8 month old Ashante was waddling around in her walking ring while her mom Natasha watched TV. Ashante wandered into the kitchen where her uncle was making coffee. Nothing could have prepared Natasha for what happened next. She heard Ashante scream in agony and raced to the kitchen to find that Ashante had pulled on the kettle cord, bringing the boiling water down onto her tiny body. Natasha removed Ashante’s clothes, unaware of the benefits of keeping the burn wounds under running tap water to assist with healing. Ashante was rushed to a local clinic in Grabouw and then sent to a hospital in Cape Town where doctors referred the baby to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital to get the specialist burns care needed. After two weeks in the Hospital‘s Specialist Burns Unit, Natasha could take her daughter home. Natasha knows that the accident could have been prevented if she and her uncle had been more aware and careful about a child-safe kitchen and how to manage a burn injury.
But there is Hope
Childsafe South Africa is the only Child Accident Prevention organisation working in Southern Africa and one of the oldest organisations of its kind in the world. Childsafe aims to reduce and prevent intentional and unintentional childhood injuries through research, education, environmental change and recommendations for legislation. The Children’s Hospital Trust needs to raise R5million to build a dedicated Childsafe Research and Educational Centre at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital where patients’ families and the general public can be educated on creating safe environments for their children so that fewer children will have to endure the pain and suffering that Ashante had to.
Read more about the Childsafe project