Due to the Movement Control Order, both adults and children will be spending most of their time at home. Although the home is perceived to be a safe place, it is a common location for injury. In Malaysia, home accident was second to road as a place for injury.
According to a population-based study in 2014 by Sharil et al, about 11% of children experience some form of home injury and 5% of them are severe enough needing hospital admission. The risk for home injuries is higher in boys, rural dwellers, those aged between 0-4 years and children from high family incomes. Fall was found to be the most common cause of injury in this study, followed by a cut and struck by objects.
How can you keep your home safe?
➡️ Keep matches and lighters out of reach.
➡️ Use plug socket covers to stop children from putting their fingers or other objects into sockets.
➡️ Store all medicines in a locked cupboard. Cosmetics, perfumes and essential oils should also be stored away from your children to prevent accidental ingestion. The same goes for button batteries and small ingestible objects.
Photo: Keeping medicine away from children
➡️ Store chemical and cleaning products in a safe place. Always remember that child-resistant tops on cleaning products are not fully child-proof and even children as young as three may be able to open them.
➡️ Harmful garden products such as weed killer, DIY tools and appliances should be kept in garden sheds, locked at all times.
➡️ Ensure all windows are secured to prevent falls from height.
➡️ Make sure top-heavy furniture, TVs and stoves are stable by installing anchors and brackets.
➡️ In Malaysia, a house does not need to have smoke alarm. Nevertheless, every house should have a working fire extinguisher at all times in case of fire.
Home safety is about supervising your child, creating a safe environment, and teaching your child about what is safe and what is not. Let’s keep our home safe!
Dr. JoAnn Rajah is a child specialist that provides pediatric care to baby and children in Selangor and KL. Her core strength lies in diagnosing early signs of child health issues and guiding parents on how to manage them.