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Pride and joy

Children are a source of pride and joy for most parents, but along with the joys of parenthood, there are also some worries – especially for children’s safety. While parents worry about their children’s safety when away from home, they often forget about their safety in their own home. The home should be a place where children feel safe and secure. However, the home can also be a place full of hidden hazards that can seriously injure or kill children. Now we try to review some literature resources on how parents socialize their children about safety, rules, and injury protection.

Is it your contention that parents intent on exploiting children as cheap labor, creating sex slaves, or bending them to their will are socializing their children? In most countries and in most periods, socializing is a by-product of childrearing and not a goal of it. Few people would wax on about the importance of producing hair cuttings or soiled diapers as important (let alone necessary) steps of childrearing, yet this is exactly the situation with respect to socializing.

Parents in the authoritarian cultures of the Far East don’t raise their children to fill any social roles so much as they raise them to obey. You could argue that this ultimately has social ramifications and thus qualifies as socialization. If you do, you would be diluting the verb ‘socialize’ until it becomes identical with ‘indoctrinate’ and stripping it of any unique meaning. The parent is the one that derives the benefit from the behavior, and it’s the parent who causes the behavior. This stands in sharp contrast to modern Western societies where the parent doesn’t derive any such benefit.

What’s confusing the issue is the fact that parents in backwards societies like the Far East are extremely emotionally dependent on society, and they get their own goals from society. So when these parents raise their own children to obey them, the emotional dependence on society is passed along. But this is not socialization unless you insist on using the term in an extremely vague layman’s manner. There is clearly a difference between the childrearing paradigm of 20th century North America and, say, 17th century North America.

If you want to speak intelligently about the topic, “Socializing” applies only to the former paradigm. If you want to speak vaguely and say meaningless and trite things like “all childrearing teaches children how to relate to society”, masking the crushingly obvious as some kind of mysteriously profound revelation, by all means continue in the vein you have been going. This definition of “socialize” seems like a straw man too – “for no reason than that it is approved by society” – I doubt very many children ever get socialized by that definition.

Most children in North America do. This may be clear only if you know the history of childrearing. In the past, children were often thought of as chattel property. In Paleolithic tribes, they were (and are) often not considered to be human beings at all. Even in Victorian times, children were merely thought of as an extension of the parent’s will. Even in modern North America, there are still many parents who perceive their children to be extensions of their will, or chattel property, or “clay to be molded according to the Will of God”.

This is clearly different from the now dominant (at least in advanced countries) childrearing paradigm where parents’ goal is to raise their children to be useful social tools (to be “successful” or “happy” or “a good person” as defined by society). Does raping a child teach them how to relate to society? Sure it does; it certainly teaches them to be fearful. So by the naive and meaningless definition of “socialize”, raping a child is socializing them. But is it a deliberate attempt to teach them to relate to society in a subservient manner?

No, and that is why it doesn’t qualify as socializing by the technical definition. You seem to be missing the point, which is that your preferred definition of socialization can apply only to situations where the only reason for the socializing activity is to conform to the norms of society. I don’t see where your subsequent discussion gives us any reason to think that this would be the usual case. Most people I know do things for multiple reasons, and families I know tend to be pretty complicated situations with many crosscurrents, which generally defy monocausal explanations.

Hence I suspect the requirements of your definition are rarely met. Neither psychology nor child development are exact sciences. It helps if you accept that any small deviations from the monocausal explanation must be deferred until the monocausal explanations are dealt with in the first place; in general, there’s no use looking at second-order effects if you don’t understand the first-order ones. Accidents or “preventable injuries” that take place in and around the home are the leading killers of children. They account for 10,000 deaths each year.

Not only are accidents the single largest cause of death in children less than fifteen years of age, but accidents are also the leading cause of permanent or temporary disability in those over the age of one year. In the United States, 12 to 14 million children (one in four children under the age of 15) require medical attention due to accidental injury – said Wilma S. Hammet in her work Protecting Young Children in the Home [Wilma S. Hammett, Sarah D. Kirby 1997] Injury accidents are made up of three important components. First, there must be a dangerous object (a boiling pot on the stove).

