As your baby begins to take his first steps it’s time to take care of his safety! Yosyp Siladi, AMC Staff Pediatrician, explains how to protect your infant from painful experiences.
The most hazardous period in children is from 1-3 years old, because young children have a poor sense of self-protection but a strong desire to know the world! In order to protect your child from injury, parents should first of all, never leave children unattended and, secondly organize the environment around the child. However if accidents do occur, as sometimes happens, parents should not panic, but clearly understand how to provide first aid.
Avoiding wounds and injuries
To avoid injuries and cuts, keep your kitchen knives, scissors and other utensils dangerous for the child in a special place out of reach of your child. A correct selection of children’s furniture can also help to protect a child from falls and injuries. Do not put large toys or toys on wheels into a crib or playpen as the baby can climb on them and try to get out.
If a baby is injured – do not panic. Wash cuts and scratches with running water, treat with hydrogen peroxide and brush with an antiseptic (iodine, brilliant green, yodditserinom). After that, the wound should be dried and a sterile bandage applied. If the wound is deep seek help from your medical facility.
Minor injuries and bruises can be anaesthetized by applying something cold to the site of injury (e.g. ice, placed in a plastic bag and wrapped in a towel). But if the bruised area is badly swollen or turns blue, then the child should be examined by a doctor.
Burns and Scalds
To avoid thermal burns to a child, never leave any container with hot foods or liquids unattended. Do not allow your child to approach the cooker, stove or kettle. Properly closed cupboard doors will help to protect a child from chemical burns from household cleansers.
You can prevent electrical burns to children with covers for unused sockets and by securing any loose and dangerous wires. If your child does burn himself wash the wound immediately with large quantities of cold water. Apply Panthenol and dress with a sterile, not tight bandage over the place of burn. And you should consult with a doctor without fail if the area of the burn is more than 3-5 cm and/or if blisters appear at the site of the burn.
Foreign objects – inhaled or swallowed
To prevent swallowing of substances such as detergents, medicines, cleaning fluids etc. these substances should be stored out of reach for the child, ideally with locked doors. Keep all rooms clear of small objects such as coins, batteries and buttons, which your child will be happy to swallow. If your child has eaten something uneatable, contact your medical facility. In case of poisoning with detergents or medicines before seeing the doctor you should dissolve in 50-80 ml of water any sorbent (activated carbon, enterosgel, APSCO) and let the baby drink it. But never try to induce vomiting in your child by yourself – it’s dangerous!
Remember, most injuries can be avoided if you control the child and his surroundings!