Looking after a child can be quite tasking. One minute they’re giggling, and the next, they’re sprawling on the floor from the pain of a broken arm, an injury on the head, burning fingers, or swollen eyes, to mention but a few injuries. While some of these injuries are minor, others can lead to hospitalization and sometimes untimely death.
According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), injuries are among the leading cause of death among children. As of 2021, at least 12000 children die from accidental injuries every year. It’s important that as a caregiver, you learn about child injuries, how to avoid them, and how to manage them when they occur.
Here are some of the options you have as a caregiver when it comes to child injuries:
1. Learn About The Different Types Of Child Injuries
It’s the responsibility of every caregiver to familiarize themselves with child injuries because you can’t prevent or manage what you don’t know. Understanding child injuries also helps you avoid negligence that may lead to lawsuits against you. Visit this website to learn more about compensation for personal injuries and other types of damages.
The first step of learning about child injuries is identifying the associated signs of every injury. While some injuries can easily be diagnosed, for example, you can tell a broken tooth due to bleeding, but there are others that aren’t apparent. Besides, older children tend to hide their injuries to avoid punishment from their parents.
Here’s a list of the injuries that can be hard to tell:
Choking is one of the deadliest injuries among kids, and it can easily lead to death. When a child is choking, they tend to cough frantically, hold hands on the throat, roll their eyes, and have difficulty breathing. While some choking may be loud, others are silent. You have to look out for some of the aforementioned signs.
Head injuries may be caused by falling, ramming the heads into a wall, or sometimes being knocked by an object. It’s one of the child injuries that may take you some time to identify. If you suspect your child has a head injury, look out for a bump on the head, concussions, headaches, difficulty walking, fainting, and confusion. However, the best way to confirm a head injury is to have the child checked by a doctor.
If the bone isn’t sticking out or it’s not crooked, it can be hard to tell if the child has broken a bone. However, if the child complains of a lot of pain in the area of injury, they can’t walk or lift a limb, or the injured place is swollen, it could be a broken bone. You have to visit a physician to confirm your fears.
Unless the child gets burnt in your presence, it can be hard to tell why they’re crying. If you suspect a burn injury, look for red and blistered skin. Severe burns are characterized by white or black burnt skin.
Poison includes anything that, when taken, could harm or kill the child. It includes unprescribed medicine, poisonous plants, and chemicals, to mention a few. Although the signs of ingested poison vary from one type to another, the common symptoms to look for include vomiting, burns around the mouth, drowsiness, allergic reaction, difficulty in breathing, and sudden illness.
Other child injuries that you can quickly identify include:
- Chipped or removed teeth
- Wounds and bruises
- Eye injury
2. Take Preventative Measures
Once you grasp the type of child injuries you should expect, you can better prevent them from happening. Below are some of the preventative measures you can take:
Water Safety Measures
- Don’t leave the child in the bathtub alone.
- Ask the parent to enroll the child in swimming and other water safety classes.
- Avoid distraction during baths.
- Always keep an eye on the child when they’re swimming.
Fire Safety Measures
- Place barriers to prevent children from accessing the kitchen.
- Keep hot food, drinks, pots, connected iron box, and other hot objects away from the child’s reach.
- Teach the children fire safety measures such as stop, drop, and roll in the event their clothes catch fire.
- Place lighters, matchboxes, and other sources of fire away from children.
Poison Safety Measures
- Keep chemicals and other harmful substances in their original container. Emptying such substances into containers that were previously used for food may lead to children eating the chemical thinking it’s food.
- Throw away expired food.
- Store all harmful products away from the kitchen and on the highest shelf away from the child’s reach.
- Properly label medication and store it away from children.
Other Safety Measures
- Put away any polythene materials to avoid suffocation.
- Put away any small objects such as toys, buttons, and coins that kids may swallow and choke on.
- Place all sharp objects like knives, scissors, pencils, and blades away from children’s reach.
- Inspect your kid’s toys and batteries to ensure they’re still in shape and that kids haven’t nibbled on them.
3. Practice First Aid
Even after practicing all these safety measures, you can’t completely injury-proof the child’s surroundings. That’s why you need to have first aid skills for children if an accident happens.
Part of administering first aid is having a complete first aid kit as per the standards recommended by Red Cross. Besides that, if the injury is still severe after administering first aid, contact emergency service and take the child to the hospital as soon as possible.
Accidents are inevitable. The best way to keep children away from injury is by learning about the injuries, practicing preventative measures, and learning first aid skills. With that, you’d be prepared for the worst-case scenario.