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Singapore health insurance for kids: 5 reasons it may be the right choice

Singapore is seemingly a very safe place. With an extremely low crime rate, low levels of corruption, one of the world’s lowest drug abuse rates, a highly educated population, and excellent levels of general health, Singapore is simply a great location for anyone who is, or plans on, raising a family. Additionally, when trouble does occur, the city has excellent public healthcare to take care of illness or injury to Singaporeans at a very reasonable cost.

As safe as the Lion City is, parents in Singapore are still faced with the question of whether or not they should purchase health insurance for kids. What are the possible risks to children in Singapore, and how likely are they to occur? Do the answers to these questions justify purchasing health insurance for kids? Pacific Prime Singapore answers these questions below by highlighting 5 categories of risks to children that are present in the city.

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1) Child illness in Singapore

The items we will be discussing in this article are the types of illnesses, injuries, and other health-threatening events that can occur even in a place as safe as Singapore. The first, and perhaps more obvious threat to a child’s health is simply disease. No matter where in the world you go, children’s relatively weak immune systems, combined with their social interactions with other kids, make them prone to contracting various illnesses somewhat easily and frequently. Recognizing this, we must then ask, “What are the most common diseases seen in Singapore children?”

National University Children’s Medical Institute has a report published on their website listing the top 10, which include:

  • The common cold
  • Acute bronchitis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Hand, foot, and mouth disease
  • Roseola infantum
  • Chickenpox
  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  • Febrile seizures
  • Constipation

Some of these, like colds, chickenpox, and constipation are not major health threats, but others, like bronchitis, febrile seizures and gastroenteritis, are acute conditions that are very serious and likely require medical attention. Then there are chronic conditions like asthma and eczema that can be ongoing problems that need to be dealt with long term, and require regular medication to treat them properly.

In addition to the list above, there are other diseases of concern in Singapore, for kids and adults alike. One such disease is dengue fever, which sees thousands of people infected each year as a result of mosquito bites. Others include influenza, acute upper respiratory infections, diarrhea, tuberculosis, and salmonella.

2) Risks posed by genetics

Sometimes the ailments affecting children aren’t contracted from the outside world. Sometimes our own genetics is the culprit behind the development of an illness. The most common genetic disorders in Singapore are as follows:

  • Down syndrome
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Thalassemias
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Haemophilia
  • Autistic spectrum disorder

The especially worrying aspect about genetic disorders is that, while some are manageable, many have no outright cure. This means that people affected by these disorders may have to cope with them for the entirety of their lives. What’s more, some genetic disorders greatly increase the risk of developing other health problems later on in life. Managing genetic disorders medically, and the associated conditions that come along with them, can be a financially burdensome process.

Those fortunate enough to have secured insurance for kids from birth can maintain their plan as the child ages, but after a diagnosis is established, many insurers will exclude a disorder from coverage, or simply not take on the prospective client, due to the pre-existing condition.

3) Injury prone activities

Everyone knows that it’s important for a child’s physical and mental development to engage in physical activity regularly.  Of course, sports and other kids activities can be a double edged sword. While healthy to engage in, participating in these kinds of activities can sometimes lead to injury. Some kids are more drawn to athletics than others, and some are simply drawn to high risk activities, making them the kids that are most at risk of getting injured.  If you have a child who is particularly restless, or highly involved in sports, this is a factor that should be considered in deciding if health insurance for kids is right for them.

The most common injuries seen among Singapore children are:

  • Falls
  • Injuries caused by sharp objects
  • Cycling accidents
  • Burns and scalds
  • Cuts
  • Injuries caused by blunt instruments and crushing

Even if your kid isn’t particularly energetic or sporty, keep in mind that most childhood injuries occur at home, in the form of scrapes, cuts, bumps, and burns. More worrying home accidents include poisoning, bone breaks, and injuries to the head and eyes.

4) Environmental risks

The world around us can be risky all on its own. Even when a child is sitting still and minding their own business, there can be unforeseen factors that lead to medical problems, or even emergencies. These include:

  • Mold
  • Heat and sun exposure
  • Insect bites
  • Radiation
  • Gas
  • Air pollution
  • Water pollution

Be aware of current events and government notices about potential health hazards like mosquito clusters and extreme air pollution. Air pollution in particular has been an issue for Singapore in recent years during the times that Indonesian farmers engage in slash and burn agricultural practices, and a thick smoggy haze fills the air. It is generally advisable to stay indoors as much as possible during these times, and utilize air filters and masks to minimize the amount of particulates that are breathed in. Failing to do so can cause serious respiratory conditions to develop.

Also, inspecting your home regularly for gas leaks, radiation, and mold can help prevent serious health problems before they occur.

5) Disasters in Singapore

Beyond the standard environment that we live in every day, there are extraordinary events that can occur and rock the very foundations of an entire city, Singapore included. Natural and manmade disasters are something that just about every location worldwide deals with occasionally, though they may come in very different forms. Singapore is not particularly prone to utter devastation as the result of disasters, but when one occurs, very serious injuries can occur.

The disasters that are most likely to occur in Singapore are:

  • Flood
  • Fire
  • Industrial hazards

Singapore is actually geographically located as such that it is able to avoid some of the disasters that it’s other neighbors in the region experience. It is not on a fault line, so doesn’t have to worry about earthquakes and volcanoes. Other island nations in its vicinity protect the city-state from tsunamis. Due to its position, typhoons/tropical storms rarely strike it with enough force to deal serious damage.

Floods do occur occasionally, but thankfully the city’s infrastructure and drainage systems are able to minimize their impact. The scariest natural disaster that could potentially occur is likely is a wildfire that could ignite during a drought or heat wave. Then, of course, there are disasters that are man made, which could be events like explosions or the spilling of toxic materials.

Is health insurance for kids right for you?

As a parent, the bottom line when it comes to insuring your child’s health is, well… you. If you feel that there is a significant enough level of risk posed to your kids based on the combination of factors listed above, as well as others, then you may want to secure a private health insurance policy to provide additional protection against potentially high medical costs. This is especially true for many expat families in the city-state, as there is a good chance that they will not be able to access the subsidized public healthcare facilities that Singapore natives and those with Permanent Resident status are afforded. For these families, the unsubsidized, high cost private hospitals the city has to offer are the only local choices.

What’s more, if you like to travel with your family frequently, you may want to make sure your kids have comprehensive medical insurance protection both in and outside of Singapore. Pacific Prime Singapore specializes in international health insurance plans that provide exactly that.

If you would like to purchase health insurance for kids, or just would like more information to confirm whether or not it’s right for your family, contact the helpful insurance professionals at Pacific Prime Singapore today! They will gladly answer any and all insurance for kids questions you may have, as well as provide you with a free price quote and comparison of plans from a number of top Singapore insurance providers.

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Content Strategist at Pacific Prime Singapore
Jessica Lindeman is a Content Strategist at Pacific Prime. She comes to work every day living and breathing the motto of "simplifying insurance", and injects her unbridled enthusiasm for health and insurance related topics into every article and piece of content she creates for Pacific Prime.

When she's not typing away on her keyboard, she's reading poetry, fueling her insatiable wanderlust, getting her coffee fix, and perpetually browsing animal Instagram accounts.