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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 17 August 2018

Accidents at home among most common causes of child injury, report finds 

Those below the age of four are most at risk from injury, often from falls or burns

Latifa Hospital's report found that child injuries at home were a leading cause of hospital visits. Reem Mohammed / The National
Latifa Hospital's report found that child injuries at home were a leading cause of hospital visits. Reem Mohammed / The National

Accidents in the home are one of the most common causes of injury in toddlers, according to a report by medics at Latifa Hospital in Dubai.

The report drew similar conclusions to a recent report in Abu Dhabi that also found more than three quarters of child injuries happen at home.

According to international statistics, more than two million children under the age of 15 experience accidents in and around the home every year, for which they are taken to accident and emergency units.

Many more are treated by GPs and by parents and carers.

“Those most at risk from home accidents are in the 0-4-years-old age group due to their limited perception of the environment and because of their lack of experience or development,” said Dr Ahmed Abdou El Esnawy, senior pediatrician specialist at Latifa Hospital.

“Most of these accidents are preventable through increased awareness, improvements in the home environment and greater product safety.”

Doctors said falls are the most common home injuries and they account for the majority of non-fatal accidents, and 44 per cent of all child accidents internationally.

At three months old, babies become strong enough to roll over and that means they become prone to falling out of bed.

Older children are often treated in hospitals after falling while climbing trees or stairs, from windows or after falling off their bikes.

Burns are the second most common home injury.

Doctors said they see children who have injured themselves after touching hot pots and pans in the kitchen, or have had hot drinks spilled on them accidentally.

Latifa Hospital staff have warned parents about giving children under three dummies that are attached to necklaces due to the increased risk of suffocation.

They also warned against keeping stuffed animals and pillows in very young children’s cribs for the same reason.

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“Children should not be given gum or nuts before the age of four and parents should not keep plastic bags near them in case they accidentally suffocate,” said Dr El Esnawy.

“Furthermore, parents should keep gas cylinders in a safe place away from children.”

Other common emergency admissions in children were a result of injuries from sharp objects and poisoning after children had mistakenly ingested medication or cleaning liquids.

Nearly 60,000 children in the US are accidentally poisoned by medicines each year, according to Safe Kids Worldwide, a global advisory committee on child safety.

When it came to preventable child deaths, the Abu Dhabi Department of Health report said road traffic accidents were the main cause of fatal injuries among children between 2008 and 2015, accounting for 64 per cent of all deaths.

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