Sorry for the prolonged silence, (wasn't my intention). I have been so busy planning the nuptials of my brother that took place yesterday. Remember him? He celebrated his traditional marriage last December. Like I always say, I think it's only in Nigeria that you have to get married 2 -3 times before you realize that indeed, you are married. Lol. Anyway, will be giving you a detailed analysis of the wedding as soon as possible, so watch out. Today however, I just had to make out time to post this. It is sad, but we must learn from other people's experiences.
How often do we go out to get one form of container or another to store items in our homes. Many of us have various kinds of containers for different objects. For people like me who are organizational freaks, we even have containers for some of these storage containers. That's awesome. However, certain containers are not made to be used as storage cans and most definitely not for certain materials. I decided to go ahead and write a bit on this topic because of some events that happened in the hospital recently. About a month ago, I managed a child that had ingested insecticide. Throughout the period, I was so afraid of the possible complications that could arise. Luckily, he scaled through. When it looked like we could take a breather, just last week, another child was rushed into the emergency room. This one had ingested kerosene!
How? You may ask, did these children come in close contact with these dangerous fluids, up till the point of drinking it. The answer is very simple really, especially if you have had to store kerosene before. These children simply drank what they thought to be water because these fluids were stored in water bottles and then kept within or in close proximity to the kitchen. The brain of a child doesn't work like that of an adult. They function by recognizing something and attributing a meaning to it. It's just like when you carry a baby that isn't yours. A neonate would simply turn his head towards your boobs when it's hungry, while an infant who has recognized his mother would continue to cry until you hand him over to his mother.
This second child wasn't as lucky as the first one, she developed pneumonia 2 days after admission, and a whole lot of issues. Further investigation into the matter brought more to light. I realized that as with many health myths in Nigeria, ingestion of any poisonous substance also has its myths and practices. The commonest of these practices is inducing vomiting after the child has been noticed to have ingested a poison. Please!!!! I beg you, don't do that. Inducing vomiting for a substance like kerosene or a corrosive substance like caustic soda would worsen rather than better the person's condition. The reason for this is simple, kerosene is very volatile and can easily be aspirated into the lungs leading to many complications. Corrosives just burnup the digestive tract.
To avoid such disasters, do the following;
- DO NOT store clear nonedible fluids like kerosene, methylated spirit, or their like in water bottles. Labelled or not, home or hospital. A colleague of mine almost drank methylated spirit at work.
- Use appropriate storage cans for such substances and label them neatly.
- Keep them out of reach of children and dispose of any empty containers.
- If you however, find yourself in such a situation, by some "uncanny" happening, immediately take the child to the nearest hospital for care. Many of these substances have antidotes.
- On NO account should you try to induce vomiting.
- Share the word and educate your neighbour.