Stella Dimoko Emergency Room Series: Safety At Home.


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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Emergency Room Series: Safety At Home.

The kitchen is the most common place for young children to be injured, harmed or poisoned.

Most injuries are predictable and are preventable. Its important that parents try to make their home environment as safe as possible for the children, especially those between the ages of 1-5years.

There was a little girl that was rushed to the ER by her parents. She was unconscious. She was said to have drank an unknown amount of kerosene from a plastic container in the kitchen at their home. She started coughing and was breathing very fast and fell unconscious on their way to the hospital . 

She was covered in palm oil stains, apparently the parents had tried giving her palm oil to drink. 

Getting to the ER cubicle, The most important thing that was done was to ensure the airway was patent and an oropharyngeal tube was placed in her mouth and also to prevent her tongue from falling back and blocking her 'throat'. Her heart rate was very fast and her oxygen saturation was low. She was suctioned several times i.e a tube was passed through the mouth and down her throat to suck out the foreign substances.

 The doctor placed her on IV fluids to 'dilute' the blood and reduce the toxic effects of the kerosene on her system. She was breathing fast so she was placed on oxygen so she could breath better. We also placed CPR instruments close by, just in case she went into cardiac arrest. We tried to reassure the parents as they were really terrified. After about an hour of oxygen therapy, continuous suctioning, decontamination (washing her skin with soap and water to wash off kerosene in case it spilled on her) and IV rehydration, she gradually improved and she opened her eyes and started crying.

The doctors checked her chest and heart sounds and they were fine. They also prescribed something we call 'activated charcoal'. It was mixed with water and given to the girl to drink. The parents were so happy and relieved. 

They were lucky she didn't aspirate the palm oil. It could have been fatal. Most people believe that once someone drinks kerosene or petrol, the best thing to do is induce vomiting to get the chemical out of the system or to give an antidote to neutralise the chemical. 

In Nigeria, the most commonly used agent for this is palm oil. This is quite dangerous. There are certain poisons whose effect actually become worse by inducing vomiting e.g kerosene and petrol. For children, giving them palm oil could cause them to aspirate and develop pneumonia or breathing problems. 

The best thing to do is to take the child to any hospital's children's emergency room immediately

One of the most dangerous parts of the house is the kitchen. Its important that little children DON'T have access to the kitchen. Burn injuries relating to the stove, oven or gas can be very serious.

There are many dangerous chemicals and cleaning products kept in the kitchen, laundry and medicine cabinet. Make sure these are put away immediately after use and stored in a locked or out-of-reach cupboard at a height greater than what the child can easily reach. Its not safe to store chemicals like kerosene and spirit in used table water bottles. They are both clear liquids and a child might mistake them for water. Their sense of smell might not be able to tell the difference.

Button batteries, usually found in children's toys should never be placed somewhere they can reach. Young children are usually very inquisitive and would love to touch and put anything in their mouth. 

Never leave small children unattended to in the bathroom. In case you use a bathtub, always empty it as the child could get into it and drown without anyone knowing. Never use electric appliances in the bathroom. 

Lock away all medicines, your little children should NEVER have access to your drugs. Never burn candles where children can reach them. Always extinguish candles when leaving the room. Store razors and other sharp products out of reach.

Although its not so easy, but parents should always try to supervise their children when they play. Never reverse in your driveway or compound without keeping an eye on where your children are. So many parents have reversed over their own children.

If you can follow these few tips, it would go a long way in protecting your child at home. Have a great day.


  1. Wow, nice one thank God the little girl was fine Atleast... God will protect our kids for us oh.. Amen!

  2. Interesting and educating as usual. thanks a lot.

  3. Thank God for the child. Just remember my days of growing up, ogogoro kai kai na i drink ooo thinking it was water. Me and my brother. No be small display both of us display. Palm oil dem give us drink, but the kai kai strong very well for body.

    If i remember i will keep on laughing.

    Lets try to keep things well in the house. Children are just too curious in everything

  4. Very educative...I love this section. Wish you could tell us the hospital where you work.

  5. Thank God she was rescued.and thanks for this great tips though some are not easy,kids can always be funny,so curious

  6. I just can't thank the nurse behind this series enough. God bless you abundantly. My mind kept
    hovering over every room and every corner in my house trying to pick out all the dangerous objects she listed above.
    One can't be too careful when a baby is involved.

    Thank you.

  7. SDK blog Nurse for life!

  8. It's sad that adults need to be reminded of the need to safeguard the home, this should be common sense. Hope a child's life is saved because of this message.

  9. So educative, thanks for sharing

  10. Than God for heaaling the girl.
    Thanks for the health tips.
    God's guidance on our children now and forever.

  11. Than God for heaaling the girl.
    Thanks for the health tips.
    God's guidance on our children now and forever.

  12. Thank you very much Nurse. God bless you. Thank God for that child. Very interesting and educative. i wish there will be room to ask questions on some topics you discussed. Oshe, Dalu

  13. Thank God for healing the little obe. Thank you nurse for this wonderful piece. May God protect our little ones

    Chikito's fan

  14. very educational. thanks nurse.

  15. ThankGod for perfect healing, God bless you sweetie nurse. Thank you also iya boys..


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