4 Common Childhood Injuries and How to Prevent Them

By Rayne N, 06 November 2017 1430


For new parents, it can be a frightening world out there. Would your child develop pneumonia by being exposed to the rain? Would your child catch the flu from his classmates? Are restaurant utensils clean, or would they lead to a bout of food poisoning? Anything and everything seems like a possible threat to young children below the age of 3.

While it's unfortunate--or fortunate, if you're part of the 'What doesn't kill you' camp--that you won't always be able to shield your child from every injury or illness, there are many ways that you can help to make your home a safer place for the young ones and the outside world just a little less scary.

Avoiding food poisoning

Food poisoning is a major concern, especially for those with children with itchy fingers and a burning curiosity to sample every brightly coloured thing in their path. According to Medic8, children are generally more at risk when it comes to food poisoning, because their immune systems are less developed and consequently, less effective at fighting off bacteria and viruses.

Advise your children to always wash their hands with soap and water before eating anything, avoid eating any food that they have dropped, and to check with an adult if they encounter any food which smells or looks bad as these could be signs of food spoilage. Just as with infectious diseases, food poisoning can be hard to foresee and prevent, so what's really important is ensuring that if your child should suffer from it, he should receive all the help and care he needs in order to get better. Insurance can also help to cover the medical costs, and ease the strain on your wallet. Under Income's Personal Accident (PA) Assurance Plan (here), you can get covered in the event of food poisoning, and also against exposure to natural elements, acts of terrorism, and medical expenses due to accidents.

Fighting infectious diseases

In Singapore, the absence of good childcare options for employees and inflexible work schedules often result in working parents sending babies as young as 2 months to infant care centres, and the older children to child care or student care centres. While these places provide plenty of advantages for the growing child's social, emotional and intellectual needs, the children often faced an increased risk of contracting infectious diseases. This could be due to a number of reasons: young children have not yet developed immunity to infectious diseases, children are more likely to catch viral infections when they gather in groups, and hygiene practices may also not be up to par.

Other than making sure to choose a reliable child care centre, and ensuring that your child knows basic hygiene, you can achieve greater peace of mind under the PA Assurance Plan’s infectious disease cover. This will protect your child against 21 infectious diseases including the Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD), dengue fever, bird flu, and the Zika virus.

Eliminating drowning hazards

In 2015, the non-profit organisation, Safe Kids Worldwide, published a report indicating that drowning remains a leading cause of unintentional injury death in children. Children below the age of 5 are three times more likely to die of drowning, compared to children between the ages of 5 to 17. Fatal bathtub drownings also occur among children under the age of 2 at a rate of 13 times that of older children between the ages of 2 and 17.
In order to mitigate the risk of drowning, there are a few things that every parent with a young child at home should know. Firstly, avoid leaving children unattended around water. Even if there's just an inch or two of water in the bathtub, never leave a baby unattended or even take a bath together with the baby as it is far too easy for a sleep-deprived parent to fall asleep. Always keep an eye on young children in the bath or in the swimming pool, and use baby-proof or childproof safety locks to ensure that the young ones are unable to access these areas by themselves. When going swimming with two or more young children, try to ensure that there is more than one adult around to help look after the children and learn how to do CPR just in case of an emergency.

Whether it's at the playground or at the pool, should your child sustain any injuries in an accident, you have little to worry about as they are covered up to $20,000 for medical expenses arising from accident-related injuries. The plan also provides coverage for physiotherapy, and in the worst case scenario, for permanent disability.

Tackling home hazards

 Out of the nearly 400 children who seek treatment every day at the Children's Emergency at KK Women's and Children's Hospital, about 1 in 10 wind up in hospital because of childhood accidents. Your home may be a space where accidents can easily happen - If young children trip, fall or knock into furniture, and this is especially so for children under the age of four as they are most likely to suffer from home safety hazards. Even something as small as a finger injury could lead to lifelong consequences, with fingertip injury possibly resulting in a '20% loss of hand strength', according to the British Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons spokeswoman, Anna de Leo.
Fortunately, home safety for kids has improved over the years as childproofing tools become increasingly available. These include hinge protectors to prevent children from getting their hands caught in the door, cushioned edge guards for sharp angles, and child safety locks on medicine cupboards or drawers containing more dangerous tools.   
But accidents do and will occur occasionally in spite of all our efforts, and in such cases, having the right insurance cover could help to take a load off your mind by ensuring that you do not need to fear the financial burden of medical care and rehabilitation. Instead, you can focus all your attention on helping your child to get better.

To ensure your child is well covered for medical expenses due to injuries, find out more about Income’s PA insurance. To be prepared for any hospital treatments your child needs, Income’s Enhanced IncomeShield provides you a peace of mind that your child’s hospital and surgical expenses are well taken care of.

The right insurance policy allows parents to fear less, by providing assurance that in the worst case scenario where either or both parents are unable to provide for their children, the latter will still be protected come what may.