure of its proper utilization

    On Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 10:22 AM, Concept Research Foundation wrote:

    > [image: Boxbe] This message is eligible > for Automatic Cleanup! (comment-reply@wordpress.com) Add cleanup rule > > | More info > > > Concept Research Foundation posted: “By Amandeep Kaur INTRODUCTION > Accidents are the main cause of injury and even death in children. People > only relate accidents to traffic accident or accidents in outdoor > activities. However, as a matter of fact, the place where people regard as > the safest” >

    Like

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