Practical Parenting: Injury Prevention Tips

As a parent, you want to keep your child as safe as possible. By exercising a little foresight, you will be able to prevent foreseeable injuries and accidents. Below are some tips for preventing the seven common injuries.

  1. Fall & Tumbles
    • Do not put baby in a sarong hammock suspended by a spring (the buai in Bahasa Malaysia) as it has led to some babies falling out, or hitting the floor or other furniture, while being rocked. Some doctors suspect that the updown rocking motion of these hammocks may even cause damage to the brain.
    • Avoid baby walkers. They will not help your child learn to walk before he is developmentally ready to do so. In the meantime, they will only enable baby to get to places that might pose a danger to him (like the top of the stairs or the kitchen). Let’s not forget that walkers can tip over and their wheels can roll over baby’s toes.
    • Bar your windows and balconies, if you live in a high-rise apartment or a multi-storey house. Falling can be fatal.
    • Instal a safety gate at your staircase. Do this even before your child learns to crawl.
    • Practise playground safety rules. Always check to ensure the safety of playground equipment. Never let your child ride the swing, climb the slides or hang on the monkey bars before he is old and strong enough. Even then, be sure to supervise him constantly.
  2. Motor Vehicle Crashes
    • Place your child in the back seat.
    • Put baby in a baby capsule or, if he is older, in a child car seat.
    • When your child is old enough to do without a child car seat, he must wear a seatbelt at all times.
    • Most important, drive safely.
  3. Poisoning
    • Lock up all medicines and do not leave moth balls and other homecare products on the floor.
    • Keep cleaning solutions and chemicals in their original containers (not in soft drink or juice bottles), and place them far away from actual beverages.
    • Some plants (like certain mushrooms, berries and shrubs) can be poisonous. Check with the National Poisons Centre (1-800-88-8099) before you add a new and unfamiliar plant to your garden.
  4. Drowning
    • Don’t leave baby or your toddler alone in the bathtub for even a second.
    • Keep toilet lids closed and empty all water buckets and containers.
    • Never let your child out of sight when near water, whether it’s a lake, swimming pool or wading pool.
    • Around your house, keep him away from monsoon drains and make sure sewage tanks are covered.
  5. Burns & Scalds
    • When cooking, place pots and pans on the back burners, out of your child’s reach. Turn the pot handles away from the front of the stove so that they will not be accidentally dragged or knocked down.
    • Test the temperature of bath water before putting baby in it.
    • Keep matches and lighters away from your child’s inquisitive fingers.
  6. Choking & Strangulation
    • Keep small objects (like buttons, jewellery, beads, small toys, and even small round foods eg whole grapes and nuts) away from your child.
    • Secure curtain cords so that your child does not get tangled in, or strangled by, them.
    • Properly discard or store away plastic bags to avoid him putting them over his head.
  7. Child Abuse
    • Never abuse your child physically or emotionally.
    • If you find yourself doing so, whether verbally or physically, seek professional help from your paediatrician or a psychiatrist.

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