Common Injuries in Children – What Parents need to know?
1. According to the WHO, every day, 1000 child deaths can be prevented by proven injury prevention methods.
2. Nearly 90% of injuries to children are due to unintentional or accidental incidents.
3. Burns, falls and poisoning are the leading causes of child death from injuries.
4. Child injuries can be prevented by creating awareness of injury prevention and implementing lifestyle and environmental changes.
5. All children have the right to a safe environment and deserve protection from injury.
Childhood is a period of learning. Children below the age of 10 are always eager to learn about new things. This curiosity of the child may result in frequent injuries in the child. Despite all your effort of best childproofing and safety efforts, it is often difficult to prevent your children from injuries all the time. There most common injuries in children are:
• Falls – Children often Fall from heights or trip while walking/running. This is the most common cause of injury in children
• Burns – Burns are common injuries in children. There can be several causes leading to burns such as sunburns, electrical burns and burns from stoves, matchbox, lighter, lamps and fireplaces. Also, hot liquids and steam are also responsible for scalding burns
• Head injuries – Falling down from highchairs, furniture, stairs and slippery floor can cause head injuries. Especially, babies or toddlers are likely to get head bumps while learning to roll over, crawl or walk
• Cuts and scratches – Cuts and scratches are mostly common among young children. It can be caused by pets, sharp objects, sharp edges of furniture and sticks
• Fractures and sprains – It can be caused by hard falls as your child enters the toddler years. Energetic and active children are more likely to fall and injure themselves as their bones are softer and more brittle as compared to adults
• Eye injuries – Eye injuries can be caused by dust, sand, chemical sprays or foreign particles
Parents have to be very careful, when the child is in crib, car, slippery floors or bathrooms as these are the most prone accidental areas
What Parents need to know?
Exploring and playing is an essential part of growing up. It would therefore be unwise to protect children by being over protective and limiting their activities. Although, the following guidelines may help prevent accidental injuries.
• Falls can be avoided by the use of fitted window guards, and specially designed children’s products and playground equipment that meet safety standards
• Never leave children alone at high surfaces. Don’t use baby walkers. They can be dangerous, especially around stairs
• Install safety gates at the top and bottom of staircases, and keep steps free of clutter
• Fitting locks/restrictors to windows would prevent easy opening and accidental falls
• Keep chairs and other climbing objects away from windows and balconies
• Keep small, sharp and dangerous objects like knives out of the reach of small children
• Choose age-appropriate toys
• Switch off electrical appliances when not in use
• Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children
• Switch off heated appliances immediately after use and move them out of reach
• Do not drink anything hot when you are holding your baby to prevent accidental falls
• If possible, keep your child out of the kitchen/utility areas