Falling is a part of childhood.


Falling is a part of childhood  when children are learning to walk, climb, run and jump and also when they are exploring their environment. Children will fall a lot of times during their childhood without sustaining more than some bruises and maybe a few cuts.
For younger children, the falls happen more often in the home from furnitures, stairs, balconies,or windows and can result in severe or fatal injuries especially the falls from a significant height or onto a hard surface, like falls from second story or higher windows, balconies and stairs and can lead to head injuries, fractures, sprains and in the worst case scenario to death.


To reduce fall accidents there are measures that has been proven to help to prevent against the risk that a fall happens and also reduce the severity of injuries in the event of a fall.


 Stair Gates


Use a stair gate both at the top and bottom of the stair. Check regularly that the gate is securely fixed. The opening between the treads should not be wider than maximum10 cm. If it is wider, your child risks to get stuck or fall through. It’s also important to ensure, that it isn’t possible to climb onto the banister rail. If you don’t have a stair gate you can build one yourself.





Window and balcony restrictors
The balcony must be safe. It should not be possible to climb onto the railing. Nor must the rail not have openings wider than maximum 10 cm. Otherwise there is a risk that  children will get stuck or fall out between the treads. To use a safety chain on balcony doors and windows are a good precaution to prevent fall accidents.



Adjust the length of the chain so the balcony door can be open without that the child can get out on the balcony.












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Avoid Small Parts!

Choking is a common cause of injury and death in young children, primarily because their small airways are easily obstructed especially children under age 4 are particularly at risk.
Babies and small children examine things by putting them in their mouth, this is how they learn about their surroundings and their world.Therefore it is a risk that small toys or small parts from toys and other products can get stuck in children’s throats or get sucked into the lungs. The child can get injuries on the airways or get choked.
Lack of oxygen to the brain for more than four minutes may result in brain damage or death. Airway obstruction can occur when children choke on an object that is blocking the airway, suffocate on items that block or cover the airways.


The best way to prevent this kind of accidents is to keep small objects out of reach of small children.
Choose sturdy and well-made toys that can stand up against being bitten, tugged, sucked, jumped on and thrown around without falling apart.
Pick age-appropriate toys.
Choose toys suitable for your child’s age, abilities and skill level. Avoid toys with detachable parts. Be sure to follow the age recommendation – particularly the 0 to 3 symbol and the words ‘not suitable for children under 36 months.                                                                                                                                                                                       


 Stuffed toys like teddy bears and cuddle dolls may seem harmless but ensure that parts such as eyes, nose, buttons and other small parts are securely fixed to the bear or doll and that the clothes not can be easily removed by pulling, chewing or washing.  For children up to three years, ensure that the doll’s limb or head is not removable because if the parts are too small they can be a choking hazard.
Soft toys can contain filling that is dangerous for young children, like plastic beads. If the toy breaks, children under three years old can suffer serious injuries or illness. They can choke on small parts or filling that they have placed in their mouths and inhaled. Ask the shop if you feel uncertain. Stuffed toys should be washable. Check toy cars, trucks and other vehicles to make sure that wheels, tires or other small parts not are lose or removable.
Toys that children have in or near their mouth like rattles or teeth rings shall have round forms which must be large enough, so they not fit completely into your childs mouth and not have long narrow shafts. The shafts can get too far in the mouth and harm your childs throat or block the windpipe. The last warning is especially for children that cannot sit up by themselves yet.

Even the packaging the toy comes in can be dangerous! Remove packaging, prize tags and other things and discard packaging immediately before giving the toy to the child. Make sure your child do not play with plastic packaging as it could be a risk of suffocation.

Inspect your home for choking hazards.


Check under your furniture and between seat cushions for choking hazards, such as coins, marbles, watch batteries, buttons, dices and/or pen or marker caps.
Watch up with peanuts.
Keep toys and games for older children separate from those for younger children.
Have a designated area for small parts out of reach of small children and teach your older children to store their “dangerous toys” there.
Use a Small Part Cylinder
With a Small Part Cylinder you can check all small things that could be dangerous for your child to put in her/his mouth. The Small Part Cylinder have the same size as a three year old child’s windpipe.


