Wait! Before you start blaming the witches and wizards in your village for your own shortcomings, here is one deep one for you, what has witchcraft got to do with health? Somebody once told me witchcraft was responsible for her being a Sickle cell carrier… that is a story for another day.
As we close on to summer holidays where children are almost at 100 per cent liberty of themselves; they make sure they make an event of anything they could lay their hands on both internally and externally and as a result become victims of avoidable accidental injuries, as it is called medically.
Right from the time a child stands on his feet; their mission sometimes seems to make everything they could lay their hands on golden. In their case, it is a tale of invention, the mother of curiosities.
Among the numerous injuries children could inadvertently be predisposed too, some occur more than others. Dr Zaccheus Aborisade, Medical Officer at Oni Memorial Children Hospital, Ring Road, Ibadan revealed some of the injuries that children are more likely to run into, with the high risk of danger, in some cases, they could eventually lead to death.
It is not yet proven that kerosene can replace water to quench thirst but children don’t seem to know this. And the last thing one would want to toil with, in times when Kerosene is almost sacred is to have one’s child make a juice out of it. Kerosene is one of the dangerous causes of accidental injuries among children. Dr Aborisade, reflected that because kerosene doesn’t come with a branded packaging material, people tend to package it with pet bottles or water bottles and because of the similarity in colour or colourlessness with water; it is an easy solution for children to gulp.
Dr Aborisade said: “Children nowadays are too inquisitive, right from age two, they are restless and want to know everything. We have seen many of them come up with kerosene poison and that could be mild, moderate or very severe. Some die as a result of the quantity they have been drinking.
“To complicate issues, parents often make the mistake of taking a wrong first aid step; they hasten to give palm oil to the child or try to induce an irritant to make the child throw up after gulping the kerosene. Unfortunately, this step worsens the scenario. The first thing is to ensure the child doesn’t take in anymore than previously taken and then, off to the hospital. The food way and the air way are closely related; a valve is closing one for the other to be open, because the kerosene is a liquid substance that can reflux back into the lungs, it is one of the things that kill the victims mostly. They tend to have aspiration pnemonitis from the kerosene poison that can lead to death if not well managed.”
To say drugs are poison is no longer news and that largely depends on the usage. Drug manufacturers always hammer on the storage. ‘Keep out of reach of children’ is always written on the packs because careless handling exposes children to accidental injury.
Dr Aborisade explained that though drug accident is not peculiar to paracetamol, but because it is arguably present in almost every home, it could be a tool for accident. “Some children don’t even see paracetamol as drugs anymore because they see it in every corner of the house and for others, because they see their parents using this drug, they may also want to experiment with it. The remedy is to stop whatever is causing the problem at home and refer any occurrence to the hospital. There are other drugs too; I have seen a patient that took antihypertensive drugs, so it could be any drug at all, if they are not stored appropriately, they could be dangerous.”
No, you don’t have to go as far as the beach or river before you experience drowning. If people could drown in their own dreams, everything is possible. Dr Aborisade hinted that with majority lacking access to potable water, water storage in open basins, bowls and buckets, appear to be a regular practice in homes, which has proven to be haphazardly delicate.
“This is a hazard within that we should not overlook, it is becoming alarming gradually. Children who storm into stored basins of water get fascinated by the reflection of their image in the water and sometime awkwardly probe further into the container; they get stuck up in the container, which could be deadly. Caregivers should ensure they cover water storage facility when filled with water to prevent drowning,” he noted.
Furthermore, researches have also included that lead poison, a naturally occurring toxic metal found in the earth’s crust. It affects multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children. According to the World Health organisation, childhood lead exposure is estimated to contribute to about 600,000 new cases of children developing intellectual disabilities every year.