Let’s face it: toddlers aren’t easy to predict. They’re curious about the world and inexperienced about the dangers that could hurt them. Even ordinary objects at home can become examples of hazards in the home for toddlers. Recently, a mum of two found out about the irreversible consequences of a simple freak accident at home.
Examples of Hazards in the Home: A simple Water Glass
For two-year-old Jaclyn Derks and her mum, 25-year-old Kayla Rudichuk, their day began normally – until unexpected tragedy struck.
Jaclyn was enjoying her time at home when she tripped over a drinking glass lying on the floor. Apparently, at the time, Kayla was doing her marketing at the time, when her mother called to notify her of the grim news.
Kayla recalls, “It was the worst call.”
She explains that “[Jaclyn] was just playing and she placed her hand in the wrong place at the wrong time and there was a glass sitting… on the floor and she landed on it and it went right into her neck. It’s just been an emotional roller coaster. It’s a nightmare.”
She sped to the hospital as soon as she heard the news, and broke down at the sight of her daughter smothered in blood.
“There was so much blood. My baby was in tears, bawling, she was so scared. I’d never seen such a helpless little girl in my whole life. She was bleeding profusely,” cried the distraught mum.
The family rushed Jaclyn to the district hospital after the injury occurred. There, surgeons were able to extract a fragment of glass lodged in her spine.
Sadly, while the surgery was successful, the glass severed the toddler’s spinal cord leaving her in a state of partial paralysis.
A Freak Accident with Devastating Consequences
After the freak accident, the two-year-old fought to recuperate for a number of weeks at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Currently, she is receiving extreme physical therapy so that she can regain control of her arms and legs again. There are some signs of hope, as Derks has started to slightly move her left leg and arm.
Still, the little girl has a long way to go. She still needs additional support from leg braces to stand. Whether or not she can walk independently remains to be seen.
Although pleased with her daughter’s progress, Kayla still finds it difficult to forget the horrifying memory of the accident and seeing her daughter with a piece of glass sticking out of her spine. “That was the most anxiety-filled, crazy experience time of my life. I didn’t know whether or not my child was gonna be alive,” she says.
Parents, you’ve done everything you can to make your house as safe as possible, but that doesn’t mean young children can be left alone. You still need to supervise them and be aware of their actions at ALL times.
We know parents have a lot on their plates, so taking a short break while the kids are playing is understandable. But no matter what you do, always ensure that you know what is going on. After all, kids can get pretty unpredictable.
It’s not easy to be on top of things all the time. However, do know that your effort will go a long way. That said, here are some safety tips to baby-proof your house.
- Never leave your child unsupervised when giving him or her a bath. The same goes for when they are close to any body of water. 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 lying around. Kids like playing with such objects. They may wrap the wire over themselves, causing suffocation.
- Pay attention to the cords of window blinds. Keep them short, beyond your child’s reach. There have been many cases when children put their heads through such cords and inadvertently hang themselves.
- 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. They are not built to prevent kids from falling out.
- Lastly, be extremely careful with hot drinks, especially if you have children 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.