RISK FACTORS IN THE HOMES

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ISSN: 0794-3474

NIGERIA

SCHOOL

HEALTH

JOURNAL

VOLUME 14 NUMBERS 1 & 2, 2022

NIGERIAN SCHOOL HEALTH JOURNAL VOL. 14, NO. 2, 2002 ISSN: 0794-3474

RISK FACTORS IN THE HOMES: A CASE STUDY

OF THE OPINIONS OF

STAFF IN

ILORIN

TOWNSHIP SCHOOLS

By

Oyerinde, O.O. & Obiyemi O.O. Department of Physical and

Health Education,

University of llorin.

Abstract

This paper identified the major risk factors and the occurrence of accidents in the home resulting from these hazards. 50 teaching and non-teaching staff respectively from Jlorin township schools were used as sample survey.

The results show that the following hazards lead to home accidents: unswitched off electrical appliances, lit candles, lamps, matches, faulty electrical connections, over-cooked or fried oil, boiling water, drugs, razor blades, pins or nails, kitchen knives, can openers, pieces of broken bottles or plates, damaged famiture, toys and utensils, hostility in the family due to various reasons, carelessness of the house maids, stairs, slippery floors etc. There 'were no appreciable differences in the types and numbers of the household accidents occurring between teaching and non-teaching staffJt was also recommended that parents should keep all dangerous household materials away from children.lt was recommended that more research work be carried out to identify the relative effectiveness of reduction of household hazards and health education in the prevention of accidents in the homes.

Introduction

In contemporary Nigeria, there is a decline in the incidence of communicable diseases in children due largely to increase in knowledge of preventive and curative techniques to combat both these diseases and the agents of these diseases. However, due largely to increased use of they products of modern technology in the homes with the resultant increase in the complexity in the structure and contents of a home, dwelling places are increasingly acquiring various types of hazards in their design, construction and/or maintenance, and in a variety of consumer products within the house (John, Suton & Cooley, 1975; Oyerinde, 1998; & Falawiyo, 1987).

166

NIGERIAN SCHOOL HEALTH JOURNAL VOL. 14, NO. 2, 2002 ISSN: 0794-3474

Literature has shown that accidents claim more lives in children between the ages of one and fifteen than the next six leading pediatric disorders combined (Wheatley, 1974; Strauman, Lie, & Kempf

1991). According to a report from the California Department of Public Health (1975), as many as one out of every three children each year require medical attention for injuries. 91% of the injuries to children under five occurred at home (National Safety Council, 1975). Some identified hazards leading to negative effects in the household by Badran (1993) include cleaning agents, waxes and polish, jewelries, a large variety of consumer products, falls from heights, aspirin and pesticides.

Accidents in the home may not always be as traumatic as those seen in other accidents; like, automobile or industrial accidents: But their effects cause pain anxiety and sometimes permanent disability, economic loss and even death. These cause great suffering to the individual, his family and society. Majority of accidents in the home are preventable (Oyerinde, 1988

&

Fawoyi, 1988).

The Problem

This paper sought to identify the major risk factors of safety hazards in the home and the occurrence of accidents due to these hazards, with the aim of making people to be more aware of the potential dangers of these risk factors and hence effect reduction of the household dangers and ultimately to find out enforceable preventive measures.

Research Questions

Based on the problem under study, the following research questions were generated to assist in the conduct of the study:

1.

What are the views of florin Township schools' staff about the factors in the home that can lead to fire accidents?

2.

What are the views of Ilorin township schools' staff about the factors in the home that can lead to accidental poisoning?

3.

What are the views of Ilorin township schools' staff about dangerous household implements that can lead to accidents?

4.

5.

What are the views of Ilorin township school's staff about household construction/ consumer defects that can lead to accidents?

What are the views of Ilorin township schools' staff about

non-

physical factors than can lead to accidents in the homes?

167

NIGERIAN SCHOOL HEALTH JOURNAL VOL. 14, NO. 2, 2002 ISSN: 0794-3474

Methods

A forty-five-item opinionative divided into nine groups were used to identify the types of hazards common in the home and the occurrence of accidents caused by the selected risk factors.

