Safe as houses? Look out for these common injuries children can suffer at home

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Kids are curious! It's a way for them to explore and engage with their world
Kids are curious! It's a way for them to explore and engage with their world

With families spending more time in their houses than ever before during this pandemic, there are increased opportunities for kids playing at home to possibly injure or harm themselves. 

According to Cape Town-based paediatrician and allergologist, Candice Royal, the below are what they see most commonly when it comes to child-related emergencies at the moment. So be sure to keep an eye out and do your best to limit these incidents from occurring... 

Also see: Nurturing dads raise emotionally intelligent kids – helping make society more respectful and equitable

Head injuries

This can happen so easily. 

One minute your toddler is playing happily on the floor, the next minute they've climbed onto a stool nearby and toppled off. 

Head injuries can be mild and simply result in an "egg to the head" or they can be more serious and lead to concussion, skull fractures or bleeding. 

Signs of a serious injury include loss of consciousness, vomiting, confusion, drowsiness, persistent headaches and seizures, as well as any general behavioural changes. 

Bear in mind that some medical aids offer telephonic advice from qualified nurses if you need medical advice and will also arrange a companion for stranded minors if necessary. 

They will also arrange emergency road or air response – whatever is most appropriate for the situation. The most important thing is that you seek medical assistance if you are at all concerned.


Another common injury in the home when it comes to children is burns, caused by electrical shocks, touching hot stove plates or pots, steam from kitchen appliances, boiling water from a kettle/other appliance, or hot/boiling water in the bathroom. 

Mild burns or scalds can be treated by cooling the burn with lukewarm or cool water (not ice or iced water), removing clothing near the burnt area and covering it with a clean bandage that will not stick to the burn site. 

Note that clothing attached to the burn must never be removed as this can cause even more damage. Second- or third-degree burns require immediate medical attention.


Dr. Royal says that accidental ingestion of medicines, cleaning or garden products or things like rat poison is also unfortunately commonly seen in babies, toddlers and children. 

Kids are curious and at a certain age they put everything into their mouths, as it is a way for them to explore and engage with their world. 

It's vital that toxic substances are locked away and placed out of reach so that this risk is minimised. 

If you do suspect poisoning, it's important to bring along the substance or tell the medical professional what you think it was, as this could help with treatment.

Read: Don't be the parent or teacher who believes these 6 dangerous myths about school bullying

Accidental inhalation/choking

Similar to poisoning, babies and toddlers will also put things like batteries, magnets or coins into their mouths, which can cause choking and do other serious damage. 

Batteries from remote controls, watches, toys and even hearing aids are tiny and easy to swallow and the worst part is that these batteries cause caustic burns very soon after entering the body (typically to the oesophagus), so it's important to get medical help right away. 

Kids do also experiment and put small items into their ears or noses, which can also lead to medical problems. Secure all remote controls in use and when changing batteries, be sure to dispose safely of the old battery. 

Submitted to Parent24 by FedHealth


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