Second, there must be someone who is vulnerable (a toddler). Third, there must be circumstances in the environment conducive to an accident (the pot handle turned outward so the toddler can reach it). Dangerous Objects. To help determine what sort of dangerous things may be looking in the house, parents always try to view a room from the child’s vantage point. If the child is an infant, the parent lay on the floor and look all around the room. “Developmental stages of children and accident risk potential” prove that researching such questions as “What looks interesting under furniture?

What is at the child’s eye level? What can the child reach if he or she pulls up? This may help the parents to better understand the dangers that may look attractive to their children” [Aherin, R. A. & Todd, C. M. 1989] . Someone Who is Vulnerable. The second component – someone who is vulnerable – will change over time. As a child grows from an infant, to a toddler, to a young child, and beyond, parents will constantly have to reevaluate the home environment for safety. Having children of various ages will require a greater level of safety precautions.

Children need protection not only from safety hazards they may encounter, but also from hazards caused by an older or younger child. To help keep up with the possible dangers, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents review the child’s developmental capabilities in relationship to his or her living environment by regularly asking themselves: “How far can he move? How high can he reach? What objects attract his attention? What can he do today that he couldn’t do yesterday? What will he do tomorrow that he can’t do today? “. Environmental Circumstances. Parents can control and monitor environmental circumstances.

By eliminating the hazardous conditions that exist in the areas where children live and play, accidents can be greatly reduced if not completely eliminated. To help determine the kind of hazards that might be in the home environment, it is helpful to review a child’s developmental stages in terms of household hazards. “Children’s surroundings contain a lot of potential hazards. Unintentional injuries are responsible for many injury deaths each year, and it is estimated that 90 percent of unintentional injuries could be avoided. Unintentional injuries are those injuries that could be avoided if necessary precautions are taken.

People of all ages can sustain life-threatening unintentional injuries; however, some injuries pose greater risks for certain age groups. ” –[Barsley-Marra, B. L. 1993] The five leading causes of injury death among children under age 15 are motor vehicle injuries, fires and burns, drowning, firearms and suffocation. Parents and caregivers need to know the greatest risk factors for their children and to take the appropriate steps to reduce the risk of unintentional injury [Kelly A. Cole, Sara Gable 2000] (Appendix 1). There are a lot of different types of dangerous for children age 4 and under ones.

They are more likely than any other age group to sustain unintentional injuries that result in death and disability. Injuries resulting from drowning and blocked airways are responsible for the majority of unintentional injury deaths among infants. These injuries include suffocation, choking and strangulation. These types of injury are largely preventable, and parents and caregivers should understand how they occur in order to take the necessary steps to prevent their likelihood. Children under the age of five are the most frequent victims of poisoning. There are many things parents do to prevent childhood poisonings.

All potentially hazardous materials, including medicines, cleaners and pesticides, they kept in a locked cabinet. Because children like to mimic adults, parents should never take medications in front of them and should never refer to medicine as candy. Parents take extra precautions to make certain that all child resistant and child proof closures in place. When thinking about potentially poisonous household items, parents should not overlook household plants. Common plants such as the philodendron and dieffenbachia, contain a substance that can irritate the mouth and throat causing swelling that impairs breathing.

Wild mushrooms have been known to cause death in young children. Even garden plants such as the tomato and potato have toxic parts. The best thing parents can do is to become familiar with toxic plants and keep children away from them. [United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. 1995] Kelly A. Cole, Sara Gable Human Environmental Sciences in their “Protecting Children from Unintentional Injuries” write that the most dangerous factors are: Sleeping in adults’ beds. Some parents may choose to sleep with their infants for easy access when the baby cries and to simplify nighttime feedings.

However, this can be a very dangerous practice. Four major patterns have been identified that result in an infant’s suffocation while sleeping in adult beds: [Mallonee, S. 2000] Baby crib safety. Strangulation and suffocation may occur in cribs that have older, unsafe designs. Before using a crib, look for a Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association certification seal indicating that the crib meets current safety standards. Baby walkers. Walkers are responsible for more injuries than any other nursery product. Most of these injuries result from falling down stairs or tipping over while the child crosses uneven surfaces.

