Carelessness causes over 500 child poisoning cases a year

January 04, 2013 - 3:13:23 am

Dr Khalid Abdulnoor Saifeldeen, Director, Hamad International Training Centre, explaining a visitor inside the simulator of giant kitchen at the Kulluna safety roadshow, at the Doha International Exhibition Centre, yesterday. Salim Matramkot


DOHA: Lack of adult supervision at home leads to some 500 cases of poisoning among children in Qatar every year, caused by consumption of things like medicines, cosmetics or chemicals.

Some 2,000 children annually are rushed for emergency medical attention with burn injuries suffered at home, according to Hamad International Training Centre. An estimated 40,000 children are injured a year due to poisoning, burns, choking, falls and being inadvertently hit in the driveway, and 85 percent of these injuries occur at home.

Most burn injuries are caused by hot or boiling water and equipment like cookers, irons or hair straightening devices. There are children who bite live electrical wires or stick their fingers or objects into electrical sockets or into fire and suffer burn injuries. 

“Around 100 of the cases reported are serious burn injuries. They can cause death, brain damage and significant disability,” said Dr Khalid Abdulnoor Saifeldeen, Director of Hamad International Training Center (HITC).

He was speaking to media persons on the sidelines of a roadshow, the fourth in a series being held as part of the ‘Kulluna’ safety campaign, which began at the Doha Exhibition Centre yesterday. This weekend’s display is dedicated to keeping children safe at home.

“Accidents at homes are preventable, since the main reason for such incidents is lack of adult supervision” Saifeldeen said. 

Around 200 serious cases of choking, and more than 500 cases of poisoning are seen by the emergency department of Hamad General Hospital and the Al Sadd paediatric emergency each year. 

Most poisoning incidents involve medicines, household products and cosmetics. The main reasons are lack of adult supervision, not keeping potential poisons out of reach of children and failing to use safety caps on medicines.

To create awareness and prevent such incidents, Hamad International Training Center, together with ConocoPhilips is organizing the ‘Kulluna’ roadshows.  The organizers have urged parents to share their experiences in keeping children safe at home. 

“Hamad International Training Center’s website will be made interactive for parents to share their experiences,” said Saifeldeen.