Child safety is no child’s play; adults take note - GulfToday

Child safety is no child’s play; adults take note

Birjees Hussain

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.

child abuse

The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

You might think that some parents don’t deserve to have children. Why? Because some often use them (especially if they’re physically or mentally challenged) as props to gain sympathy or inadvertently put them in harm’s way. Whilst the former is reprehensible the latter has to be taken in context.

A good example of the latter is refugees and migrants travelling thousands of miles with their children to another country in order to escape being killed or from starving or to simply give their children a better life. Their journey is often harrowing and dangerous but that surely is something most parents can understand. But sometimes parents play with their children in the most dangerous ways, some might argue that it is highly irresponsible.

Recently a toddler fell to her death on a cruise ship in Puerto Rico. While playing the grandfather thought it might be fun to dangle her from the window on the upper deck. The child slipped from the grandfather’s grip, fell several feet and landed on the concrete surface of the deck below. She died on the spot. Since the grandparent was playing with the child and the fall was unintentional you can imagine how devastated he must be feeling. It was an accident after all, although I am certain, as you are too, that for the rest of their lives, the parents of the child will blame that grandparent for the loss.

I suspect, however, that not every parent who reads about this will blame the grandparent and even feel a tinge of familiarity with situation, at least the dangling part. I refer specifically to those parents who film themselves dangling a toddler over the enclosure of animals in zoos. They’ve done it over the enclosures of apes and big cats. A few children have slipped through the fingers of their parents. However, as a disclaimer, this is neither intentional nor inadvertent in any sense of the word. Intentional because the parent intended to produce a video to upload online but inadvertent in that those parents who lost their grip did not intend their child to become an animal chew toy. But how stupid are these parents? How irresponsible are they? How much of a tragedy does an act like that have to turn into for them to learn their lesson? I dare say that the grandfather on the cruise ship learnt his lesson and so too have every other parent who might be considering such a stunt. Note to parents, children can slip through your fingers no matter how firm you think your grip might be.

However, toddlers slipping through fingers isn’t the only stupid act parents pull for a laugh. Several weeks ago I wrote about how parents often place animals (like cats and dogs) in very close quarters with their new-borns or toddlers just to get a reaction out of the animal and the child. They then film it and upload it on YouTube and Facebook to get a reaction from viewers. We’ve seen so many of such videos online and sometimes even on television. To me that is just plain careless. If you recall, I talked about how the saliva of a dog in particular can carry ring worms which the child can ingest when he or she is being licked by a pet.

But forget the ring-worm for a second. Humans often forget that an animal is an animal and despite being domesticated can often revert to his wild instincts, and act like an animal. Several years ago back in the UK there was a documentary about Rottweilers and Dobermans. These are not very attractive dogs and have often been featured as a sign of the devil in movies like The Omen and shows like Supernatural. Ever heard the phrase “hell hounds”? Well, according to these types of shows, apparently there’s a reason for it.

Now I don’t know if they are a sign of the devil but the documentary talked to owners of these breeds who related terrifying tales of how, one day, their dogs suddenly turned on them. Some of the bites were so deep that they’d left permanent scars…from bites by dogs they’d owned since they were puppies! Have humans forgotten that if an animal (any animal) can turn on an adult, surely it can also turn on a baby or a toddler? There are countless videos of dogs and cats being in such close quarters with even new-borns that it makes me cringe.

Why would parents put their children in harm’s way just to get a few likes online? Should couples attend child safety classes before having children? What do you think?