What you can do about home injuries
Posted Monday, April 21 2014 at 11:53
Fiona Tendo, a mother says her son is so jumpy that she has to keep an eye on him all the time. She says he has fallen off the stairs, got his fingers trapped behind the door and poured hot tea on himself.
While no parent wants to see their children suffering reckless injuries, such accidents happen all the time in homes.
Cathy Muyinda, an architect says a home should be the safest place for a child to be. She advises developers to build homes with child safety measures in mind. Dr Ben Khingi, a burns and plastic surgeon says home accidents are hard to be prevented, even as parents try to be careful with their children.
Some of the unavoidable accidents include falls, tripping on toys, getting burnt or falling over staircases.
According to Dr Khingi, burns are the most common accidents that occur in homes. Many of them happen when a child is left unsupervised in the kitchen and as such, end up touching hot saucepans or even pour hot tea on themselves. He says burns can also occur when bathing a child.
“This can happen when hot water is taken to the kitchen and a child is left to play with it before it is cooled. A child can jump into the water thinking it is cold,” he says.
To prevent such occurrences, he advises parents to ensure that they pour cold water in the basin before adding the hot water.
Dr Ben Khingi says most home injuries or accidents can be avoided if parents ensure some of the following measures.
•Keep sharp objects such as knives, needles and razors away from the reach of children.
•If homes have staircases, they should also have rails on the sides to protect the child.
•Doors to houses should be built in such a way that they do not shut automatically, as this may unexpectedly hit a child and injure them.
A child can also unknowingly push their hands in the door socket, which may crash their fingers.
Dr Khingi says many of the child burns cases he handles result from accidents that happen in homes where parents ignore basic home safety measures.
He also cautions against leaving drugs within the reach of children, as they can easily take the drugs which may lead to overdose.
He advises parents to allow children to play freely, but ensure they minimise scenarios that could cause accidents.
“A child who has been burnt by a hot saucepan will never play with it again. Leaving them to feel the danger will speak to them louder than your preventive attempts,” he says.