WITH the second extension of Enhanced Community Quarantine in Metro Manila and National Capital Region and school breaks may be until September, lockdown in homes for the next three weeks (until May 15) may be a “disaster” in some households especially when there’s plenty of children around.
With this increased time at home comes an increased risk of injury for children. Here are some familiar tips and reminders for everyone during the second lockdown extension.
* Stay away from playgrounds. While we need to get some fresh air and vitamin D during lockdown, remind children to stay away from playgrounds since the coronavirus lingers on hard surfaces for days.
Whether you live in a subdivision or in congested area, remind children to keep themselves safe from motorcycles passing in your area.
* Internet safety. Millennials, tweens and teens are much interested in internet instead of going outside. Internet is second nature to them. Remind them to use the internet safely especially if you can’t monitor their online activity throughout the day.
* Toy safety. Toys would always keep small children busy while mothers do their chores or working. While most toys are certainly friendly to children, there are some things to be aware of, like separating toys by age and keeping small pieces away from young children.
Button batteries found in toys, watches, and car key fobs, if swallowed, would be a serious health concern. When swallowed, the battery starts releasing a charge as soon as it comes into contact with the moist lining of digestive or respiratory tracts, causing potential severe burns. Remember, hospitals now are focused on Covid patients.
To be sure, eliminate choking hazards and have your children play in the same room that you’re working in, if possible.
* Electrical safety. Children are creative and curious. Electrical outlets and items can pose danger to young children.
To prevent fires or damage to the electrical system, make sure electrical outlets are not overloaded. Only use surge protectors and power strips that are “UL” (Underwriter’s Laboratory) certified, which means the product has met accepted safety standards.
Make sure to purchase electric cord covers and outlet covers to prevent children from chewing on cords or sticking their fingers in the sockets. Before using a cord cover, inspect your electrical cords to check for frayed ends. Worn cords can be a serious fire hazard.
* Furniture safety. With more time at home, children may get bored and start making their own fun. They would climb on furniture, go under, or run around the house. They may slip and bumped on furniture especially on sharp edges.
It is important also to make sure that all furniture especially bookshelves, dressers and TVs are secured to the wall to avoid tip overs.
Teach your children that they should not climb or pull on furniture or appliances so they understand the importance of being safe while at home.
* Keep hazardous materials out of children’s reach. If you’ve recently brought new cleaning or disinfecting products into the house, make sure they are stored safely. Keep medications and other dangerous items (detergent pods, torch fuel, lawn mower gasoline, etc.) away from children. Also remember to properly dispose of medications that are no longer needed.
And do not transfer hazardous liquid into softdrink container or water drinking bottles to avoid mistaken by anyone as drinks.
* Teach children how to disinfect surfaces. Teach your children the importance of hand-washing for 20 seconds. Clean items and surfaces that are touched often such as keys, purses/backpacks, phones, toys, door knobs, tables and counters.