Fifty teaching and fifty non-teaching staff in Ilorin township schools were used. However, only five teaching and non-teaching staff respectively were sampled from ten of the schools.

Analysis of Data

Accident in the home occurring through fire or cooking-related hazards and inadequate ventilation.

Table 1:

S/No

Respondents' View of Home Accidents caused by Fire

Outbreak

Type of Hazard Occurrence of Accidents

1 a.

b.

c.

d.

Fire outbreak related

Unswitched off electrical appliances

Kerosenes explosion

Lit candles, lamps, matches

Faulty electrical connections

Teaching staff-50

Yes

7

-

8

14

%

14

10

16

28

Non-

Teaching staff-5 0

Yes %

9

-

9

12

18

16

18

23

Total Staff

100

Yes

16

-

17

26

%

11

-

17

26 e.

2.

a.

b.

c.

d.

3.

a.

b.

c.

d.

Lightning

Cooking-related Hazard

Gas leakage

Over-cooked or fried oil

Spilled boiling water

Spilled hot soup

Inadequate Ventilation

Fan

Air conditioner

Overcrowding

Face masking (suffocation)

-

-

5

7

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

10

14

-

-

-

8

8

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

16

16

-

-

-

-

-

-

13

15

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

13

15

-

Yes indicates nunber of respondents indicating occurrences of accidents. % Represents percentage of the sample for the group.

Fire Outbreak-Related Accidents.

From the table it was found that more than half of the respondents in

the

study indicated that fire outbreak, shock or burn-related accidents occur in the home;

When respondents' views for fire outbreak related accidents resulting from unswitched off electrical appliances when light came back suddenly was collated 14% was recorded for the teaching staff and

18% for the non-teaching staff. In the respondents' view of kerosene explosion 10% of teaching staff indicated that these result to fire accidents at home while 16% for non-teaching staff indicated similar occurrence. In the view of respondents, accidents resulting from lit candles, unextinguished hurricane lamp or matches were identified by 11% of teaching staff and 18% of non-teaching staff.

While accidents resulting from contact with electrical appliances, like hot iron or faulty electrical connections (e.g. in trying to do it yourself, or shocks caused by short-circuiting when ironing, or when children were playing with exposed sockets) showed 28% for teaching staff and 24% for nonteaching staff.

Respondents said no accidents were recorded in the home due to thunder and lightning. This could probably be because practically all the buildings inhabited by members of the school staff were earthed, thus eliminating danger due to lightning.

NIGERIAN SCHOOL HEALTH JOURNAL VOL. 14, NO. 2, 2002 ISSN: 0794-3474

Cooking-Related Accidents

Most members of the teaching staff indicated they have experienced gas leakages but did not indicate any dangerous effect. This was also found for the non-teaching staff that indicated that they use gas for cooking with no accidents recorded due to gas leakage. However 10% and 16% of the staff respectively stated that accident induced injuries resulting from fire outbreak related accidents, 14% of teaching staff indicated scalds or burns are caused by boiling or very hot water while 16% of the non-teaching staff also indicated such accidents. In the view of respondents, accidents through spilled hot soup are not in occurrence.

NIGERIAN SCHOOL HEALTH JOURNAL VOL. 14, NO. 2, 2002 ISSN: 0794-3474

Items listed under possible risks of accidents that could be due to inadequate ventilation include suffocation when the fan and air conditioners were on, all windows locked, the electricity suddenly going off while everybody was sleeping; overcrowding and face masking by children with bag-like objects.

Respondents indicated non-occurrence of accidents due to any of the four hazards. The reason could be because the contemporary, Nigeria society is used to intermittent power supply and hardly presents an airtight apartment with or without air conditioner. Over-crowding usually does not constitute much of a problem among people of the Dorin communities. Suffocation due to child enveloping his face may be slow in onset, giving time for adult intervention.

c. Damaged

toys and utensils

Poison-Related Accidents

For poison-related accidents, unauthorized drug taking by children was identified by 10% of the teaching staff and 14% of non-teaching staff There were no accidents reported due to taking of Milton or Dettol, kerosene, cleansing agents and coins. This rather surprised the investigator, but the reason could be either because these chemical substances have unpleasant and often offensive odour and even if the children try to experiment with them, they can only take a few drops that may not prove harmful enough for the parents to notice.

