One of the things that determine the safety of children at homes is the amount of knowledge of First aids skills (Tips) acquired by Mums or caregivers. Many accidents at homes are preventable if necessary safety precautions are in place. What are your questions about safety at home for your children? Do you think the only approach to safety at home should be prayers or Prevention and preparation should be added to it for great results?

Thankfully we bring you an expert in this subject to provide accurate answers; here Motherhood Nigeria presents Dr Tosin Osikoya, founder of Levande Healthcare Company. She trained at the University College Hospital Ibadan has a distinction in MBA from the University of Lagos and an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

With nearly 20 years in the healthcare industry, she lives by the adages “Prevention is better than cure” and “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail“. 

Motherhoodng : As an expert, what advice will you give a parent to on the first aid to administer if a child drinks a poisonous item at home?

Dr Osikoya: There are some conditions that first aid at home may not bring much relief. One such is poisoning. Poisoning in children is a condition that should ALWAYS be prevented and the thought should never be “this is what one should do if it happens”. This is because different poisons require different remedies and your plan should not be how to stock the remedies but how to actively prevent poisoning by being safety conscious.

Common poisons in the home are bleach, kerosene, cleaning solutions and medication. The “good thing” about such poisons is that it’s not a conscious thought for most children to drink poison. It is usually accidental, typically because they are thirsty and the bleach looks like water; or the medication looks like candy. Due to the fact that they were expecting a different taste, they usually take only a little before they spit it out.

What should you do a child drink a poisonous item at home?

  1. Try to be calm. Panicking won’t help.
  2. Try to ascertain the quantity of what was ingested, if you can.
  3. If you believe it was small amounts ingested, give sips of milk. Do not give large amounts at once that will cause the child to vomit.
  4. Go to the hospital with the container of what was ingested as soon as possible.

What should you NOT do a child drink a poisonous item at home?

  1. Do not give palm oil. This is a substance if you force into the child and he/she vomits, can go into the lungs and cause a major problem.
  2. Do not make the child vomit. Some poisons burn the lining of the gullet and vomiting causes the poison to worsen the burn as it comes up the gullet and go down again. Vomiting can also cause some of the stomach contents to be aspirated into the lungs and cause a pneumonitis. This is a major problem and can be become a worse problem than the initial poisoning.

In summary, the first aid for poisoning in children is prevention. Keep away all possible poisonous substances and adequately supervise all kids, all the time.


Motherhoodng: Do you think nannies or Housemaid should be equipped with first aid skills?

Dr Osikoya: Absolutely! Anyone in care of a child should know first aid because accidents are unexpected events, they don’t inform you they are coming. No one automatically knows what to do in a medical emergency, usually, people panic and precious time are lost where action could have made the difference. It’s the training on what to do that prepares everyone.

The issue is that small things can become big things and big things are … well, big things. I have seen a case where a wound on a child wasn’t cared for, he developed tetanus and died, that was a small thing that got so bad. What of the case where a boy fell down the stairs and broke all his front teeth? The nanny didn’t know what to do. All she could do was cry… thank God for good neighbours. All came about because the children were doing what children do. Play!! You can’t stop them, it is how they learn.

At a tennis court recently, a child got a wound and was literally screaming the place down, the nanny was helpless. She kept trying to get the mother on the phone. Please, what could the Mother do from far away? Thankfully, I was there with a handy first aid kit and was able to help.

Training in a particular thing helps you to be able to handle that issue as best as you can. In a scenario where your children, your precious miracles, are in the care of a nanny, you want to be sure that for the hours you leave your child with that nanny, they are in the best possible hands.

You owe it to your children to give them the best chances for their safety and well-being, all day, every day. It is necessary to have first aid skills. The value you get is worth more than you can ever spend. Believe that.


Motherhoodng: Some parents don’t believe first aid kits is essential in homes. What is your advice for this category of parents?

Dr Osikoya: It is a necessity to have a first aid kit on hand especially when you have children, it is definitely not a luxury. It is the first tool to have if there is an accident at home as its contents help provide the materials you will need to help anyone in an accident, child or adult.

It is one purchase you make hoping you never have to use it but you are still glad you made that purchase. It is also not only about having a first aid kit, but keeping it in a safe accessible place and knowing how to use it.

Its contents are useful for managing swellings, cuts, bruises, bleeding, sprains, strains, fractures, dislocations, burns, foreign objects in the eye and nose, monitor fevers etc. You can also keep your over-the-counter drugs in it, those that you regularly use in the home.

As you can see it is very useful and it is not a decorative piece. Most people assume that they will never need it but what if you do?

Motherhoodng: What should be the general items found in a first aid box at home?

Dr Osikoya: Items: Plasters, gauze pads, gauze bandages, elastic bandages, thermometer, scissors, tweezers, gloves, cotton buds, cotton wool, alcohol pads etc

Drugs: Paracetamol, piriton, ibuprofen, vitamin C.


Do you have any other questions about First aids and safety of your children at home? please use the comment section to let us know.