Eighty percent of these accidents occur while young children are being supervised. The Consumer Products Safety Commission has developed new standards to reduce the risk of falls. New baby walkers must be too wide to fit through average-sized doorways and they must have features that will stop the walker at the edge of a step. If you use a baby walker, ensure that it has a “Meets New Standard” label. . If you use a baby walker, ensure that it has a “Meets New Standard” label. Before parents place a child in a baby walker, they follow these safety tips [Grossman, David C 2000]

As children begin to crawl and walk, they become exposed to many more potential hazards. Their natural tendency toward curiosity may lead them into dangerous situations. In addition, parents may underestimate their children’s abilities. Items such as medicines, household cleaners and cigarette lighters should always be kept out of children’s reach. Following are some other products that pose a risk for young children. Small toys. Children have a natural tendency to place objects in their mouths. If a toy is smaller than 1 1/4 inches in diameter and 2 1/4 inches in depth, the parents kept such toys away from children under 3 years of age.

Small parts testers can be purchased to test objects; however, another option is to test objects with a toilet paper tube. Only toys that do not fit through the hole should be accessible to young children. In addition, parents should select products carefully, keep them in good repair and dispose of items that could put children at risk for injury. Balloons. Latex balloons cause the greatest number of toy-related choking deaths among children each year. To prevent suffocation or choking, children under the age of 8 should not be given uninflected balloons.

Uninflected balloons should always be stored out of reach of young children. An adult should always supervise when children in this age group play with inflated balloons. Always deflate and throw away balloons after use and discard balloon pieces immediately. Window covering cords. Young children may become entangled in window covering pull cords. When possible, keep cords out of children’s reach by adjusting cords to their shortest length. Also, ensure that items such as cribs and climbing equipment are placed away from windows to prevent children from climbing to reach the cords.

Water safety. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among children between the ages of 1 and 4. Many of these deaths occur in residential swimming pools; however, other sources of open water can also be dangerous. The leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in this age group is motor vehicle accidents. In addition, children in this age group participate in a variety of activities that could result in non-fatal injuries. The following products pose great risks for children in this age group, but the recommended precautions can reduce the risk of serious injury or death.

[DiLillo, D. , Tremblay, G. C. 2000] Bicycles With the exception of automobile accident fatalities and drowning, injuries resulting from bicycle accidents are associated with more deaths among children than any other product. Many of these deaths are caused by head injuries that could be prevented if children consistently wear helmets while riding their bicycles. Skates and skateboards Children between the ages of 5 and 14 are at great risk for injuries associated with roller-skates, in-line skates, and skateboards.

Younger children in this age group are particularly at risk because they are still developing the cognitive and motor skills needed to perform these activities well. The majority of deaths associated with skating and skateboarding result from collisions with automobiles. Fireworks Although fireworks may only be used a few times each year, they are responsible for a number of serious injuries. Many of these unintentional injuries result from improper use of fireworks, and typically involve burns to the hands, eyes and head. The following steps should be taken to reduce the risk of injuries associated with fireworks.

An estimated 40 percent of homes contain some type of firearm for recreation or for protection. Firearms that are kept for protection are more likely to remain loaded, unlocked and stored within children’s reach. These weapons are also much more likely to kill a family member or friend than an intruder. The majority of firearm-related unintentional deaths occur in the adolescent age group, but younger children are also at risk. Children and adolescents are less able to make safe decisions about firearms because of their inexperience, impulsivity and lack of reasoning abilities.

Because about 40 percent of children’s unintentional shooting deaths occur in the homes of relatives and friends, you should discuss the risk of firearms with your children, whether or not you own a firearm. There are more than 200 million privately owned firearms, making it unrealistic to think your children will not encounter a gun. Smoke detectors House fires and other unintentional fire-related injuries killed 810 children and adolescents under 20 years of age in the United Stated during 1996. About 75 percent of deaths due to house fires are caused by a victim’s inhalation of smoke and lack of oxygen, not because of extensive burns.

