Childhood Injuries

Common Causes and Prevention of Childhood Injuries

24 October 2022
Posted by: Chelsea

All responsible parents and care providers wish to keep their children as safe as possible.

Causes and Prevention of Childhood Injuries

The common causes and prevention of childhood injuries are discussed below.

Be realistic – life isn’t risk-free

Nobody can live an entirely risk-free life and that applies to children too.

It’s important that, in our natural desire to protect them, we also recognise that they need a degree of freedom to experience life. That is essential for their physical and psychological development and along the way, they will inevitably encounter some bumps.

Scratches, cuts, abrasions, bruises and the odd bloody nose, such things are a part of growing upand most common causes of childhood injuries. A healthy child will easily cope with such things arising as part of normal play. In fact, there is some evidence to suggest that they need these experiences to help develop their musculature, coordination, immune system and a well-orientated risk-assessment capability.

So, we can’t wrap children in cotton wool as they grow up.

Even so, there are some things to look out for.

Major risk areas

In Australia, most fatal accidents for children arise in the following areas:

  1. road accidents;
  2. The categories for serious injuries are slightly different, including:
  • falls;
  • road accidents;
  • poisoning;
  • burns and scalds.

Precautions

Much prevention is a case of using common sense and taking note of extensive publicity on such matters. That includes:

Road accidents

In a car, always ensure your child is fully belted-up and in a specially designed safety seat if they are below a certain age.

Drive extra-conservatively when you have a child on board.

Make sure your child is fully trained in road safety when crossing the road and don’t permit them to ride a bike or scooter outside on or near roads until they’re at a reasonable age where you can be sure they have ‘road sense’.

Drowning

Don’t allow your child to swim or play in water unsupervised until they are at an age where you consider them to be responsible enough to do so. That includes younger kids and paddling pools etc.

Make sure they learn to swim from an early age. Until they’re strong swimmers, insist they wear flotation aids.

Never leave babies, toddlers or younger children alone in a bath – however shallow it is.

Be sure you understand drowning resuscitation techniques – just in case.

Falls

In the case of toddlers, remove anything they can access that might encourage them to climb, though this may be difficult in terms of normal room furniture etc.

Always supervise younger children when they’re climbing to avoid childhood injuries.

Make sure with toddlers that your furniture is fully secured to walls and can’t topple over.

Staircases can be protected by gates etc.

Poisoning

Make absolutely certain that all items designated as ‘poisonous’ are kept in a securely locked cabinet and avoid leaving the keys around for children to experiment with.

Some second-level toxic substances (e.g., concentrated washing-up liquid or essential oil bottles) should be kept at all times out of the child’s reach.

Pills and other medications must never be left lying around or in drawers where a toddler or younger child might access them. Lock them away if possible.

Some very ordinary garden plants are highly toxic. Research this area and remove any such plants immediately, until such time as your child is old enough to understand the danger

Burns and scalds

Keep your child away from cookers where pots might be on the boil and be very careful if you’re carrying boiling liquids anywhere close to or above a child, it will avoid major childhood injuries.

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