By Rita Selman.
Many young mothers fresh from the baptism of fire (that is childbirth), are overwhelmed when they realize that the hard work of having a child doesn’t end in the labour room. They soon encounter the no-sleep stage, in the first three months, immediately after the birth, when the baby requires to be fed several times during the night.
After that comes the stage of learning to sit and crawl and the anxious mother trying to protect the baby from taking a really heavy fall.
But the real had work begins when an infant has mastered the art of walking. A child’s natural instinct for development compels him to convey everything he comes across into his mouth as a way of learning about the object.
This need to explore should not be dissuaded, as it is a key stage in the development of certain skill in a child. However, close monitoring of the child is required to avoid accidents and misadventures.
Emergency Pediatric Units (Sections in the hospitals dedicated to children having medical emergencies) are filled with infants and toddlers who have had household accidents, ranging from encounters with steaming hot-pressing irons to ingesting large quantities of medications that are not even meant for pediatric use.
When there is a child in the house, the only rule and the only way to handle situations concerning the child is to ALWAYS ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION! Don’t assume your child still has a couple of months before he can reach the table where you have neatly packed your household medications, let alone the hot-pressing iron, electric kettle or sharp objects.
Here are few scenarios:
Hot Water + Baby = Very Bad
Experienced mothers know that whatever be the case, one should note tool around with hot water with the baby in tow. Most mothers agree that it is preferable for the baby to be left outside the kitchen where he or she may cry copiously than to end up with a child having first-degree burns.
Electric Iron and Electric kettle:
Some people assume that infants are still wobbly on their legs and therefore cannot move fast enough. They get the shock of their lives when the toddler streaks past them to handle hot electric iron or kettle, ending up with burns.
Lock the Refrigerator:
Not too long ago, a child went into coma after opening the refrigerator and consuming half a bottle of a cough medicine that had alcohol as an active ingredient. Fortunately, he came out of the coma. Cases of children locking themselves inside a fridge also abound
Refueling the Generator:
This should not have been applicable several years ago but times change. Neither, ever, keep your child with you when refueling, starting or doing some work on the generator. Petrol is very volatile and whilst you, an adult may survive second degree burns, an infant would not.
Keep all Medications Locked:
Every household has some medications, either for first aid or for the use of an ailing family member. The occasional Vitamin C tablet or Paracetamol may be left lying carelessly about mixed up with other household items.
Have all medicines locked up in a medicine cabinet or chest. Where this is not available, one can improvise by packing medicines in a carton or plastic bucket and placing them on a very high level.
Lock the Bathroom Door:
Bathrooms are very slippery places. A head injury might affect a child’s mental abilities in future. Do not let your child slip and injure himself on the hard tiles of a bathroom.
Always keep all sharp objects such as knives, razor blades (including shaving sticks), mirrors, out of sight and reach of children. Potentially harmful objects like spraying starch for ironing clothes, insecticides, bleach and detergents, buckets of water (could cause drowning), plastic materials (bread wrappers, waterproofs which could cause suffocation) should be hidden from children.
Tape Electrical Outlets:
Have all electrical outlets covered; make sure there are no naked wires sticking out anywhere. A child would promptly put the naked wire in his mouth and get electrocuted.
In conclusion, when one has a child, one makes a lot of sacrifices. This includes being alert at any given moment. Only one error, one oversight, might cause dire consequences for the little one that you have sacrificed so much for.