Categories: Paediatric Surgery

Child Safety at Home

In 2021 alone, there have been at least two deaths of children accidentally shooting themselves with a firearm. Several such accidental deaths of children likely went unreported. In a recent case at Narayana Health, the Department of Paediatric Surgery saved the life of a 3-year-old child who had accidentally shot himself in the chest with a pistol gun. While all accidental deaths are tragic, those involving children as victims are particularly distressing.

A 3-year-old child was brought to our emergency with a history of a pistol gun injury. The bullet had traversed the chest wall, gone through the lungs and had lodged at the other side of the chest. Luckily the child was very stable and didn’t have any major bleed or breathing difficulty. The child was immediately taken up for surgery and the bullet was retrieved.


Children usually don’t have enough knowledge of the potential dangers lurking around them. They can’t usually differentiate between what’s dangerous and what’s not due to their naïvé nature. They have an inquisitive nature, wanting to explore things around them, by touching things and putting them in their mouth. This can lead to serious accidents. A child cannot be blamed to pick up dangerous things. It is the responsibility of the parents and caregivers to keep the dangerous things out of their reach. It is imperative that we take steps to maximize their safety. We list some measures which one can take to do below:

  • Small objects and plastic covers and bags are choking hazards for children, and as such, keep these away in separate places away from your child. The same goes for things like floor cleaners, insect repellants, etc. that are toxic. Needless to say, guns and sharp objects like knives should also be kept away from children.
  • One of the biggest concerns in child safety is accidental falls. Minimize the chances of your child falling from tall heights like staircases by using safety gates, for example. If it helps, make such areas out of bounds for your child.
  • Keep electrical appliances, plug points out of reach of children.
  • Do not leave children unattended in playgrounds or in the swimming pools.
  • Keep medicines out of reach of children.

No matter how many safety measures you implement for your child, there will always be a chance of an accident or something unfortunate happening. God forbid in any such situation, we are always there to help.

Prevention is better than cure.

Dr. M M Zameer | Consultant – Liver Transplant – Paediatric, Surgery – Paediatric | Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Bommasandra, Bangalore

Narayana Health

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