Just read an article where I came to know the young daughter of Mike Tyson, the famous boxer, was strangulated on the power cord of a treadmill at her home. She was apparently playing on the treadmill and seems to have slipped onto the cord which has then choked her.
Any parent will be shocked on hearing this piece of news. It is such a freak accident, but such hazards are there in plenty for a child. The parents have to always expect the unexpected and be extra alert and on their toes to make sure their little ones are safe.
It is a parent’s duty to provide a safe environment for a child to grow and explore his/her potential. A home has to be ideally hazard-free and friendly for growth. The most common dangers are falling off furniture for very young children. The furniture could be a crib, a child bed or even a chair where the child is placed for sometime. This normally happens when the child is 6-8months old.
The next hazard would be the child getting something stuck in her throat. She is moving around and normally children first put anything they can pick up in their mouth. They go by the sense of touch and taste. And in the process, some small object, like a coin or a button can get lodged in their throat.
As the child grows, she is moving around the house and she can get burnt from hot liquids. Mostly in the kitchen, if the child pulls something kept handy on the stove, which can be dangerous. Also an adult who keeps hot drinks within easy reach of a child, is exposing the child to the risk of scalding burns.
Children can also harm themselves by eating medications left unguarded by an adult. Chemicals are too harsh for them and it can turn life threatening. This is why when a child is born and starts to grow, hazardous materials, like cleaning liquids, are to be kept out of reach. They do not know the meaning of hazard, so they will experiment. Things have to be kept higher and higher, out of reach, till they are grown enough to understand the seriousness of matters. Children are naturally curious, so they go poking, pulling, digging, rubbing and putting things in their mouth.
This is why very young children must not be left unguarded. Someone has to be there to keep a constant vigil. Any second anything can happen. This is not to frighten parents or parents-to-be, but a reminder of how things can go wrong. There are cases of very young kids losing their lives by drowning in buckets of water.
These are some of the hazards children can undergo at home. And now newer hazards are being added to the list. That of kidnap and child battering. Children are kidnapped for ransom, for revenge or for selling to unscrupulous people, who will exploit them.
Child battering happens more often than one would think. Mentally incapable mothers, irresponsible care givers, or nannies, indulge in this. A vigorous shake can lead to a child’s brain being damaged, or losing its life.
Children are also prone to allergic reactions, which can prove fatal. And freak accidents can happen anytime. There was a case of a kid crying and refusing to wear his school shoes. He was not happy attending school, so his mother scolded him and forcibly sent him to school wearing his shoes. By mid afternoon the young boy had swooned in his class. He had been crying the whole time.
In the hospital it was found there was a dead scorpion in his shoes, which had repeatedly stung him. That child, unfortunately, succumbed. Can you imagine the pain and guilt of his mother? It was not deliberate on her part, but she lost her kid.
Then there are accidents that happen due to the careless of adults or other children. Many children were inspired to try to fly after seeing a popular serial on television. Like desi superman, they tried to fly out the window. Or they have attempted to find out how it feels when a rope is strung round one’s neck. Many kids have lost their lives due to such games.
Till the children are old enough to listen and understand the dangers that can prove fatal, is it our duty to safeguard them. Prevention is better than cure and so making their growing up surroundings as hazard free as possible is our paramount duty. It is better to be meticulous than regret later.
This article is not written to send parents into a panic state. Neither should parents become obsessed or paranoid about their children’s safety. But safety of children cannot be reiterated enough. Reading about Tyson’s daughter causes so much heart burn. We can only pray these parents have the courage to move on.