The Hamad Injury Prevention Programme (HIPP) at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is advising families and residents to practise proven home safe techniques during the holy month of Ramadan.
“This year, Ramadan is also unique due to the partial lockdown and physical distancing required by the National Covid-19 response.
"Many family members are at home most of the time, so home safety must be our priority,” said, Dr Aisha Obeid, assistant director, HIPP.
Home safety tips for families with young kids:
* Always assign a responsible adult to provide continuous and visual supervision over young children.
* Regardless of their age, unsupervised children are at a high risk for preventable home injuries, especially falls, poisoning, drowning, asphyxiation, and burns.
* Never leave any 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; install safety gates to block a toddler's access to a staircase, an outdoor terrace or balcony
* 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.
* Keep sanitisers, hand rubs and antiseptics that are widely used these days out of children’s reach to avoid eye irritation or oral ingestion.
* 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.
* Keep choking hazards, like coins, buttons 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* Don’t allow young kids play outdoors for more than 30-45 minutes during extremely hot weather or during midday. Likewise, children left in a hot car, even for a few minutes, can also succumb to heat stroke.
Kitchen safety tips:
* Young children must be supervised while in the 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, tall shelves 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.
* Avoid wearing inappropriate clothing such as nylon or flowing dresses near open fire while cooking.
* Clean up spills immediately, wet floors are slippery.
* Keep the kitchen floor clear of toys and other items.
* When moving hot food items, especially liquids like soup and tea, announce ‘I am coming through with a pot of hot tea!’ and make sure your path is clear of trip hazards and young children and keep a 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 and 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.