Try all toys and small parts in the cylinder. If they go completely into the cylinder then they are dangerous to your child. Things that does not go into the cylinder can still be dangerous to put in the mouth. Small balls and other round things that can block the air flow.   
Playtime Seychelles has donated 100 small part cylinders to Seychelles Hospital Maternity Ward.

Visit Playtime Seychelles website http://ipa-playtime-seychelles.org/

      Visit Playtime Seychelles Charity Site http://www.playtime-seychelles-charity.org/

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The importance of story books in the mother tongue

After I had been living in Seychelles for a while i decided to make a visit to Seychelles National Library Children’s Department. I am interested in literature for children and I wanted to find out what kind of books they had to offer for younger children.
The librarian was very nice and showed me around and I was very impressed of the big variety of different kind of books in many subjects from facts to fiction. All classical story books like “Sleeping Beauty”, picture books for the babies and toddlers of high quality all the books you expect to find in the children’s department in a National Library. I saw on the tour that nearly all books were in English and French and I asked the librarian about where the books in the children’s own mother tongue Creole stood. She told me that there just was a handful of books written in Creole for children.
Seychelles has tree national languages Creole, English and French. Seychellois Creole is the first language by most Seychellois and is used in everyday conversation, in schools, in shops and is the mother tongue of the majority of Seychellois. Children start to learn English and French in primary one in Seychelles.
When no small children’s books are produced in Seychelles there are no books in context of Seychelles, not by population,  nor by places, not by languages, nothing that the children can relate to and recognize themselves in. it is important for children especially small children to be able to recognize themselves and identify themselves with the characters in story books. 
This was the run-up to write and start the project” Give your child a language”!
Researches have showed that books are essential building blocks of literacy and learning. To give small children access to story books in their own mother tongue and to read aloud to them in early age are key components for language development and have a profound impact on their educational development.


Playtime Seychelles makes a book release for children at the Library.




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The kitchen a compelling and dangerous place

Babies and young children are naturally curious and explore their surroundings with great curiosity, unaware of all the risk that exist around them. Parents have always to be a step ahead to discover lurking hazards in the home and take measures to prevent accidents. Many of the most serious accidents with catastrophic aftermaths occur in the kitchen like scales, burns and poisoning.
There is a great deal that can be dangerous to your child in the kitchen.
A stove guard is very useful there are stove guards both for electrical and gas stoves on the market. If you don’t have a stove guard, then you can put the pots at the back at the hotplates on the stove and turn the handles backwards so your child can’t reach them and drag the pots down over themselves.
Drawers and cupboards

Small children love to open drawers and cupboards to find out was is hidden there. As a parent you will discover that your child will endlessly open drawers and cupboards pull out everything tucked away inside and examine and play with it. To secure and put safety locks on drawers and cupboards are important to eliminate accidents so your child can’t get in reach of something that is dangerous for him/her and small fingers can also get trapped in the cupboards doors or drawers.

Knives and sharp utensils keep them stored high up preferable in a drawer locked with a safety lock.
                                                          Chemical products
Store chemical products in such a way, that your child can’t get hold of them. Take special care with medicines, petroleum products and corrosive products such as detergent and dishwasher powder. They can cause serious poisoning and burn injuries. All kind of cleaning products shall be kept high up in a locked cupboard.  Pesticides for ants and insects should be stored, so that your child can’t come in contact with them. 
Call the hospital if you believe your child has swallowed something poisonous! 
Plastic Bags.
Store your plastic bags in a drawer high up so your child can’t reach them. Plastic bags are very dangerous for small children to play with. They can be suffocate if they put the plastic bag over their head. You can also as extra precaution make a habit of always tie a knot in the top of the plastic bags which will stop your child from being able to open them.
                                                          Make a “Safe Cupboard”                                                  Set aside one cabinet for your child to explore. Fill it with safe, yet interesting looking containers, small pots, tree spoons (funny to bang with) and other items that is not a dangerous to your child to play with. It could also be a good idea to put in a new item every now and then. This will be heaven for a small curious child and also give the child the opportunity to examine andthrough his/her senses — seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, and tasting. The more they explore, the more they learn.
Buy Products with Child Resistant Caps.
Keep a lid on your bin
Remove toxic plants
Close the dishwasher hatch


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Protect your precious passenger!

