Updated: November 16, 2021 1:47:49 pm
At the Indian Association of Paediatric Surgeons (IAPS), president-elect Dr Dasmit Singh has raised concern over rising incidents of trauma injuries among children below 18 years. Most of the injuries among children occur at home, followed by those on the road, Dr Singh said.
Paediatric surgery week is celebrated from November 14-20 and, as part of an IAPS initiative, surgeons have released eye-catching posters on child safety. The theme for this year is ‘Paediatric surgeons – Partnering caregivers for child safety’. The posters have been displayed across OPDs in childcare clinics and hospitals, and talks and workshops are being held to create awareness about child safety.
“We see about two to three patients every week,” says Dr Singh, who is the Consulting Paediatric Surgeon at Jehangir Hospital and Surya Mother & Child Care Hospital. “Majority of the injuries are trivial and can be treated by first aid at home. There, however, are also cases referred to the emergency department of hospitals that require investigations and treatment. Unfortunately, some critical ones are either brought dead or need some kind of surgery to an internal organ,” Dr Singh said.
According to an observational study from a centre in South India which was published in the Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock, majority of children sustained injuries at home and on the road. “During this week, we have released several posters that promote child safety at home and school. For instance, paediatric injuries due to fall from a height can be prevented by covered balconies and roof railings, while burns in children can be avoided with separate cooking areas or boiling of milk in large pots over low stoves,” Dr Singh said, while referring to the study.
However, data is scarce in the country on the number of children injured and hospitalised. According to a report from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), the only source of data is from police agencies published collectively by the National Crime Records Bureau.
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 5.2 million children under 5 years died mostly from preventable and treatable causes in 2019. Children aged 1 to 11 months accounted for 1.5 million of these deaths, while children aged 1 to 4 years accounted for 1.3 million deaths. Newborns (under 28 days) accounted for the remaining 2.4 million deaths. An additional 5,00,000 older children (5 to 9 years) died in 2019. As per WHO data, Nigeria, India and Pakistan topped the list of countries with the highest number of deaths under five years in 2019.
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