The other reason could be that a child could take these substances and may actually experience harmful effect to possibly mouth or stomach, but the ' cause of the disturbances may remain undetected. Coins are possibly a bit too large for children to swallow before adults notice their attempt and intervene. One very clear evidence here is that like in the study of Gerbaka (1996) of

Lebanon children, most of the injuries noted by respondents were light and minor. However,

Gerbaka, Charts, Beaufits and Akatcherian (1996) found that though these poison-related injuries may be minor, 5% of cases needed primary care.

NIGERIAN SCHOOL HEALTH JOURNAL VOL. 14, NO. 2, 2002 ISSN: 0794-3474

Accidents Resulting from Dangerous Household Implements

Result show that 20% of the teaching staff and 18% of the non-teaching staff reported injuries due to the use of razor blade. Four per cent of the teaching staff and 6% of the non-teaching staff reported injuries resulting from a child stepping on pins or nails. There were no injuries resulting from needles and ropes, 72% of teaching staff and 85% of non-teaching staff reported injuries caused by kitchen knife or can !openers. This figure appeared high and will definitely include injuries caused to children playing with knife and also injuries cause to mothers or the family cooks in the normal cause of their daily duties; 40% of the teaching staff and 36% of the non-teaching staff indicated the occurrence of injuries due to stepping on pieces of broken bottles or plates. Generally, it can be seen that in the view of Uorin township schools' staff, the greatest amount of accidents in the homes occur as a result of dangerous household implements. The results presented above were also revealed by the study of Huhaka

cl nl

(1996)

NIGERIAN SCHOOL HEALTH JOURNAL VOL. 14, NO. 2, 2002 ISSN: 0794-3474 when they found among their children 5% of subjects suffering from injuries sustained from various household equipment.

Accidents Resulting form Construction/Consumer Products Defects:

Respondents did not view collapsing buildings as a serious risk factor. Ten per cent of the teaching staff and 14% of the non-teaching staff reported injuries caused through mistakenly using damaged furniture (broken chairs, tables, and beds). While 80% of non-teaching staff reported that injuries were caused by playing with toys or utensils.

Table 3:

Accidents in the Home Occurring Through Emotional-Related Conditions,

Mother-substitutes, and Falls-Related Hazards

Tension/Violence/Anxiety Related Accidents:

Listed emotional-related situation that could increase accident proneness and hence increase the occurrence of accidents include:

Everybody was jittery because a member of the family was ill.

Parents' fighting/quarrelling.

A parent was drunk/angry and beat up the children.

A member of the family lost his/her job.

Brought disgrace to the family.

Failed an important examination.

Increasing anxiety over inflationary trends.

None of the respondents were of the view that reactions to illness, loss of job, failure in examinations and inflation could result in accidents. Only 2% of the non-teaching staff was of the view that accidents due to hostility of the parents do occur. However, respondents were of the view

NIGERIAN SCHOOL HEALTH JOURNAL VOL. 14, NO. 2, 2002 ISSN: 0794-3474 that disgrace brought on families and indeed, humiliation especially as in unconsciousness, dizziness and anxiety may go along with these sudden and unexpected experience.

Generally, violence as a result of emotional upsets seems quite lower than would be expected given the media reports child abuse. The reasons could be because the population studied was more likely to steer from the use of violence to solve problems.

Mother Substitute

Possible hazards that could result in accidents to a child include: The house maid was careless when mother was not in, the house maid assaulted the child, the house maid deserted home and child when nobody else was in.

