When you have kids, you know the importance of preventing accidents at home. Just a split-second of inattentiveness is all it takes.
Masshitah Abdullah learnt this first-hand when her then-toddler, Aafaa Zuhayr Muhammad Al-Khair, slipped from the family helper’s attention and into the kitchen, where he was scalded by hot oil and suffered second-degree burns as a result.
Masshitah was cooking in the kitchen when her son wandered in. Unnoticed by her, the toddler accidentally tipped over a hot frying pan containing oil that his mother had left to cool down on the kitchen counter top.
She realised what had happened only when she heard the pan hit the floor, followed by Aafaa wailing in pain. Sizzling oil had splashed on little Aafaa’s face and also trickled down his body and arms.
The toddler was hospitalised at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), where he several operations.
Follow these tips from the Health Promotion Board to help prevent accidents in the home:
Keep matchsticks and lighters out of reach
Put them on the top shelf of a cabinet or locking them in a cupboard. Do not let your children play with them.
Avoid using tablecloths
This is because your kid can tug at them. Any hot food and liquids placed on the table could spill and scald him. Consider place mats instead.
Keep your children out of the kitchen when you are cooking
When leaving pots and pans on the stove, turn their handles inwards so Junior cannot pull and overturn them. Install stove guards to prevent accidents at home.
Ensure that thermos flask caps are closed securely
This is in case your children the flasks and spill hot liquids on themselves. Always use thermos flasks that have safety locks.
Keep your children away when you are ironing
After ironing, make sure that the iron and its cord are stored properly to prevent children from pulling the cord or toppling the iron.
Always add hot water to cold water when preparing your child’s bath water
In this way, if he playfully jumps into the basin or tub while you are not watching, he won’t get scalded by the hot water.
The bottom line to preventing accidents at home: be vigilant and never think that it won’t happen to you.
A version of this article first appeared in The New Paper.