Press Release/18 June 2020

With Filipino children spending time at home due to the pandemic, parents now pay more attention to the safety of their children.

In light of the National Safe Kids Week, Department of Health (DOH) OIC-Undersecretary Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire and OIC-Children’s Health and Development Division Chief Dr. Anthony Calibo discussed how parents can keep their children safe, as well as what to do in case of an emergency.

“Kahit na po tayo ay nasa apat na sulok ng ating tahanan, dapat pa rin po tayong maging mapagmatyag sa anumang panganib na maaring makasakit o magdulot ng sakuna sa ating pamilya, lalong-lalo na po sa mga bata,” said Singh-Vergeire.

Almost 50% of childhood injuries occur at home, with about 89% of those injuries being unintentional. According to Calibo, parents can prevent injuries by limiting their child’s access to potentially harmful objects or areas. It is also important for parents to keep a watchful eye as they play and move around to avoid potential injuries.

Calibo explained that in the event of an emergency, parents may contact their barangay health officials who can safely escort them to the nearest emergency room. For parents with access to a private vehicle, they are encouraged to call the emergency room ahead of time so the medical staff can properly receive them.

Emergency rooms across the country have been modified with separate patient pathways for COVID-suspected patients and non-COVID-suspected patients.

Some children, especially infants, may not be able to use a face mask properly and may have a difficult time breathing, so Calibo proposes that parents use a breastfeeding or nursing cover as an alternative. The pediatrician also recommends parents to be extra mindful of keeping themselves sanitized constantly.

“Ngayong lumuluwag na ang ilang restrictions ng quarantine, manatili po tayong alerto at ipagpatuloy ang pagsasagawa ng mga health protocols natin,” said Singh-Vergeire, reminding the public to observe the health guidelines, such as physical distancing, proper use of PPE, proper hygiene, and cough etiquette.

“Ang health protocols na ito ay malaki ang maiiambag, kapag tayong lahat ang gumawa, sa pambansang laban sa COVID-19.”