Safety Hazards For Kids

I see ads for different products that help parents childproof their homes with gates that block stairways, covers that block electrical outlets, mechanisms that make cabinets difficult to open, and kid-resistant caps on medicine bottles. I tend to think of these products as strictly for the safety of babies and toddlers.

Of course, kids bring a different perspective to your life in many ways. When I was a student teacher, the kids were much beyond the safety products mentioned above, but I suddenly saw all the safety hazards in the school environment that I naturally never thought of when I was a child myself. I suddenly realized how parents must be in a constant state of worry as they ponder all the ways their offspring can find to get injured.

Some of the things were obvious such as the fact that the school was on a busy street and there was always a potential hazard when balls flew over the playground fence at recess. Kids are apt to dash into the street chasing the ball and not pay attention to the traffic because they are so caught up in the game.

Seemingly innocuous things in the inside physical environment can be just as dangerous. Kids pushing each other, even jokingly, in the coatroom got my attention immediately because if one of them fell, it was a potential coat hook in the eye. Another day, I saw a kid climbing on a desk trying to reach something on a shelf near a window. We’ve probably all done that, but my new perspective made me think: All it would have taken was one misstep for a major accident.

I can’t even imagine what goes through parents’ minds when they let their kids go out on their own for their first bike rides!

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