Accidents At Home - Causes
Every year in the UK 1 million children under the age of 15 are taken to accident and emergency (A&E) units after accidents in the home. Many more are treated at home or by their GP.
In the UK, accidental injuries are the most common cause of death in children over the age of one. Children under five are most at risk from an accident in the home, and boys are more likely to have an accident than girls.
The most severe accidents children are likely to experience are falls from height, or burns and scalds involving fire or hot water. Older children more often experience fractures such as a broken arm or wrist, while it is more common for younger children to go to hospital for suspected poisoning.
What causes accidents in the home?
Accidents can happen anywhere in and around the home, but common places include the dining room, kitchen, bathroom and the stairs. Accidents in the kitchen and on the stairs are often the most serious.
There are potential hazards in every home, such as hot water, household chemicals, fireplaces and sharp objects. The design of some homes, such as those with balconies and open staircases, can also contribute to accidents.
Young children are not able to assess the risks all these things pose. Their perception of the environment around them is often limited and their lack of experience and development, such as their poor co-ordination and balance, can lead them to having an accident. Although accidents can happen at any time, there are several factors that can contribute to an accident happening, such as:
- Distraction and poor supervision
- Factors such as stress, a death in the family, chronic illness, homelessness and moving home changes to the child's usual routine or being in a hurry
- Poor housing and overcrowded conditions
- A lack of familiarity with surroundings, such as when on holiday or visiting friends or relatives
For more information on our Paediatric First Aid training courses visit the courses section of our website. Active First Aid training deliver 2 day Paediatric First Aid training courses across the UK.
The holiday season is fun, but the increase in outdoor activities and being far from home can come with minor mishaps.
To deal with these events, you need to be prepared. While nothing can replace the advice of medical professionals when you are far from home, it’s worth having a first aid kit.
A well-stocked kit should contain:
- Absorbent gauze dressings
- Adhesive tape
- Antiseptic wipes
- Stretch bandages in various sizes
- Anti-bacterial ointment to promote wet healing, which is less painful and minimises scarring
- Hydrocortisone cream for the treatment of bites, stings or other skin irritations
- A sharp pair of scissors
- A thermometer
- A few pairs of latex gloves
- Saline solution
- Eye drops
- Anti-inflammatory cream
- Gel ice-pack
- Sterile gel burn dressings in various sizes
- First aid manual
- Blanket (may not fit in first aid kit but still reccomended to have)
FIRST AID KITS & HOLIDAYS
Remember that child-safe medications might be difficult to come by, so stock up on anti-inflammatories, cold medication and painkillers so that you can treat any ailment that might come up.
Interesting sticky plasters are a good idea to keep minor cuts or scratches clean and to distract children from their injuries.
For the holidays:
Although one of the most important items in your beach bag should be sunblock, it’s not a bad idea to take along a bottle of after-sun cream for the person who spends too long outdoors.
Remember to stock up on any prescription medication or items that you need for specific ailments.
Also take along medication which you don’t need all the time, like antihistamines for bee sting allergies.
If you are going somewhere where there are likely to be mosquitoes, take along an effective repellent, and make sure to check if you need malaria prophylaxis.
First aid at a serious accident:
Everyone – especially parents – should do a first aid course to know exactly what to do at the scene of an accident or household or outdoor injury.
There are additional first aid items you may need, like a one-way mouthpiece for performing CPR.
Most courses will run you through what you should have in your first aid kit.