#1: Having stuck
Between 3 and 5 months old, babies start discovering the use of their arms and hands and, as a result, begin putting many things they found into their mouths. These foreign things includes small toys, toy parts, and ballpen and marker caps.
Parents should be careful when buying toys with screws, buttons, or beads that can be bitten off and accidentally swallowed.
Here are some tips:
- Look for labels on toy packages that read “Not suitable for children under 3 years” and “Contains small parts.”
- Do not leave a baby in the watch of another child, no matter how much older. Adults should always be the primary caregiver,” says Dr. Bernardino.
- Use a hook if object is round. “Try unraveling a plastic coated paperclip to create a makeshift hook,” suggests Dr. Bernardino.Use tweezers on flat pieces. Tweezers work best for objects with irregular shapes.
- Seek professional help if you are in too much of a panic and doubt that you can handle the “de-clogging.”
Common signs of choking are difficulty in speaking and breathing, lips or skin turning blue, or gasping and signaling toward the throat. Babies may also lose consciousness shortly after if they swallow a foreign object that is too big to go down the throat, thus blocking the airway.
- Lie baby face down on your thigh, carefully supporting her head and neck. Using the end of your palm, give her 5 back blows between the shoulder blades to try to free the object. After, carefully turn her over. Place 2 or 4 fingers on the center of your baby’s breastbone and give 5 chest thrusts, each about 1/2 to 1 inch deep.
- Continue the series of back blows and chest thrusts until the object is dislodged and she begins to breathe on her own. She will cough, then spew out the foreign object. If the object comes out but your baby is still not breathing, check her pulse, and start rescue breathing or CPR.
# 3. Falls
At age 6 months and on to the first year, babies start creeping, crawling, and making initial attempts to stand on their own.
By age 3 to 5 years, they go outside and explore, running around, climbing trees and bars, thus becoming susceptible to falls.
If a cracking or snapping sound accompanied the fall, check for open fractures or joints that are protruding or obviously out of place.
# 4: Burns
Younger children have thinner skin, which means they burn more easily. In only a matter of seconds, exposure to hot tap water (60°C) can give a baby a 3rd degree burn. Dr. Bernardino shares, “Most burn cases I’ve treated [involved] water being heated for baby’s bath. The kettle gets knocked over accidentally and then spills on the baby. Sometimes, caregivers leave sterilizers with hot water still inside, forgetting there’s a toddler exploring the space. The toddler pulls on the cord, [tipping] the sterilizer pot over.”
- Don’t let water kettles—even if they are already emptied of their contents—obstruct walkways leading to bathing area as kids may accidentally walk, run, or trip on it.
- When cooking, keep pot handles turned in or facing inwards.
- Keep electrical extension cords tied together and out of reach of children so they are not tempting for kids to pull on.
What to do in case of a burn:
- Apply cold compress.
- Hold the affected area under cold water for at least 10 minutes, or until the pain subsides.
- If the burn is more than 20 percent of your baby’s body, put dry towel to stop heat production.
2nd Degree Burns
- “Burnt and blistered skin should not be popped!” warns Dr. Bernardino. “This will make the affected area prone to more infection. Let the wound pop on its own.”
- Cool the burn immediately under running water for at least 10 minutes.
3rd Degree Burns
- 3rd degree burns may cause fluid loss. Bring baby to a doctor or the emergency room immediately. Professional medical attention is still the best way to treat all types of burns.