Accidents in children:
An accident is a sudden cause of death or an emergency in children. Accidents are usually related to the growth and development of the children.
In urban areas of the developing countries, due to overcrowding, one room may be used for the multipurpose, such as, for sleeping, cooking, or playing. Such a room may have electrical appliances and other materials used for day-to-day living. This surrounding, if unprotected, may cause accidents in children.
Children from the age of six months to one year can move from place to place. The mobility increases as children learn to turn from side to side, creep, crawl, cruise, and walk. Gradually, they learn to climb up and down.
During the process of progressive mobility children may lack coordination and judgment of space. These sudden changes in their activities may place the children at the risk of accidents.
Some parents or caregivers may not be aware of the changes in the children's development. This lack of knowledge or ignorance may add to the predisposing factors where children are exposed to the accident-prone circumstances.
Until the preschool age, children may have an accident in the home or surrounding the home, where they play, explore, or imitate others.
School age children move about and develop interest in play away from the home, may be at the playground, river, street, or pool. At later age children may become adventurous and become prone to many more accidents.
Common accidental injuries:
Falls are common in infants when they turn from side to side, creep, crawl, and walk. Due to lack of motor coordination and lack of the sense of space, they easily fall from the height.
Infants should be never left alone, on the cot, table, or any other unprotected surface, from where they can easily fall.
2. Foreign body aspiration :
Infancy is the oral phase, when infants explore every thing by putting them in the mouth. If small objects are put in the mouth, they may get aspirated.
The care should be taken not to leave any small objects in infants hand and within their reach. Toys should not have any small removable parts. Infants should never be fed solid foods which are difficult for them to chew, such as groundnuts.
A stove, cooking gas stove, electrical hot plate, electrical heater, or such appliances should be never within the reach of infants. If children get access to these appliances, can get bums.
All heating equipments and electrical appliances should be kept at higher level where children cannot reach.
4. Foreign bodies in ear, nose or trachea:
Infants enjoy putting small things into openings or holes like, nose, ear, and mouth.
Infants should not have access to any small things such as beads, stones, nuts, or button.
Infants may move toward the tub, water pool, well, because they enjoy water. They may get into it and being helpless may get drowned.
The precaution is always necessary not to leave children alone near the water tubes water drums, wells or water. The water drums should be always covered. The door of the house should be always closed so that infants cannot go out.
Common accidental injuries in the different age group:
Common accidents in toddlers and preschool children:
After the age of one year, the mobility of the children is increased. Children like to walk, run, climb up and down. They enjoy moving about always. They are interested in the surrounding. They open the doors, drawers, cupboards, tins, or boxes, for investigating.
As they are not aware of the danger related to their activity, they are prone to accidents in many circumstances. Falls, bums, ingestion of foreign bodies, aspiration of foreign bodies, drowning, suffocation and vehicle accidents are common in this age.
Toddlers are egocentric. The negative statement such as 'do not' should never be used to control their activities. They should be instructed about the expected activities. The proper directions for the activity are recommended.
Their activities should be under the supervision. The stairs, gates should be protected. The doors should be shut. Protective screens for windows are advisable. Hot things, stove, electrical appliances should be out of their reach. The harmful objects such as, medications, kerosene, and sharp instruments should be kept beyond their reach.
The caregiver or the older sibling should be given appropriate instruction about the protective care of very young children. The toys should be provided which have fast colour, blunt edges, and which do not have small removable parts.
B. Accidents in school-age children:
Being more active and adventuresome, school-ages children are prone to falls, sports injuries, drowning, and vehicle accidents.
Schools age children should be explained the use of the toys, safety rules, and protective behaviour. They should be encouraged to play in safe place, such as playgrounds, gardens, halls or indoor.
They should be taught the precautions for using matchbox, fire, electricity, sharp instruments, and open water places. In early school age, supervisory games may be encouraged.
Measures to prevent accidents
1. To provide safe childcare:
Parents need to know about a safe environment for their children from early infancy.
Parents must have an understanding about the children's developmental changes and capabilities at different ages.
Parents must know about the potential dangers of accidents related to the child's age and various situations.