Thursday, 24 March 2011

Child Safety...... Over protective or too relaxed?

I am such a risk adverse worrywart.  I worry about everything.  Will the girls be too hot? Or too cold?  Should they take their gloves to school, even though it's been 20 degrees Celsius this week? (It'll never last)  If they stay up late they won't get enough sleep and will be grumpy, but if I try and put them to bed too early we all get tense when they won't settle.  Nap in the day, or not?  Snacks of fruit, or chocolate, or both?  Shake n vac on the carpet, or not - just in case I miss a bit and they decide to try and eat it?

You get the picture.

And as a result, you can perhaps imagine how I reacted this winter when, during Christmas visits to family and friends, we entered two separate houses, on two separate occasions, in which the gas fire was on, but no fire guard was in sight.  Now I love a fire with 'proper' flames; but when the children are running around the lounge playing with balloons, I find that I have to go and deliberately and yet as inconspicuously as possible, park myself right in front of the fire to protect them from the risk of falling on it.

Am I too risk adverse?  Maybe I am, in many respects.  But I work on the basis that, if I can avoid my children experiencing great pain, then I will.  And I seem to remember being a child in the 70s, playing in my Grandad's living room, and placing my Chocolate Mousse on the small ledge around the fire (outside the very large fire guard) and waiting for it too melt into lovely gooey yumminess.

So what's the deal?  Are fire guards too old fashioned these days?  Do trends really out way safety?  Or am I just a crazy women going through a midlife?  Hmmm?


  1. Things like germs etc.... - If you buy that gel to clean their hands that has a motion sensor, you've gone a bit nuts!! Cleanliness has gone OTT for kids. It never did us any harm digging for worms in the garden!
    Fire is a different issue - I think I would be exactly the same. It's like making sure you walk on the road side of the pavement so your children don't run out into the road.

  2. I know this was almost a year ago, but wanted to comment (don't know much about blog protocol!)
    I am a fairly laid back parent. I am terribly lax about them washing their hands, I don't mind them eating crap at parties or drinking fruitshoots sometimes. If they hurt themselves they get a sweetie and if it is still bad, then I think about doing something about it. But, for me, fire is a different matter. We have an open fire which we use throughout the winter. We only use it in the evening when the children are calming down and on their way to bed and we have a fire screen and a fire guard. Both of mine are very good with the fire, even my 16m will point and say "hot" but you just don't know when an accident could happen.
    The thing that worries me about other houses is (apart from breakables!) no smoke detectors.

  3. Christie, Hi. You may comment whenever you like, it's no problem. In fact I actively encourage it!

    It sounds to me like you have a good balance. Recognising what is truly dangerous, and chilling about some of the less worrying stuff - like the odd fruitshoot!

    Your point about no smoke detectors is a good one. It's definitely worrying when I see a lack of these in any house. Not just those with real fires.

    Apparently it only takes a few breathes of toxic smoke to render us unconscious. Why take that risk!?


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