Some children are at greater risk for injury and death from a house fire. [Runyan, C. W. , Bangdiwala, S. I. , Linzer, M. A. 1992] There are more than 200 million privately owned firearms, making it unrealistic to think your children will not encounter a gun. You can reduce the risk of unintentional injury and death from firearms by understanding why children and adolescents are at great risk. Experts study the risk factors for residential fire deaths from two perspectives: the risk of a fire starting in a home and the risk of injury or death once the first has started.

The likelihood of a house fire is greatest in homes with faulty heating systems and homes where smokers live. The risk of child injury or death once the fire has started is greatest when adults are present who drink alcohol, when the child is under 5 years of age, and if the family resides in a trailer home, a house that is older than 20 years, and/or a home with two or fewer exits. The presence of a working smoke detector is a major source of protection against children’s injury and death from house fires. Some experts estimate that working smoke detectors lead to a 50 percent to 70 percent reduction in deaths.

The Oklahoma City Smoke Alarm Project distributed free smoke alarms in targeted neighborhoods, provided written educational pamphlets and visited families at home to guarantee that their smoke alarms were working. Six years after the project, there was an 81 percent decrease in house fire-related injuries in the neighborhoods where the project operated, compared to a 7 percent decline in the rest of Oklahoma City. The dramatic decline in fire-related injuries is largely due to the free smoke alarm distribution and the written and in-person educational efforts. [Runyan, C. W. , Bangdiwala, S. I.

, Linzer, M. A. , 1992] Besides traditional kinds of dangerous we have a lot of specials one. First of all young children are prone to injuries and infectious disease, and the providers of care need to be held to high standards of safety and sanitation to minimize their occurrence. Children are generally less likely to be injured in a child care center than they are in family child care, or in their own home. Centers can provide opportunities for health and safety education for the children and their parents, can motivate parents to get their children immunized, and have a chance to spot and report abuse.

However, in a center, children’s exposure to disease is greater than at home or in family child care. Children are safer from abuse and neglect in centers than they are in family child care, or in their own homes. In a national survey of licensing and child protection officials and clinicians authors estimated an annual rate of 5. 5 sexually abused children for children under six years old per 10,000 enrolled in day-care centers (not family day-care homes), a rate lower than national figures of 8. 9 per 10,000 for children in families”.

[ Thacker 2000] Although there is a lower incidence of child abuse in centers, the effects on the children of such abuse can be more serious than in home care. Physical abuse most often occurs as a result of over discipline, more often at the hands of males, often in response to prior conflicts with the child. Furthermore, researchers report concern about the failure of center staff to report suspicion of abuse by fellow staff and parents. [Leslie Margolin 1999] In thinking how to improve the health and safety of children in child care, it is obvious that better sanitation is of the highest priority.

More frequent and more thorough hand washing can do more to prevent the spread of disease than any other single improvement. [J. P. Niffenegger 1997] Disinfecting toys, furniture, sinks, and faucets will help as well. Training of both staff and children is effective, but it must be repeated continually and the recommended procedures must be enforced. High turnover rates in infant and toddler rooms, and disillusionment with a job composed mainly of feeding babies and changing dozens of diapers a day make training and enforcement more difficult.

But it should be possible to train aides to use rubber gloves and change them after each diapering (dental hygienists seem to handle this with ease). The City of Essen and the University of Essen (Traffic Education and Traffic Psychology Department) have been working together since 1992 in order to improve step by step the safety of children on their routes to school all over the city (Limbourg et. al. , 1997). ?Bjorklid, Pia 1992.? Procedure: 1. Step: Mapping the children’s traffic accidents (pedestrians, cyclists) all over the city since 1990.

With the help of this accident map the most dangerous school areas in the city can be identified. 2. Step: Assessing the fears of children on their route to school in the city. In order to assess the fears of children on their routes to school we applied a questionnaire to primary school children ( n = 1,347 ) 8 to 10 years old. The fears of children on their routes to school were related to the high speed of cars, to car drivers not carefully turning right or left, to the cars parked on pedestrian and cycle paths and to the lack of safe crossing possibilities. 3.

