Tips to keep your little ones protected at home



Sat, 27 Jan 2018 - 01:06 GMT


Sat, 27 Jan 2018 - 01:06 GMT

Crawling Baby - Creative Commons via pixabay

Crawling Baby - Creative Commons via pixabay

CAIRO – 24 January 2018: “Every day around the world the lives of more than 2,270 families are torn apart by the loss of a child to an unintentional injury or so-called ‘accident’ that could have been prevented,” stated the World Health Organization (WHO) report on child injury prevention in 2008.

As your children grow older and start to walk, they tend to explore the world, which is very vital for their development but also opens up the possibility of a range of accidents. Children’s curiosity can lead to several accidents and injuries that can be avoided most of the time without preventing them from enjoying the experience.

Parents and caregivers must keep in mind that children are more vulnerable to accidents and injuries, either because of their poor coordination and balance, their inability to assess the risks surrounding them, their lack of experience or simply because they have more sensitive skin and leaner bones.

Therefore, to tackle children emergency situations with confidence, parents and caregivers are advised to take courses in first aid to be able to identify and understand the potential risks surrounding their children. These courses enable them to better understand what potential hazards to look for and what measures they can take to make their children’s environment safer. Furthermore, child injury should be elevated as a priority on the global public health and development agenda.

Where do most of children accidents happen?

The truth is that children can be injured anywhere in or around the house. However, most accidents occur inside the house, especially in the living room, with the most dangerous ones occurring in the kitchen and/or on the stairs. Children accidents also rise in the afternoon time, weekends and holidays, especially summer vacations.

Who is most at risk?

Age: Children under five years old are prone to accidental injuries that include burns, scalds, swallowing objects or poisoning, while older children are more likely to experience fractures and broken bones. Most non-fatal accidents result from falling from height, while fire is the main reason for the death or disability of children. In some cases, the design of the house, such as houses with balconies and open staircases, can also contribute to accidents and injuries.

Economic status: Children who live in poorer communities are the most vulnerable to accidents, injuries and the burden of injuries, as they are less likely to benefit from protective measures available to other children who live in better economic situations.

Gender: According to WHO, boys tend to have more frequent and more severe injuries than girls, with 24 percent more deaths from injuries among boys than there are among girls under 15 years.

There are several ways to help prevent injuries to children in the home, including supervising your child, being aware of the risks, creating a safe environment and using safety equipment. In this article we present simple first aid skills to keep your children safe.


According to WHO, 130 children die from falls every day as children start to learn how to climb and explore their surroundings; it is very easy for them to fall off a table, bed, sofa, stairs, window or a balcony. These falls lead to bruises, but most serious injuries can be avoided by:

• Making sure your baby cannot roll off the changing surface.
• Fitting a safety gate at the top and bottom of stairs.
• Repairing or removing any damaged or worn carpet to avoid tripping accidents.
• Not leaving items on the ground that could be stepped on, leading to tripping and falls.
• Fitting safety restrictors to windows so they cannot be opened more than 10 cm.
• Keeping chairs and other climbing objects away from windows and balconies.
• Ensuring there is enough light on the stairs.
• Keeping balcony doors locked to prevent your child from going on it alone.
• Securing any furniture and kitchen appliances if there is a risk they could be pulled over.
• Staying with your child all the time when they are in the bath, as they can lean over to pick up a toy and fall in.
• Making sure they are warm and calling an ambulance in case your child has fallen from height and you are not sure whether you should move them or not.

Suffocating and choking

Children can easily swallow, inhale or choke on small items such as marbles, buttons, peanuts and small toys, so it is best to examine things around them that can lead to suffocating and choking. To prevent this from happening:

• Keep small objects out of the reach of small children.
• Choose toys designed for the age of your child and encourage older children to keep their toys away from their baby sibling.
• Beware of clothing with cords, necklaces and bag straps, as they can be easily pulled tightly on the neck.
• Lay babies on their back in a cot to sleep and never let babies sleep in an adult bed or on the sofa, and do not use pillows, as they can suffocate.
• Keep plastic bags away from children; they can pull them over their heads and suffocate.
• Curtain cords should be kept short and out of reach of children.
• Keep animals, particularly cats, out of your bedrooms, as they could suffocate your child.
• If your child stops breathing, struggles to breathe and their ribcage is sucked in, or they are breathing fast, call an ambulance and/or take them to the hospital.


Domestic fires pose a significant risk to children as a result of them playing with matches and lighters. To prevent a fire starting while you sleep and to ensure you and your children do not breathe in poisonous smoke:

• Install smoke alarms, test them regularly and change the batteries every year, or get alarms that can be plugged into light sockets.
• Switch off electrical items before you go to sleep and close all doors to contain a potential fire.
• Tell your children what to do in case of a fire.
• Always keep a fireguard in the house.
• Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
• Extinguish and dispose cigarettes carefully – particularly at night.

Burns and scalds:

According to WHO, 260 children die from burns every day. Hot bath water is the biggest cause of severe and fatal scalding injuries among children. They can also be burnt from cookers, irons, hair straighteners, cigarettes, matches and lighters. To prevent these accidents:

• Before bathing your child, check the water is not too hot by testing it with your elbow.
• Keep hot drinks away from children's reach and never use tablecloths that children can pull at.
• Never drink anything hot with a child on your lap.
• Turn off heated appliances immediately after use and place them out of reach.
• Use the back rings on the cooker whenever possible and turn saucepan handles away from the front of the cooker.
• If possible, keep young children out of the kitchen.


According to WHO, 125 children die from poisoning every day. Most poisoning accidents involve medicines, household products and cosmetics. In some cases, children can suffer from breathing difficulties. In such cases seek medical attention immediately. The following measures can help prevent the poisoning of children:
Keep anything that may be toxic out of reach and sight including medicines and pills and household cleaners – preferably in a locked cupboard.

• Use containers with child resistant tops.
• Keep all dangerous chemicals in their original containers, as children may mistake them for something safe to drink if you use old bottles for example.
• Dispose of unwanted medicines and chemicals.
• Discourage your children from eating any plants or leaves when outside.
• Avoid buying plants with poisonous leaves or berries.

Injuries caused by glass:

A lot of children end up in hospital with serious injuries caused by glass around the home or by broken glasses and bottles.

• Use safety-toughened glass in doors and windows, and make sure any furniture that incorporates glass is safety approved.
• Dispose of broken glass quickly and safely by wrapping it in newspaper before throwing it in the bin.
• Do not let your child hold anything made of glass or anything sharp like scissors.
• If your children cut themselves and it will not stop bleeding, call an ambulance and/or take them to the hospital.


According to WHO, 480 children die from drowning every day. Children can drown in a few centimeters of water (less than three cm); therefore, they should be under constant supervision near water. Parents should:

• Never leave a baby or child in the bath unsupervised, including in a bath seat, not even for a moment and even if an older sibling is watching them.
• Do not leave uncovered bowls, buckets or containers of liquid/water around the house.
• Empty paddling pools and store them away once you are done using them.
• Make sure that your garden pond is securely fenced off and supervise your children while visiting other people’s gardens.



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