Better be Safe than SorryOctober 10, 2014

Two decades ago, Susie O'Neill was working with children at risk. Then and there, she saw a 12-year-old boy with burns. In the company of old men. The scene was not that disturbing, but it made the school teacher wondered why there was no facility for the likes of him. She thought his rehabilitation would be faster if he was surrounded by kids. KIDS Foundation was born, an acronym from Kids in Dangerous Situations. Injury Free Day is observed during the month of October, which is misleading. (It's a month-long campaign. It's all year round, but for the sake of highlighting it.)

The organisation's goal is to educate school children on preventable injuries, where more than 5,000 accidents happen everyday. It's the largest cause of childhood death. Accidents can't be avoided, but it can be reduced. We can help these kids develop risk intelligence by teaching the following:

Wear a helmet when riding on wheels. We can't keep the kids from bicycles especially when the weather is pleasant. But they must protect their head. The vehicle requires balance, and for the little ones, it takes time to get used to it. Falls happen, but we can do something to make the experience less painful (and traumatic). Joining them is better, where you ride on your own bicycle. You'll not only keep an eye on them, but the experience will also be enjoyable for everyone.

Be calm on the pool. Swimming is another outdoor activity we can't resist. It's best to teach the kids the different strokes, but there's no guarantee that drowning won't occur. Keep a close watch. Make sure there's a pool float. You must know artificial respiration.

Don't play with fire. There are many combustible objects inside the house, and there's a chance that something flames up when it's dry and humid. If you're a smoker, then quit. It won't do good to hide yourself when you have the urge. Show the kids which appliances can be the cause of fire, always reminding them to keep a distance.

There are a few rules to follow on the road. Always fasten your seatbelt when you're inside the car and driving. (The kids will follow.) Remind them not to lean on the vehicle door. When you're on the sidewalk, teach them about the different road signs. (Don't cross when vehicles pass by.) Be considerate to elderly people and individuals with infants.

Be prepared for the unexpected. Injury comes when you least expect it. A game of backyard cricket, an outdoor trip, the stairway. You get hit, you get blisters, you fall down. Supervision is required, but educate them on first aid. (Bandages, cleansers, tablets, etc.)

It will be better to practise on it, so cool heads prevail when accident happens. Don't forget to keep a list of emergency numbers by the phone. Last but not the least, we can stay safe while having fun.

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