Monday, April 5, 2010

Rule #5: Safety First!

Well, Rule #5, unlike the first four that I blogged about, is still somewhat relevant in 2010.  The author warned mothers about objects, behaviors, and actions that were potentially dangerous for children.  These included sticking fingers into electrical outlets, running with scissors, and playing in abandoned mine shafts.  For the most part, these still apply today.  I can think of some others that should have been considered in the 50s, like the use of car seats and minimizing exposure to cigarette smoke.

I don't think that I ever stuck my finger in an electrical outlet, but my little brother once made a bomb that blew his hair and eyebrows off his face.  My mother provided him with the supplies because he told her that he needed them for a science fair project.

We didn't run with scissors, but I was frequently sent to the kitchen to retrieve a butcher knife for my grandmother who waiting in the garden.  She always seemed to forget that one was needed to cut the okra from the stalks.  My brother always carried a pocketknife and was given his very own chainsaw when he was six years old.  It was real and a gift from the local saw shop owner whom my grandfather patronized throughout his career in logging.  My brother accompanied him every Saturday. 

We didn't have access to abandoned mine shafts, but played all around the concrete surround of the old well in the backyard.  We survived all of these things.

I guess my girls have never really been exposed to dangers such as these.  We warn the oldest one about sexual predators, texting while driving, and the dangers of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and unprotected sex.  We make sure that the baby rides in a carseat at all times and every outlet in our home has a protective cover.  The cabinets all have child safety locks and we use monitors to keep check on her at night.  My girls are city girls; the threats and dangers that they face will differ from those that concerned my mother and grandmother charged with rearing two children on a small farm in rural Arkansas.

The objects, behaviors, and actions associated with danger have changed in the past 60 years, but the need for parents to stay abreast of potential dangers has increased.  Sadly, we have alot more to worry about today.

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