A 26 year old mother heard her doorbell ring while having fun with her 24 month daughter in her room. She hurriedly ran to attend to the person at the door. She returned after a few minutes only to find her daughter holding a bottle of kerosene. She got terrified and rushed to take it from her lovely princess but unfortunately she had already drank some. Attempts were made to remedy the situation but it was too late and so the baby lost her life.
Unfortunately for her, that was how she lost her baby. Seemingly, adults tend to look down on the intelligence of babies. Jean Piaget, a well known psychologist asserts that babies observe and imitate whatever is done in their environment. Practically, it is something that happens. It is naturally never the intention of any mother or caregiver to poison a baby. However, If some precautions are not observed, babies may become disabled or even die out of domestic accidents. Specified below are some precautions that must be adhered to especially when toddlers happen to be in your environment.
- Do not put detergents into containers that were previously filled with an edible substance. For instance, do not store liquid detergents in a water bottle because a child is psychologically conditioned to the fact that the bottle always contains water. Therefore, any liquid in that bottle is water to the child. With just a few minutes of separation from the baby, he or she can crawl to that bottle and drink the content of the bottle. And that can be very dangerous to the health and life of the child.
- Always keep electrical gadgets out of the reach of children. Extension boards are usually kept on the floors at homes. Toddlers especially, are curious about their environment and so they like to explore everything around them.With their five senses( sight,touch,smell,taste and hearing), they like to test objects around them to better understand their environment. Extension boards on the floor could be very dangerous because babies can put them in their mouths especially when they have teething itches.
- Always monitor them when they are close to small objects and accessories like earrings, necklaces and wrist chains. Toddlers are attracted by colourful and shiny objects so they are tempted to explore them and they might just put them in their mouths. It is also not advisable to wear a dress with many hanging pearls in it when carrying a baby. He/she can pull a pearl and swallow it. He/she could even put it in his/her nose.
- Medicine is another thing to keep out of the reach of children. As stated earlier, babies observe and imitate. They can pick up a drug and drink especially if it is a syrup because they have seen adults drinking it. Teaching Hospital (KATH) recorded a total of 318 cases of home poisoning, involving children between January and June,2005 -Ghana Web Report on 15th Oct, 2005.It is very important to keep medicine out of the reach and also remind visiting people about the safety tips of medicine storage.
It takes a conscious effort to keep children safe.As usually said, It is better a thousand times careful than once dead. Keeping children safe is a lot of work but it is worth the work.