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Safeguard your children from Injuries

The COVID lockdown has turned our homes into a school, office and restaurant all at the same time. Our lives which were perfectly boxed into morning rush, school time, office time, going out time, family time has all just merged into one blur.

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While on one hand we try to do our best to keep our kids safe from the dangers outside by keeping them indoors, constantly sanitising, handwashing, on the other hand, we have to suddenly balance a multitude of roles all at the same time -cooking , cleaning, teaching, entertaining, office calls , keeping kids out of the way during the office calls , being the referee in the kids fights to list a few.

In all this it is sometimes inevitable that the little one escapes from our watchful eyes and gets into an accident.

  • Climb things they shouldn’t
  • Pull things over
  • Open a cabinet and get their little fingers stuck
  • Running around at home and slipping on the tiled floor
  • Use the bed as a trampoline and bounce off
  • Find medicine (colourful pills) and just decide to try them out
  • Run into the bathroom and run the tap: slipping/ hot water scalds

Dr. Suruchi Goyal, Consultant Pediatric and Pediatric Endocrinology, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield explains that she got the idea while she was in the middle of a teleconsulting from home and when her 10-year-old decided to convert the living room into a board zone and started skate boarding. Just a glance up from the laptop set her mind racing to the injuries that could happen: a broken bone, a cut lip, a head injury and in a split-second doctor was beside her child to get her off the skateboard and avert the crisis!

With children being cooped up indoors, their minds appear to be coming up with ingenious ways of entertainment, Dr. Suruchi Goyal shares few things that you could do to keep them safe and entertained at the same time.

  1. Doors and windows seem to attract children the most: robust stoppers so that their fingers don’t get trapped when they slam shut. At the same time for homes on higher floors, child proofing of the locks on windows with no grills is highly recommended. Doors to terraces must remain locked at all times except when the child is taken up with an adult.
  2. All medicines should be in a locked medicine cabinet.
  3. Cleaning liquids are generally stored in the under-sink cabinet in most houses, keep it locked, they are too bright and smell fantastic, enough to incite the curiosity of the adventurous toddler.
  4. Large appliances and furniture like television, cupboards etc must be secured to the wall or placed on stands made for them. It doesn’t take much for a child to pull them on themselves in an attempt to climb on them.
  5. Trip hazards: Toys, slippery carpets etc are all trip hazards leading to head injuries,cuts on the lips etc.
  6. Drawers should be child proofed
  7. Corners need to secured too: it is just too easy for a toddler to bump into them or 2 fighting children to be hurt by them leading to cuts and lacerations.
  8. Bathrooms and kitchens especially hot liquids and surfaces should be out of their reach.

These are few ways that our houses can be secured to prevent our little ones from getting injured whilst spending more time indoors.

How much ever we try it is impossible to be 100% secure and accidents tend to happen. In case an injury does happen, it is best to get them assessed in the hospital by your child’s doctor or in case of severe injuries attend the emergency room for assessment.

Dr. Sandhya B, Consultant- Plastic Surgery, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefieldshares the emergency tips for parents while kids get injured at home. Scalds burns due to spillage of hot water, milk or oil first needs to be cooled immediately with running water from a tap for 4-5 minutes. Do not apply ice on the burnt area. Likewise, do not apply toothpaste, ghee, honey on the affected area and do not break the small blisters at home.  To soothe the area, you can apply petroleum jelly or aloe Vera gel. Cover the affected area with a clean gauze or bandage and seek medical advice. Most of the scalds are superficial burns which will heal in 10-12 days with appropriate topical antiseptics prescribed by your doctor. However large areas of burns in your child may need hospitalisation and collagen dressings to facilitate healing and prevent complications.

For gashes and bruises rinse the wound with water and apply ice to stop bleeding. Gently apply firm direct pressure on the wound using a gauze or clean towel over the cut until the bleeding stops.  Small superficial cuts on the face can be sealed with steristrips or tissue glue in the emergency room.  large cuts or deeper cuts with persistent bleed may need suturing of the wound. Another common injury encountered in children are the finger nail bed injuries due to jammed doors or draws. Cover the broken finger with a clean gauze and rush to the emergency room. These injuries can be quite significant sometimes necessitating an emergency surgery to salvage a partially amputated finger.

Understandably it is worrying to take your child into the hospital when all the advice around you is to keep them indoors and the hospital is the last place you want to be. Remember hospitals will take the adequate precautions to attend to your child and keep them safe and get them home as soon as possible.

Inputs by Dr. Suruchi Goyal, Consultant Pediatric and Pediatric Endocrinology& Dr. Sandhya B, Consultant- Plastic Surgery, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield

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