Thursday, 14 November 2013

Taking Responsibility

In the last week 2 people have posted in a local facebook group to say their children have been hurt after the security tags weren't properly removed from items bought at Tesco. One mum gave a vtech book still in the box to their 9 month old to play with in the car on the way home and looked some time later to see the metal pin in the baby's mouth, another's child was hurt when the pin was left in some clothing. Tesco's response to these incidents has been to offer a bunch of flowers to one and £11 to the other. 
The pin found in a 9 month old's mouth

The mum's on the group are saying the response isn't good enough and it needs to be taken more seriously. I think it's awful that the children were hurt and it is lucky that they only got minor scratches/ cuts, but as parents shouldn't we take more responsibility for what happens to our children when in our care? 

I think there is an important lesson that before giving any new item to a child it should be checked to make sure it isn't going to harm them. Yes not removing the tag properly was the fault of the checkout staff (and Tesco), but there could easily have been other damage to the items after being left on display in a busy supermarket. At 9 months old my daughter put everything in her mouth so I hope I would have removed the item from the packaging and given it a quick check and clean before handing it over. 

At times we are all a little careless and it's not just new items we need to be careful with. All toys should be checked regularly for wear and tear. 

We should also be careful when giving our children toys that they are too young for. My daughter has a lot of toys aged 3 year up. She enjoys playing with the toys and they seem safe enough, but do I make sure none of them are left in her room at night when she is going to be alone with them? No. They include the warning of 3 years and up mostly because they contain small parts which could be swallowed and the Facebook posts have reminded me I should be more careful.

Our children are precious and sometimes we take their safety for granted. Why not give the toys in your house a quick check over today?

Young children can choke on small items so avoid toys like marbles or anything with small detachable parts for children under three years old
Supervise young children when they play with older children’s toys
Avoid toys with long strings and straps for infants
Check that a child’s fingers won’t get caught in any moving parts
Discard any plastic wrapping immediately
Always follow instructions and warnings
Check toys frequently for breaks and hazards such as splinters
Report any safety problems to the manufacturer or retailer. You can also contact your local Trading Standards Officers, who can investigate unsafe products

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