Dad fighting for life after breaking son's fall over balcony: Is your home truly safe?

As parents, we should never downplay the importance of child safety at home.

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We know it has been said too many times, but we’ve just got to say it again — never take your child’s safety for granted. If there is only one piece of advice we could give to parents, this would be it; and in particular, child safety at home.

Children are naturally curious and tend to be impulsive. They react to things or situations faster than they might even realise. That could spell danger if parents are not keeping a watchful eye on their kids or even their surroundings. 

One wrong move is all it takes to scar a child, and even a family. The consequences could be irreversible.

Father Fighting for Life After Breaking Son’s Fall over Balcony

Father of two, Brad Lewis, 42, with his two sons Oscar and Connor. Image source: GoFundMe screengrab

According to a GoFundMe page, Brad Lewis, 42, and his eight-year-old son Oscar, were out at his friend’s home in Sydney earlier this month, playing with their Nerf guns. 

Oscar fired a few Nerf gun bullets at his dad but missed, and the bullets landed on the first-floor balcony.

Curious to find out where the plastic bullets had gone to, on impulse, the boy chased after them. He ran out to the balcony, lost his balance and began to topple over the railing. The balcony was four metres high. 

Fortunately, his father Brad noticed what was happening. He lunged at Oscar and managed to grab hold of him in the nick of time. 

The weight and speed of Brad who was headed towards Oscar while trying to save him, caused both of them to go over the balcony. 

While they fell, Brad pinned Oscar to his chest and curled around him such that he could take the brunt of the impact, instead of Oscar. 

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Oscar was concussed in the fall. His skull was fractured and had bruises on the brain, along with a few other minor injuries. He has been released from the hospital but suffers from shock ever since the incident. 

After wrapping his body around his boy as they fell, Brad took the brunt of the impact, splitting his skull open. | Image: GoFundMe

The same is not to be said for Brad himself as he took the full impact while falling on his head, sustaining major head and neck injuries: his skull was cracked open, the brain bruised, his C6 vertebrae was fractured and he suffered other multiple head and body injuries. 

While doctors are amazed this strong dad is still alive, Brad still has a long way to go for full recovery. We at theAsianparent wish him a speedy recovery back to full health. 

Common Causes of Child Injuries at Home 

Mums and dads, could you imagine what could have happened if Brad was not aware of the situation at all? Or was a fraction too late? And what if all of this could have been prevented? 

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Like Oscar, your young child faces higher risks of having accidents at home as this is where they spend the majority of their time. Your little ones being the curious explorers that they are, they are further exposed to many dangers around the house such as:

  • Scalds and burns
  • Glass-related accidents
  • Falls (the most common cause of injury at home)
  • Drowning in sources of shallow water, like baths and ponds
  • Poisoning
  • Suffocation and choking hazards
  • Strangulation 

According to Nemours, more than a third of injuries occur from accidents at home. It is the leading cause of death in kids up to 14 years old. Injury from falls is ranked as the most common cause of injury at home.

As parents, have we truly considered the various options that contribute to child safety at home? It could be as simple as ensuring that the kids’ play area is not slippery to reduce the risk of slipping and falling down.

Definitely, you won’t be able to control every move they make. Nor can you prevent an accident for sure. But by anticipating potential risks and taking steps to practice child safety at home, you can help reduce the chances of accidental injury.

There are simple steps you can take to make your home environment safer for your kids.

Tips to Prevent Child Accidents at Home

  • Never leave your child unsupervised when helping them take a bath or when they are close to any water body. Children can drown in just 3 cm of water. 
  • Do not leave buckets or bowls of liquids around the house.
  • Keep hot drinks or any cups away from the table edge, or away from the reach of your child. Never hold your hot drink and your child at the same time.
  • Drawstring bags can be dangerous. Never leave them within a child’s reach.
  • Coil your wires and do not leave them around. Kids like playing with such objects. They may wrap the wire over themselves, causing suffocation.
  • Pay attention to the blind cords at home. Keep them short so your child can’t reach them and put their heads through.
  • Keep pets, especially cats away from your newborn. They could suffocate your baby with their weight.
  • Keep household products such as dishwashing liquids away from reach. They look bright and colourful, so kids may think that they are sweets!
  • Suffocation could occur from small toys and marbles – even from fishballs, grapes and sweets! 
  • Fit a safety gate at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Repair or remove any damaged or worn carpet to prevent tripping.
  • Use window guards on windows. Do not rely on screens as they are not built to prevent kids from falling out.
  • Lastly, be extremely careful with hot drinks, especially for those under the age of five! Did you know that even 15 minutes after being prepared, it can still scald your child? That’s what Sheila Merrill, public health adviser from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents states.

Ensuring Child Safety at Home Is a Long-Term Effort for Parents 

You may have put all the measures in place to help ensure child safety at home, but it does not mean parents can leave their children alone. Supervision is still required.

Moreover, it’s not enough to only be physically present. You need to be aware and vigilant of your child’s actions at ALL times. 

That said, there are so many demands of day-to-day living that can be overwhelming. Taking a short breather when your kids are at play — that’s totally fine. You’re not made of iron. But no matter what you do, always ensure that you know what is going on. After all, you know, kids can get pretty unpredictable

It is easy to overlook certain things or lose focus, especially when it comes to child safety at home. But just know that your effort will go a long way.

 

Sources: GoFundMeNemoursThe Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents