'90% of child mishaps preventable through awareness'

"Everyday around 2000 children die of some kind of accident and 75% to 90% of the tragedies can be avoided through better safety awareness," said Dr Chethan Ginigeri, a consultant pediatric intensivist at Aster CMI Hospital, in Bengaluru.

Addressing school teachers at a First Aid for Students and Teachers (FAST) workshop organised by the Karnataka state chapter of Indian Academy of Paediatrics, in association with Department of Paediatrics at Fr Muller Medical College here on Sunday, Dr Chethan said that there is a constant rise in the number of mishaps among children.

Emphasising that most of the mishaps could be preventable if the parents or the teachers take care, he said that it is the duty of the adults to prevent such mishaps and save the precious lives of children. He said that though it is very important to know "what to do" in an emergency, it is equally important to know "what not to do" in an emergency.

Addressing the gathering after inaugurating the workshop, Fr Muller Charitable Institutions Director Rev Fr Richard Coelho lauded the efforts of the doctors for conducting a free workshop for teachers. "The workshop on first aid gains significance especially at a time when teachers are blamed for every mishap involving students in schools," he said and added that he hoped that the workshop would also help find an answer towards the apprehensions of parents towards the safety of their children in schools.

While Dr Chethan spoke on the first aid in case of medical emergencies such as asthma attacks, seizure/fits (epilepsy), different types of allergies, food poisoning and fractures during mishaps, Paediatric Intensivist and Neonatologist Dr Aravind Anand spoke on toxicological emergencies such as bites and stings (ant/bee/centipede/wasp/web spider/leech/jellyfish/red back spider/scorpion/snakes/tick), apart from animal bites, especially dog and monkey bites.

He also discussed the signs and symptoms of snake bites. Meanwhile, Dr Prachal Bhargava of the Emergency Medicine department at Aster CMI hospital spoke on surgical emergencies such as burns, the basic principle of wound care and the method of first aid for drowning victims.

In the afternoon, the participants were divided into groups to give a practical demonstration and hands-on experience on CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) - adult as well as paediatric - led by Dr Rashmi from Fr Mullers Medical College.

In his welcome address, Fr Muller Paediatric Department Head Dr Pavan Hegde thanked the hospital as well as Dr Jaidev, also from the same department, for taking initiative to conduct the workshop and for approaching the schools to invite teachers for the workshop. Hospital Administrator Fr Rudolf Ravi D'Sa was also present.

A total of 49 teachers from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi district participated in the day-long workshop and were given a certificate, a book on first aid and a badge.

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