Having a baby is a special feeling for parents, but having a baby also means that parents now become more responsible if they want to see their baby growing without any diseases and/or injuries. Today, our main topic for discussion is ‘accidents and injuries in babies’. The reason for choosing this topic is that all parents are extremely concerned about the safety of their babies, but they don’t know what causes injuries in their babies and how they can prevent them.
Accidents are quite a normal thing for babies. It doesn’t matter how perfect your childproofing and safety methods are, your baby will find a way to bump into something and get injured. Let us take a look at the most common baby accidents and the spots where they are most likely to happen:
- Head injuries: Very bleakly I remember the time when I used to climb stairs, I always hit hard on the stairs and get a swollen forehead. Head injuries are very common, but you as a parent needs to take it very seriously. It is not just the stairs where your baby could fall off, but there are various other places such as, slippery floors, beds, play equipment, high chairs and more. It is very important for you to ensure that the baby is not sitting or lying in a vulnerable place. It is better to keep babies on the floors because there are less chances of head injuries.
- Burns: You must be wondering how a baby can suffer from burn injuries, but this has grabbed second spot in the list of most common accidents in babies. The burns are caused in various forms like electrical burns, sunburns and more. Items like cigarettes, lamps, fireplaces, stoves and lamps are the most common elements that cause burns. I have seen many parents who let their babies sit nearby at the time when they cook food without noticing that their child can throw his/her hand in a hot frying pan or anything that is hot as hell. The bathroom of your house could be the place where your baby can suffer from burns. This can happen if the water is way too hot and the baby gets into the bathtub.
- Choking: A baby who is just a year old or less won’t do it, but as the child grows, the injuries caused by choking could occur. The reason behind choking is a specific demand of the baby. Babies are fond of toys, and when they are denied of a particular toy, they intentionally stop breathing to force their parents to fulfil their demands. If the baby is way too arrogant and stubborn, then the choking could even take his/her life. Therefore, it is important for parents to ensure that their babies have the ability to accept the ‘No’ of their parents regarding a certain product.
- Nose injuries: The reason for adding nose injuries to the list is because the nose is a sensitive sense organs that once gets injured takes a lot of time to normalize. Nose injuries occur when babies accidently bump into the stationery objects, deflecting a flying object or falling on a stiff surface. Your hand can accidently hit the baby and injure his/her nose. The injury caused to the nose can result in a running nose, watery eyes and difficulty in breathing.
- Poisoning: There are a plenty of items in your house that your baby can accidentally swallow. Things like soap, shampoo, perfume, aftershave, medicines and a host of other items, which are not for consumption. Also, parents have to ensure that their babies are not exposed to gas appliances like heaters and stoves, as they can cause poisoning as well.
- Drowning: If we talk about the leading cause of fatal accidents, then it has to be drowning. There could be a number of spots like swimming pools, buckets, bathtubs, toilets and other areas where there is open water.
- Cuts & scratches: There could be a number of sharp objects in your house that can cause injuries. It has been seen that sharp objects can even cut the sensitive organs like tongue, which is very painful. Besides the tongue, all other parts are also in danger. So, make sure that all the sharp and pointed items are in those places where it becomes impossible for babies to reach. Moreover, check the furniture of your house, as they could have sharp edges that may injure your baby.
- Strangulation: Sometimes, babies can suffer strangulation from wearing headbands, ribbons, necklaces, string ties and drawstrings, etc. The same could happen while using window blinds and other appliances that are used in the house.
- Eye Injuries: Eyes are one of the most vulnerable parts of the body that can get easily damaged. Children have the habit of playing with sand, so there is a huge possibility that the sand can get in their eyes. Moreover, there are other substances as well, such as sprays and other harmful elements.
- Nostril and ear injuries: Small particles of toys can cause severe damage to babies. What if a baby puts something inside his/her nostril and inhale? That will create difficulty in breathing or other problems. Similarly, any small item like a pebble or a small stone can stick in the ear and land you and the baby in a hospital.
- A pulled elbow: Parents have to understand that the body parts of babies are delicate and therefore, they can’t just pick their babies by one arm. Swinging baby around by his/her arms or jerking his/her arm will separate elbow joint and forearm bone. Then, parents will have to rush to the hospitals.
- Fractures and sprains: It is hard for parents to keep an eye on babies all the time. But, parents can’t take chances because babies can fall on a hard surface from a height and cause a lifelong damage. The bones of babies are softer than adults and so, they can break off easily. So, parents need to ensure that their kids don’t play at a height.
- Falls: Babies can fall from shorter heights like changing tables, stairs, infant seats, walkers and high chairs, which can also cause some damage, but most of the times, that damage is not that severe, yet it must be avoided.
- Contusions: These are small bruises that are caused by falls and bumps under the baby’s skin.
What are the things that you as a parent have to watch out for?
- Windows: You have to see if all the windows in your house are safe and out of reach of your baby. Also, make sure that they don’t get strangled in the cords.
- Cribs: These are known for providing comfort to the babies, but they can also cause severe damage to the fingers and limbs. Moreover, there can be chances of suffocation as well because babies sleep under blankets. There is also a concept of SIDS, which can be caused by crib bumpers.
