Child safety has been thrust into the spotlight following the recent admission of nine children to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital’s Pediatrics Department.
Head of Pediatrics Dr. Ilisapeci Tuibeqa says that the incidents, all related to falls, were recorded separately, resulting in broken limbs, surgeries, and extended hospital stays for the children.
She says these incidents occurred within the last three weeks of the school break.
Dr. Tuibeqa expressed deep concern about incidents involving children falling from various heights, including buildings and staircases.
Additionally, she revealed a notable increase in burn cases involving children during the same period.
[Head of Pediatrics Dr. Ilisapeci Tuibeqa]
“We’ve seen a lot of burns in our children coming also from the islands and here in Suva for those children who’ve been pulling at kettles that are not placed in positions where children cannot reach. So kettles with hot water, and even on tables where there are cups of tea, cups of coffee, and tablecloths being pulled by young children, by infants, and getting body burns with it. That’s what we’ve seen a lot of in this school break period.”
Dr. Tuibeqa says the pediatric department at CWM Hospital has witnessed a troubling number of burn-related deaths throughout 2023, underscoring the critical need for heightened awareness and prevention measures.
She also highlighted that there were some motor vehicle accidents with children involved as passengers and she emphasized the importance of ensuring that children wear seatbelts and are properly secured in vehicles to prevent injuries during accidents.
Dr. Tuibeqa called for a collective effort to address these issues, emphasizing the role of supervision by adults, parents, and guardians. She stressed the need for vigilance both at home and in the community, including during visits and outdoor activities.