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Common cause of injuries in children

It’s not possible to protect your child from all the bruises, scrapes and falls of childhood. These are just part of growing up for an active, curious child. So what has to be done to prevent common causes of injuries in children is to take appropriate steps such than an incident does not become a major event.


Common Causes of Serious Injuries & Death in Children 

Common causes of injuries in children

These include:
1. Choking, suffocation and strangulation
2. Falls
3. Poisoning
4. Burns and Scalds
5. Drowning:

Unintentional injuries are becoming major causes of death and disability in children in Nigeria in addition to malnutrition and malaria. Most of these injuries can be prevented.


Choking, suffocation and strangulation
Choking is usually due to food especially in a weaning child whose food was not properly pureed or mashed but small toys were also a risk. Never leave your child unsupervised when eating.

Suffocation occurs as a result of pillows or a parent squeezing them while sleeping together on the same bed. Don’t put anything in the cot with a baby; they don’t need a pillow and there is no need for soft toys. They probably fulfil your idea of what you think is required but they are not needed.

Strangulation occurs to loose blind cords, ribbons and nylon bags. Again, never leave your child unsupervised.


From furniture, falling downstairs, falls whilst being carried and falls from windows or balconies. Children are curious, they go to anything that catches their eye and you should be watchful.


The main causes are medicines, household chemicals for cleaning e.g. bleach and kerosene. Put all of these out of the reach of children. Medication in all its colours look like candy and what child doesn’t want candy? Household chemicals are put into colourful bottles which are attractive to babies and toddlers while kerosene and bleach look like water to a thirsty child. Lock these all away from children.


Burns and Scalds
Hot drinks, pots and pans on the cooker and bath water are the main culprits. Hot drinks like coffee, cocoa and tea whilst are at normal temperature to you would remain very hot to a baby fifteen minutes after and can burn their thin skin easily. Ensure your toddler is not in the kitchen while you are cooking and that the handle of these items are not overhanging from the cooker. In addition, ensure their bath water is tepid before you place them in it.


Bath, buckets or bowls of water, pools are likely areas than can lead to drowning. Babies and Toddlers can drown in as little as 5cm of water: they do not make any noise, do not struggle and just slip away and so there is no warning to alert you to the problem.


What You Can Do To Prevent Serious Child Injuries

Keep an extra close eye on your children in situations where they’re most likely to get into difficulties. This includes when they’re:
1. in the bath
2. in the kitchen
3. in the home or at the pool or beach.
4. in cars, near driveways, car parks and roads or walking to school
5. away from home at friend’s homes, recreational sites or even school.

It’s a very good idea to do a first aid course so that you’re prepared for any injuries or accidents your child might have. First Aid by Levande offers different first aid courses tailored to you and you can make a booking here.

Always keep a first aid kit handy at home and in your car. Get a Levande First Aid Kit here.

You can also keep a list of emergency numbers by the phone such that your older children, maid or nanny can quickly get help. Make an emergency action plan because every second counts.


Dr. Oluwatosin Osikoya is the Founder of Levande Healthcare Company. She facilitates First Aid Classes to enable Parents, Carers of Children, Schools and Businesses get the knowledge, skills and tools to handle any medical emergency.


About the author 

Dr Tosin Osikoya

Committed to saving lives. One person at a time.

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