How can you avoid domestic accidents in a house with children? At Agora Portals International School we tell you the key points
According to the Ministry of Health, the leading cause of death in children and adolescents between the ages of zero and 19 is injuries. And, according to data from a study carried out by the home insurance comparator Acierto.com, more than half of the accidents suffered by children under the age of five occur at home. Specifically, 54% of them. In fact, according to the same source, children are up to 30% more likely to suffer an injury at home than on public roads.
Of all the domestic accidents that can lead to a tragic end for a child, falls are the most common: according to the comparator Acierto.com, a domestic incident occurs every 24 seconds in Spain. The most common are, as we have said, falls; followed by cuts and tears; blows and burns; those caused by exhaustion and, finally, poisoning and drowning.
According to a document drawn up by the Spanish Association of Primary Care Paediatrics (AEPap), child accidents are considered one of the epidemics of our century because, among other reasons, they occur in children, who are the most vulnerable, human lives are lost and physical and psychological suffering is associated with them.
We are aware that danger is where life is and that nothing is 100% preventable. But it is also true that most domestic accidents involving children can be prevented by following a series of guidelines in the home. At Agora Portals International School, knowing that the best way to prevent accidents is constant vigilance, we give you some advice which can help to prevent domestic accidents.
How to prevent children from falling indoors?
According to the aforementioned document from the AEPap, the main cause of traumatic injury in children in Spain is falls and precipitation. For this reason, the same source explains some points that people who live with children can take into account to avoid falls at home:
- In houses with more than one level, protective barriers should be installed at the bottom and top of each flight of stairs and always kept closed. According to him, they should be bolted to the wall at the top so that the child cannot overcome them with his or her weight. And they should have vertical bars, not horizontal ones.
- Although the safest place to change a child is on a mat on the floor, if a changing table is used (a very common place for falls), hands should never be taken away from the child at any time.
- The highchair should be fitted with a belt with a strap.
- As for windows, one of the places where very traumatic falls can occur, it is better that they are always closed. Do not place furniture that can be climbed on in front of them, install a safety element so that they cannot be opened and, if possible, install safety nets.
- Furniture should always be fixed to the wall and toys that the child can play with and want to reach them should not be placed on top of them.
- It may be a good idea to place a protective barrier on the bed to prevent them from falling out while sleeping.
Poisoning largely preventable
According to paediatrician Lucía Galán, better known as Lucía Mi Pediatra, 70-80% of child intoxications are due to accidental consumption and 10% to a dosage error. The rest correspond to voluntary intoxications in a suicide attempt in children over the age of twelve.
Furthermore, he argues that most of the time such poisonings are asymptomatic.
Can they be avoided? In most cases, yes.
We rely on the practitioner’s recommendations:
- Avoid changing toxic products from a bottle to a water or soft drink bottle: keep them in their original packaging.
- Always try to buy medicines and cleaning products (or other toxic products) with safety caps.
- Keep any product that could cause poisoning completely out of reach.
- Always make sure you give the correct dose of medicine to your child and, if in doubt, consult your paediatrician.
Drowning, almost 100% preventable
The First National Report on Childhood Drowning states that it is the second leading cause of child deaths. According to the World Health Organisation, some 236,000 people die each year as a result; 70% of them are under the age of six.
The same report states that most of these drownings are 100% preventable. We could give many tips on how to avoid them, but we will only give one, the one we consider most important: do not let a child out of your sight in the water, even if it reaches their ankles or feet, for a single second.