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Parents must childproof the house, when there is a growing toddler at home. There are some injuries and accidents that a child is prone to, the most dangerous ones being electric shocks, eye injuries and puncture wounds. It is important to be well-aware of the preventive steps to avoid any mishap and also have knowledge of the treatment that follows any unfortunate incident.
There are many common injuries and accidents which toddlers are vulnerable to. Cuts and scrapes, bumps and bruises, are common reasons for toddlers to cry. However, there are some more injuries which parents need to be careful about. Electric shocks, puncture wounds and eye injuries are some accidents which can harm your child severely.
Accidents Toddlers are Prone to and Ways to Deal with them
If a child touches any source of electric current, either by his finger, foot or mouth – the current flows through his body. It can cause a split-second sensation, a serious injury or a burn, depending upon how long it was held on to and the type of current.
Some electric shocks are minor and do not cause long-term damage. However, the current which is strong, can enter the child’s body at one point and leave at another, damaging all the tissues on its way.
A child who suffers an electric shock may get skin burns, muscle contractions, headache, weakness, numbness or tingling, hearing impairments, etc. A bigger shock may leave the child unconscious, may stop his breathing, may give cardiac arrest, or even damage his brain and organs. Sometimes, it causes death too.
Immediate Action and Treatments
If you happen to observe your child getting a shock, then immediately shut of the mains or remove the fuse. If you are unable to do so, then try to break the connection of your child from the current by using nonmetallic substances like wooden objects. If he is not breathing, give him a CPR and call for emergency immediately.
At times, the child may get burns on the skin due to shock. If the burns are very minor you can apply ointments or ice and take him to the doctor. If not then take him to the emergency immediately.
- Till your child learns to stay away from electrical objects, cover them with plug covers and place furniture in front of them, wherever possible, which cannot be moved by your child.
- Replace frayed wires at your home, if any.
- Ensure all electrical cords are out of your child’s reach.
- Don’t let him go out to play or swim during lightening.
- Ensure all appliances at home are labelled by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
- Unplug electrical appliances when not in use.
- Watch over for electrical poles and downed wires when you are out with your child.
The most common eye injury is when some foreign particle gets into the eye of your little one. In such a scenario, the immediate step is to ask him not to rub his eye. This would prevent him from scratching his cornea, which is the surface layer of an eye. Make your child blink several times to dislodge the particle. If it still doesn’t go, wash your hands, pull your child’s lower eyelid slightly down and the upper eyelid slightly up to see if you can locate the particle. If it has got embedded in the eye, you may need expert help. Take your child to the doctor immediately.
If you see the object floating in the eye, gently remove it with a cotton swab or use an edge of a clean cloth.
If this doesn’t help, try to wash the eye gently with light splashes of luke-warm water.
90% of the eye injuries can be prevented. The common reasons for which children procure eye injuries are mishandling of toys, falling from beds, stairs or some other furniture, pokes with tools like pencils or forks, coming in contact with harmful chemicals like paint and cleansers, and even automobile accidents. You must childproof your home in order to avoid such malicious accidents. Remove hazards which could be dangerous for your toddler or keep them out of his reach.
When to Seek Expert Help
- When the child’s vision turns doubled or blurry.
- When he feels constant irritation in his eye.
- When he gets bothered by light or if it causes pain in the eye.
- When his one eye does not function like the other one.
- When pupil of one eye attains a size different than that of the other one.
Puncture wounds refer to deep wounds that are caused by sharp objects like a nail, piece of wood or metal. They are usually not very serious, but may require treatment from a physician. They are also vulnerable to infections as germs and dirt can settle in the tissue through the deep wounded surface. Your immediate response should be to see if it is a serious injury and you need to seek medical aid. Ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly before examining the wound as they may carry germs which are likely to get transferred to the injured tissues.
- Wash the area with Savlon/Dettol and rinse for five minutes at least.
- Take the child to emergency room, if you feel your child needs immediate and proper medical attention.
- Also, try to stop the bleeding with a swab of cotton, however, if this does not help, take him to a doctor immediately.
- In other cases, when bleeding is normal, apply antibacterial ointment after cleaning and then cover it with a clean bandage. In case the toddler complains of pain, give him an appropriate dose of acetaminophen.
- In case your child is not up-to-date with the tetanus shots, he needs them without a delay. This is because an open and deep wound makes him vulnerable to a serious infection caused by the bacteria that can easily enter through the wound.
- In certain cases, the doctor also gives human tetanus immune globulin shots to the toddler. This one has antibodies that keep the toddler away from tetanus infection.
- Childproofing the house is important; this includes covering sharp objects and keeping them away from the toddler’s reach.
- Ensure all drawers with sharp edges or pointed tools like knives are at a safe distance from the child.
- Make sure he does not roam around barefoot in his house
- If there are any jagged pieces of a recently broken plate or glass, keep the child away from that area and clean it thoroughly.
With these easy preventive measures, your little one can stay away from harmful injuries. While implementing these changes in your home is important, it is also essential to know about the treatment and keep a first-aid box handy so that you can act efficiently when your child faces any such problem.