Step: Traffic conflict observation of children on their way to school. Students of the University of Essen were trained in the application of the traffic conflict method. They had to observe the children on their routes to school and assess the danger of the traffic conflicts with cars, busses, tramways and bicycles on a rating scale: no danger at all 0 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 traffic injury In addition we assessed the children’s and driver’s behaviours and the road environment characteristics (crossing possibilities, traffic lights, speed limitations, traffic calming elements).

Of the 6,982 observed traffic situations, only 60% were considered “completely safe”, 40 % of the situations showed some danger and 6. 5 % of the observed situations were considered very dangerous. No accidents were observed. The highest risks of danger for the children were: the result of car’s speeding, unsafe child’s behaviour, lack of safe crossing possibilities, long waiting times at traffic lights, lack of bicycle paths, no traffic calming approaches, poor road safety education in families and schools, bad model behaviour of adults and no enforcement of traffic laws (speed, parking).

?Hillman, Mayer, Adams, John 1990.? 4. Step: Improving the safety at the dangerous school way places. The city government, the police and the schools are improving step by step the safety for school children at the identified dangerous spots on the routes to schools (engineering, enforcement and education approaches). Results: The number of traffic injuries in children (under 15 years) decreased from 436 injured children each 100,000 in 1992 to 364 in 1996. Essen shows less injured children than most of the other big cities (with more than 500,000 inhabitants) in Germany.

Safer Routes to School: The ADAC City Competition For 35 years, Allgemeine Deutsche Automobilclub (ADAC) has organized competitions for cities and communities under the general theme of “Safety for Pedestrians and Cyclists”. Traditionally, the patron of such events is the Federal Minister of Transport. Co-sponsors are the German Traffic Safety Council (DVR), the German Traffic Watch (DVW), the Federation of German Cities and the Federation of Cities and Communities.

According to a five-year schedule, all German cities over 5,000 inhabitants are polled on their activities such as “safety on the way to school”. The winners of the Federal competition receive a certificate and a plaque and will be invited to a trip into one of the neighbouring countries ? ADAC, 1998?. The socalled “stops for parents” are based on the project entitled “alight one stop earlier”, which Griesheim carries out in cooperation with Prof. Bernhard Meyer of the Polytechnic College of Darmstadt.

It is the purpose of this project to adapt children to road traffic at an earlier age, and on the other hand, involve them more actively in road traffic measures of Griesheim. This approach has made it possible to integrate the requests from children to the greatest extent into the road traffic building and engineering plans of the city. The purpose of stops for parents is to avoid a “door-to-door” transport of children that are taken to kindergarten or school in a car. Often, the situation in front of kindergartens was chaotic because parents were parking all over the place.

?Limbourg, Maria1997.? Usually, the stops for parents are at the nearest intersection/entry from the relevant kindergarten/school. From there children are supposed to proceed on their own. The paths that children cover independently were made safer by various methods (e. g. redesigning measures to form a traffic-controlled area, narrower streets for easier crossing). In addition the paths between the stops and the kindergarten were equipped with various play devices to make them more attractive for the children.

City of Marktredwitz Protecting the way to/from school by an efficient service of school crossing patrols is undeniably the best measure to avoid accidents involving school children, particularly in black spots. In places where school crossing patrols – i. e. older pupils – cannot be used, it is necessary to find motivated adults with adequate experience and education in road traffic for this task. First of all – and this was the case in Marktredwitz too – the parents come to mind, of course.

But particularly during the times in which children are on their way to school, fathers, and increasingly mothers, go to work. And indeed, less than 20 % of school crossing patrols are parents. Hence advertising focused on groups of persons that both had the time to perform the task and could relate to the children. First of all grand-parents were hired, then the services of other retirees and early retirees were used. The danger spots on the way to school, starting with the school centre itself, were located and the times of protection (7. 15 to 8.

00 hrs and 11. 15 to 13. 15 hrs) were fixed. With the possibility of independent division in hourly, daily or weekly intervals and the organization of short-term substitutions, the strains on the individual were reduced and the willingness to participate increased. Apart from the success in the area of safety on/from the way to school, these groups of persons in particular, experience personal advantages. Dealing with children, the feeling that someone needs them and that they are respected and appreciated create a motivation that can hardly be surpassed.

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