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury among children. But children’s deaths in car crashes can be prevented by restrain children in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats and seat belts reduces the risk of serious and fatal injuries.
To collide in the speed of 30km/h without using a seat belt and a child safety seat is like to have free fall of 3,5m. In 50km/h is a free fall of 10m.
The car and the cars security system as seat belts, air bag and seats are fit and dimensioned to an adult body. Children are not only smaller to the size they are also more fragile and have other proportions than an adult. Children are there for more exposed in a car crash and need special protections as safety car seats or booster seats.

By restraining children in age and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats and seat belts reduces the risk of serious and fatal injuries.

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Why do children have accidents?

Children explore their surroundings with great curiosity, unaware of all the risk that exist around them. Children are often absorbed in their own immediate interests they can be oblivious to their surroundings. They only have a limited perception of the environment because of their lack of experience and development. They are not aware of the consequences of the many new situations that they encounter daily. For this reason, you as an adult need to keep a step ahead, in order to prevent accidents. The best thing you can do is always to keep an eye on them


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Having Fun Must be Taken Seriously!

If you ask your Child what they have done in his creche or preeschool today and he answer”we had so much fun we played the whole day”! Be Happy your Child is enrolled in a chrech/preeschool where the staff take play seriously and understands that Play is the key to a life-long Learning.
Play ensures the maximum potential development of every child and play stimulates creativity, fantasy and is important to the emotional, cognitive and physical development of the whole child.
Young children spend most of their time playing and I read somewhere that a child have played 15000 hours during the first 6 years of his life. I believe that it is 15000 hours very well spent.
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A Pedestrian reflector saves lives!


Growing up in Sweden I am used to see the reflection light of pedestrian reflectors in the evening. The reflectors have in fact been used all over Scandinavia for over 40 years and have proved to cut down the number of accidents between pedestrian and motor vehicle to half. Today personal pedestrian reflectors are used in many countries in the world and they are a cheap life insurance! After living in Seychelles for some year I saw how unprotected pedestrian are here especially after darkness. The winding roads without sidewalks, increasing traffic and speed, makes it dangerous to be pedestrian.
The roads are not safe, especially after nightfall, but also in twilight and daylight, during the rainy season.
This was the run up to start the project “Be Visible Be Safe!” a road safety project for children in Primary Schools in Seychelles.Children are the most vulnerable of the pedestrians. Small children because of their size and that their cognitive and perceptual abilities not are fully developed.
Our goal is to make a safer road environment for children. Both human suffering and the costs for the society in form of hospital care, disabilities etc. can be reduced by introducing and encouraging children to use a pedestrian reflector.   






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Children have the right to safe environments.

Injuries are one of the biggest threats against children’s health and life today. Injuries contribute to a big load on the health care system and not least the humanitarian costs for the family and the child.

Every year, nearly 1 million children die from injuries. Tens of millions more require hospital care for non-fatal injuries. Many are left with permanent disabilities or brain damage. More children die of injuries than die of cancer, asthma and infectious diseases combined. Injuries affect children of all ages. Girls and boys under 5 years of age are at particular risk, more boys than girls. The most common injuries are traffic injuries, burns and falls, poisoning and drowning. Traffic injuries are the leading causes of injuries and death among children.  Convention of the Rights of the Child art. 24 state, that children have the right to safe environments. Every day children are hurt when interacting with products in their daily environments and many environments that children are exposed to contain various dangers that could lead to severe or fatal injuries. For children between 0- 5 years old, the most common place where they get injured is in or around their homes.

The good thing is that most of the injuries can be prevented!

Prevention requires carefully supervising of children and keeping them away from dangers, such as cooking fires, water sources, places where they can fall, roads and items that can poison, choke or hurt them.
Car safety seats, pedestrian reflectors, bike helmets, safety equipment for the home and safe toys are some of the things that can help to prevent injuries and death among children.   


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