AIIMS-Delhi launches awareness campaign on balcony fall deaths among children
Falling from a height is the biggest killer among children under 12 in India, an AIIMS-Delhi study has claimed. According to the study, the most prominent reason for children under 12 dying of preventable causes is due to falling from a height, in most cases from a balcony.
In India, one person dies from head injury every three minutes and 30 per cent of those head injuries are witnessed in children, Professor of Neurosurgery at AIIMS, Dr Deepak Gupta, one of the authors of the study, said.
Of all head injuries seen in children, over 60 per cent result due to fall from height, Dr Gupta told PTI.
To make people aware about this avoidable phenomenon, AIIMS-New Delhi has launched a 'Safe Balcony, Safe Child’ campaign.
According to an epidemiological study conducted among children less than 16 years of age at AIIMS, a total of 1,000 children with head injuries were admitted at AIIMS trauma centre over a period of four years, Dr Shefali Gulati, Professor of Paediatric Neurology said.
''Boys were two times more affected with head injuries than girls and over 60 per cent of them were due to fall from height/balcony,'' Dr Gulati, who is the other author of the study, said.
Most such children came from low socioeconomic status where one of the parents was away at work and the other parent was elsewhere when the accident happened, she said.
Dr Gupta advised that balcony railing height should be made ''twice the height of children in the family.'' ''Children often end up climbing the railing of the house in the balcony unprotected and fall over – many such children die or sustain severe head injuries. Such deaths and injuries are completely preventable,'' he told PTI.
''Through this campaign we want this message of 'Safe Balcony and Safe Child' to reach each and every household having children aged below 10 years,'' he said.
As part of the campaign, doctors plan to visit schools, interact with students, parents, and teachers and also hold various seminars and competitions.
''We would want more people to join us and make it a national campaign,'' Dr Gupta said.
Fall from a height is a very unique pattern of injury seen particularly in India, leading to death and severe handicaps in very young children.
One of the simpler measures to make homes safe is putting a net over the railing gaps.
Other ways to prevent such falls is to correct balustrade heights, if needed, put balcony furniture away from railings to prevent their use as a platform for climbing, not using the balcony as play area, supervising children all time, and bolting the entrance to the balcony for children if they are left unattended.
The campaign is supported by the Neurological Society of India as a part of brain injury prevention initiatives.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)