- Cars: Do you know why there is a child lock given in the car? Well, it is for the protection of the kids, so that they don’t accidentally open the door and jump out of the car. Moreover, you have to check whether the seats are properly installed in the car or not. I have also seen certain incidents where kids get locked inside the car, which may not cause any physical damage, but can create a mental blockage that will be hard to remove.
- Bathrooms: This is also one of the most vulnerable places where kids can get injured. Slip and fall usually occur in the bathroom only, so you have to make sure that kid is not alone in the bathroom. There are a number of things lying in the bathroom that can harm your baby, such as razor, chemicals to clean tiles and toilet seats, shampoos and soaps, etc. So, you have to be vigilant at the time when your baby is with you in the bathroom. The moment you turn your back on the baby, he/she is going to do something stupid, which would land him/her in a big trouble. Sometimes, kids fall in the water bucket upside down, so make sure such things don’t happen.
When do accidents happen?
Well, there is no specific reason that could explain why accidents occur, but it is the curiosity in the children and the lack of supervision of parents that results in accidents. When kids are left alone in a room that has a number of harmful items, then accidents are bound to happen. You have no idea what would be the condition of your house if you leave your baby alone in there. When you come back home, you will see a wrecked house, as if a war broke out in your house. So, you have to be very attentive when your baby is around. The most common occasions when you are most likely to experience accidents are during weekends, holidays and vacations (both, summer and winter).
- Whenever parents take a casual approach in keeping an eye on their children, bad things happen.
- When parents try to change the usual routine of the children, then that can lead to accidents.
- If babies are not familiar with the surroundings, then they can do silly things and get injured. This thing happens when parents go out to visit their relatives or friends.
- There are certain structural defects that can cause injuries in babies. Three aspects such as overcrowded surroundings, poor housing and social deprivation are considered the top reasons for accidents in babies.
Now, you know what the reasons are behind accidents in babies, so it’s time to find out what should you do if your baby has an accident and has been seriously injured.
Most of the times, babies accidents are not that severe and can be treated with the usual first aid kit, which we have in the house. But, you have to be ready for the severe ones because time dissipates so fast that you don’t get enough time to respond. Therefore, it is better to keep all your options open like taking your baby to the doctor. Moreover, you should have a reliable first aid kid consisting of all the things that you may require at the time of an emergency.
What should be done to prevent accidents at home?
There is no denial to the fact that babies are fond of exploring new things because this is how they’ll learn, but in the process of this adventurous way of learning, they jeopardize their safety. But, it is the responsibility of parents to make sure that the safety aspects are covered. Parents know that small bruises and injuries will be there, which can be treated with normal first aid kit that are usually present in the homes.
What to do at the time of falls?
On normal occasions, the injuries inflicted from falls can be treated using the first aid kit, but then there are certain injuries that are so severe, which require medical assistance. You have to keep all the vulnerable things out of reach, so that babies can’t get access to them. Don’t let them climb the stairs because that’s the main spot where most babies get injured. The height of the balcony grills needs to be increased, so that babies can’t climb them.
What to do at the time of suffocating and choking?
You have to check whether the toys your child is playing with consist of any small items. The reason being, they can put them in the mouth and choke. So, keep all such objects out of reach because they can cause real trouble for them as well as for you. Plastic and babies are not a good combination, so you have to ensure that your baby doesn’t get hold to plastic bags and toys. At the time of sleep, you need to check that the baby has not covered his/her face with the blanket or the sheet.
What to do at the time of the fire?
There could be a number of things in your house that can cause fires, so keep all those things away from your baby. It will be better if your house has a fire fighting system, so that fire can be put out at once. Parents who smoke keep lighters here and there, so when babies get an access to the lighters, then bad things happen. In this section, I would also like to add that babies are prone to burns and scalds as well. If you want to keep your baby safe from burns, then you have to keep your child away from the kitchen. When you give something to your child to eat, make sure that it is not too hot. Babies spill food all over their bodies and can suffer burn injuries. Always keep an ointment at home, as it could help alleviate the pain and the scar as well.
What to do at the time of poisoning?
There are a number of things in your house that may cause poisoning in your baby. So, just take a look at the room in which the baby is playing and remove all the items, which you think that baby would consume it. Things get worse when babies are in the bathroom, as there are a plenty of things in the bathroom that babies can consume. It is important to see what your baby is doing in order to ensure his/her security. When the baby consumes anything that is not for consumption, you need to immediately seek medical assistance, as only a doctor can help remove the toxic elements out of your baby’s body.
What to do at the time of glass related injuries?
While playing indoors and outdoors, your baby can bump into a glass window, doors or anything that is made up of glass. So, glass injuries need medical attention as well, so you have to see how deep the cut is. If the cut is too deep, then your baby will be to get a tetanus shot. Only, that can stop the area from being septic.
What to do at the time of drowning
When you see your baby drowning, immediately try to bring him/her out of the water and check the pulse. If you see the pulse getting decreased, then do CPR. If nothing works, then immediately rush to the hospital and let the doctors treat your baby.
These are the things that you have to keep in mind to ensure safety of your child. Accidents and injuries have become quite prevalent because parents are not able to give enough time to their kids. So, don’t make the same mistake and keep an eye on your baby and what he/she is doing. Your baby should be the top priority for you.