Thursday, December 3, 2015

How to Prevent Holiday Accidents with Children

Every mother, every father, and every child of readable age should read this article. Not only does it contain sensible advice and practical help, but, in addition, gives a simple and happy method whereby children can be trained to be careful of their own and one another's safety.

It is unfortunate that many holidays are spoiled by some family disaster, which, usually, could have been avoided by taking the necessary precautions.

One of the lesser of these disasters is severe sunburn, which often necessitates the child remaining in bed for a day or so afterwards, missing much of the holiday fun, besides suffering a great deal of unnecessary pain. Children should have all portions of their bodies exposed by the bathing or sun-suit rubbed over well with olive or coconut oil before bathing or lying in the sun. It is a good plan to take a bottle of such oil to the beach or river and apply it to any portions of the body which show signs of reddening. If the oil is used unstintingly there will be no ill-effects and the child will brown nicely instead of being burnt. The mother who has been in the habit of insisting upon obedience in her children reaps her reward during holiday time when a failure to obey may result in accidents or loss of life.

The children should be trained to be careful of their own and one another's safety. To train them in this, one can institute the game of "Stop, Look, and Listen" in one's own backyard. On the word "Go" the children either walk or run towards some given object. At the word "Stop!" they must pull themselves up as quickly as possible, the one who does so the best having won the game.

When going out for walks the game can be expanded to include watching and listening when the word "Stop!" is commanded at crossroads. The game should not be played at every crossroad lest it becomes monotonous, but should be sprung upon the children as a surprise at the most dangerous corners. In this case, in addition to stopping quickly, the child must look and report "motor car to the left," ''Horse and cart to the right," as the case may be. This game also teaches the child to distinguish
between right and left, which might be of great value in some emergency.

Children by this means learn pleasurable to look in each direction before crossing streets or roads, to cross over without dawdling if nothing is found to be coming, and to obey the traffic officers. It should be pointed out to the child that so long as he is on the footpath there is no danger. In playing these games be careful not to let the child develop any abnormal fear of traffic. He should simply be made to feel that if he keeps the rule of the road all will be well.

Teach the children never to alight from train, bus, or motor car until it has stopped. A story of how a newspaper boy jumped off a moving bus and was seriously injured by a passing motor proves valuable here. Alighting from the wrong side of a tram should be prohibited.

Matches should not be left within the children's reach, and they should be taught from an early age never to touch them. The love of setting things alight to see the pretty flames is, unfortunately,  part of a child's nature, so a wholesome fear of the consequences of striking matches may justifiably be imparted by suitable stories.

A child should also have some knowledge of the dangers of electricity. Many very sad cases of lack of such knowledge have been reported in the Press lately. The child must learn that he is never to touch anything connected the electric iron, electric wires, broken wires, etc.

Make sure that you do not leave a chair in a handy position for a young child to climb up and get anything which is supposed to be out of his reach.

Beware of Their Imaginations

Sharp objects knives, skewers needles, pins, etc.-must be kept well out of the children's reach. No child should be left in a house by himself or with other children only. One may think everything is quite safe, but there is no knowing what devices the children's imagination may be productive of.

Beware of poisonous medicines! These should be marked with a red band and be labelled "Poison!" Keep such bottles and packages high up or well hidden. It is best to keep poisons under lock and key. In giving medicines be sure to read the label carefully, and do not take any medicine at night without putting on the light and making sure you have the right bottle.

If all these precautions are taken the holiday will not be marred by preventable accidents.


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