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Children can suffer injuries at any time of the year, but it’s during the summer season that we typically see injuries in children spike. According to Prof Sebastian van As, Head of the Trauma Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, motor vehicle accidents, drownings and burns are the most common reasons children end up in hospital, especially during the holidays.

Sanlam’s injury claims echo the Red Cross’s stats. Road accidents are the top danger to children – accounting for 80% of trauma cases. Sadly, this is often the result of children not being buckled up properly. But there are other dangers too.

“The costs of these curveballs can be extensive – from extended hospital stays to rehabilitation and counselling. Netcare gives an estimated daily average of R20,796 for specialised intensive care (including paediatric care), which excludes treatment and medical care,” says Dr Marion Morkel, Chief Medical Officer at Sanlam.

The Child Illness and Injury benefit from Sanlam complements existing cover to provide additional financial relief for less obvious expenses and shortfalls. The premiums for the cover are competitive and children qualify for cover from the age of one right up until they turn 19.

While you can take out insurance such as gap cover, medical aid and the Sanlam Child Illness and Injury benefit, the best way to protect your child from injury and illness is to prevent them from occurring or to put measures in place to reduce the risk of them happening.

“While you can take out insurance such as gap cover, medical aid and the Sanlam Child Illness and Injury benefit, the best way to protect your child from injury and illness is to prevent them from occurring or to put measures in place to reduce the risk of them happening.”

Here’s what you can do to increase your child’s safety:

  1. Make your home safe: Burns in children are often more severe than in adults. Make sure hot appliances, toxic substances and sharp objects are not within your children’s reach. Keep cabinets locked and keep children away from matches, paraffin and lighters. Secure your bathroom. Never leave your child unattended in the bath or shower. Keep them away from hot geysers. Explain to them why certain things are forbidden and why they are dangerous.
  2. Secure your garden and indoor plants: Keep toxic plants out of reach or remove them from your garden and home.
  3. Pool and water safety: For every child that dies from drowning, five are left with permanent brain damage. Make sure your pool is covered, or ensure it is safely enclosed and locked to prevent children from falling in. Don’t allow them to play in the pool or with a bucket of water (drownings can occur in shallow water too) without an adult present. As an extra backup, teach your children to swim from an early age to ensure they know what to do if they fall into a pool.
  4. Prevent choking: You can prevent children from choking by ensuring they eat small mouthfuls of food. Make sure you and the people that care for your children are well versed in CPR designed for children and babies (the way CPR is conducted differs between adults and children).
  5. Car safety: Always ensure your child is wearing a seatbelt. If your children are young or babies, they should be seated in a car seat specifically designed for their height and age.
  6. Road safety: Supervise small children on roads and teach older children about pedestrian safety. Teach them to wear a helmet if they are on a bicycle, skateboard, or something similar.
  7. Teach them emergency numbers: Your children could save your life and their own by memorising key emergency numbers. Stick the phone numbers for the police (10111), ambulance or fire department (101777), and emergencies (112) on your fridge or within easy reach or sight of all your family members.
  8. Protect them from the sun: Skin cancer can be fatal and sunburn can increase the chances of developing skin cancer. When it’s hot, ensure your children wear sunscreen and protective clothing. Prevention is always better than having to find a cure or making a claim.

 

 

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