The Hamad Injury Prevention Program (HIPP) at Hamad Trauma Center (HTC) of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is advising families and residents to practice proven home safe techniques during Ramadan 2022.

In order to protect your family, HIPP would like to highlight safety at home, especially at family gatherings during Ramadan.

HIPP Assistant Director Dr Aisha Abeid advises all families, especially those with children, to be careful while they are at home and to create a safer environment for children to avoid head injuries, cuts, burns, falls and drowning, which are the most common household injuries. She urges everyone to keep families and friends safe by supervising young children and preventing unnecessary injuries that may arise from adults being preoccupied at home. She emphasised the importance of doing the following to reduce the risk of domestic injuries.

Home safety recommendations for families with young kids

Assign a responsible adult to provide continuous and visual supervision over young children at all times. Regardless of their age, unsupervised children are at a high risk for preventable home injuries, especially falls, poisoning, drowning, asphyxiation, and burns.

To prevent falls, never leave your young child on a bed or counter unattended. Keep stairs and hallways clear and free of clutter that could cause a child or the elderly to trip and fall. Keep all windows locked, instal safety gates to block a toddler’s access to a staircase, an outdoor terrace or balcony.

To prevent poisoning, keep poisonous and toxic household items like detergents, medicines and cleaning products, in locked cabinets that are above ground and inaccessible to crawling and younger kids.

To prevent drowning, provide constant supervision for young children, especially those under one year of age, while they bathe, as drowning often happens silently and can go unnoticed. It only takes a few seconds for a young child or toddler to drown and they can drown in as little as 3-4 inches of water. Cover all water-filled containers and don’t leave kids unattended in or around swimming pools.

To prevent asphyxiation, keep choking hazards, like coins, buttons, batteries, and small toys out of reach of small children and toddlers. Any items that can fit through a toilet paper roll must be secured above ground in a closed container.

To prevent burns, create a safe zone in the kitchen so children do not enter the kitchen while cooking or baking is going on. Clear your path of children when transporting hot liquids like stews, coffee or tea. Cover unused electrical sockets with plastic covers and repair or discard any damaged appliances or electric cords.

To prevent backovers, before you start your car, check for hiding or playing small children around your car in your parking area specially before you backup or reverse. Backovers can be prevented by walking fully around your car, to visually check for young children or pets, before you even start your car.

To prevent heat or sun strokes, don’t allow young kids to play outdoors for more than 30 to 45 minutes during extremely hot weather or during midday (10 am to 3 pm). Likewise, children left in a hot car, even for a few minutes, can also succumb to heat stroke.

If any of the above happen, call the HMC Ambulance Service immediately at 999. 

Kitchen safety tips

Dr Aisha Abeid also urged members of the public to take extra precautions when in the kitchen especially during the preparation of Iftar and Suhoor meals.

Young children must be supervised while at home, especially when cooking is ongoing. Their play areas must be far away from the kitchen, clear of trip hazards, like electrical wires and furniture like tall shelves, and must be secured to the wall.

Make sure to have a Kids Free Zone around your cooking area and monitor children and ensure that they do not approach any kitchen stoves, or other hot oil, water, food, burning materials or electrical power sources.

Start early, do not rush and take enough time to prepare a suitable meal for breakfast. Being fast and in a hurry are the main cause of many burns, splashes and spilling food, causing harm to yourself and those around you.

Avoid wearing inappropriate clothing such as nylon or flowing dresses near open fires while cooking.

Clean up spills immediately, wet floors are slippery when wet. Keep the kitchen floor clear of toys and other items.

When moving hot food items, especially liquids like soup and tea, announce yourself, I am coming through with a pot of hot tea! to make sure your path is clear of trip hazards and young children. Keep the cover on the pot to avoid scald burns.

When a fire breaks out in a cooking pan, avoid pouring water on it, as it may spread the fire further. Instead, cover the burning pan with a thick lid, a wet towel or fire blanket.

Make sure that you have a smoke detector in your kitchen (keep it in/or near the kitchen, but not near the stove or the heater) and at least one fire extinguisher must be charged, easily accessible and installed in your house. Check your smoke detector battery regularly.

If and when you get a whiff of cooking gas

Do not switch on any lights or exhaust fans as they may be potential points of ignition for the inflammable gas. Open all doors and windows immediately to reduce concentration of leaked gas. Make sure the valve on the gas cylinder is turned off. Never use a burning match near a gas cylinder to locate the place of leakage.

If any of the above happen, call the HMC Ambulance Service immediately at 999.


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