12% of non-teaching staff and 20% of teaching staff endorsed accidents' resulting from carelessness or negligence of the house maid when the mother was absent. This may be a pointer to the fact that more members of the teaching staff make use of house maids. Even though subjects endorsed some accidents as arising from carelessness or negligence, it is interesting that many more of the subjects were not of the view. This is arising from the outcome of previous works like that of Bannon, Carter and Mason (1992) when they found that majority of children killed or traumatized by accidents are those not supervised by adults whereas most housemaids are nonadults. There were no recorded accidents resulting from deliberate ill will towards the child from the house maid as indicated accidents resulting from • deliberate ill will towards the child from the maid as indicated by (b) and (c) in Table 3.

Fans-Related Accidents:

Practically, all the respondents indicated that children have fallen off unprotected beds but only 2% of the teaching staff claimed any serious consequences. 24% of the teaching staff and

26% of non-teaching staff viewed stairs especially narrow or poorly lighted staircases or those with no hand-railings as points of accidents causing falls for children and adults. Furthermore, 4% 0f the teaching staff claimed to have a member of the family experiencing falls and mjury after stumbling when light supply suddenly went off while 8% of the non-teaching staff reacted in the same way. For slippery floors or too many items on the floors respondents viewed them as accident risk factors in the home six per cent for the teaching staff and 6% for the non teaching staff were of this view. However, no respondent saw falling from storey buildings as being a risk factor in the home. This was surprising as one other hears of injury to children who fell from "upstairs". This may be so possibly because the sample for the study majorly takes precautionary measures to protect their children. In the study of Gerbaka,

et al,

21.3% of their subjects suffered minor traumas most frequently from falls. The present study concurs with this finding.

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

Fifty members of the teaching staff and fifty non-teaching staff were sampled in a study on home accidents. The contributions of various types of hazards resulting in the following nine, types of accidents were investigated:

(i) Fire outbreak or burn-related

NIGERIAN SCHOOL HEALTH JOURNAL VOL. 14, NO. 2, 2002 ISSN: 0794-3474

(ii) Poison related

(iii) Falls-related

(iv) Cooking related

(v) Inadequate ventilation

(vi) Mother substitute

(vii) Tension/Violence anxiety related accidents

(viii) Accidents due to dangerous household implements

(ix) Accidents due to construction defects

The results showed that the greatest number of accidents were due to dangerous household implements while no accident was recorded due to suffocation from inadequate ventilation. From the result it was seen that a substantial number of accidents have occurred in the homes directly traceable to the presence of identifiable household hazards.

2.

3.

Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are made:

1.

The three tiers of government and non-government organizations

(NGOs) should establish children care homes in every ministry and other work places for nursing mothers to keep their children and breast feed them when necessary while at work. In addition, the

American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation through office- based counseling that will contribute to childhood injury prevention could be practiced on nursing but working mothers.

4.

5.

6.

Radio and television should be used to educate the masses on home accidents and prevention.

Public lectures and film shows on accidents at home and safety should be organize on a regular basis.

Enactment of laws on household keepLg such as drugs and electric use by government should be tried.

Illiterate house maids should be education in child care accident precaution.

More research work should be carried out to identify the relative effectiveness of health education in the prevention of accidents at home.

NIGERIAN SCHOOL HEALTH JOURNAL VOL. 14, NO. 2, 2002 ISSN: 0794-3474

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Badran, I.G. (1993) Accidents in the developing world.

World Health Forum.

46(1):

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';

Carter, Y.H; Mason, K.T. (1992). Causes of Fatal Childhood Accidents in

North Staffordshire 1980 - 1989.

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J.L.;

Chritoffel, K.K.; Widane, M., Boyle, W.; Scheidt, P; Statuwick, R.

&

Roberts,

K. (1992). Childhood Injury Prevention Couselling in Primary care settings: A critical review of the literature.

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544 - 550.

1957.

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Folawiyo, AF.A (1988).

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Children: Retrospective Epidemiological Study of 1671 Cases Collected at Hotel Devu de France

Hospital, Beirut.

Journal of Medicine Libatt 44(4)209-213.

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Journal of

'Home Economics,

7(1). ACE. Ondo.

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