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Child Safety is No Accident!

Child Safety is No Accident
A Parents’ Handbook of Emergencies
Arena and Bachar
1978

Learned a lot of stuff in this book.

  • Mine shafts are not appropriate for children to play in or around.
  • How to remove a fishhook from the child’s hand.
  • Car seat safety tips.
  • SIDS might be prevented by loose clothing and a well ventilated room.
  • Discarded refrigerators are a hazardous.

Time to weed this one and get some updated safety information.

Mary

15 Responses to Child Safety is No Accident!

  • I learned not to play in a refrigerator from watching Punky Brewster.

  • Hey, knowing how to get a fishhook out of a kid’s hand is important! I’m glad my friend’s dad (a surgeon, which may have helped) knew how – I ended up with a fishhook in my hand one summer, and one in my foot the following summer.

  • Yeah, carseats have changed a lot since 1978! As well as the legal requirements around them. Best to toss anything which recommends “The Shield” – I’m having the willies imagining a child’s face smashing into that thing. Of course, in 1975 or so my 2-year old brother FELL OUT of a car in which he was riding un-belted, so maybe that would be better than nothing. (My brother survived just fine – we were on a side street slowing down to a stop sign. He did break his arm, but fortunately nothing more serious happened.) (As best as we could reconstruct, he and my sister were fighting in the back seat and one of them grabbed the door handle which caused the unlocked door to swing open. He probably landed on his hands and knees – no head injury).

  • Fish hook in the hand? I once got one caught right next to my eyelid! Just a hair more to the left and it would’ve gotten my eyelid.

  • I spent a few weeks in a baby store, and you’d be amazed at what you need – or at least someone will tell you that you need – to baby proof these days. Some things I bet an older book like this doesn’t cover as well as it should are securing your flat screen TVs properly so they don’t tip over or fall off the wall onto Jr., dealing with your miles of electrical cords (including computer, printer, internet, etc.), or, in a book this old, thinking about how to prevent kiddos from accessing kitchen appliances like the microwave.

  • Knowing how to remove a fishhook is probably still a good thing for a book like this and a modern resource would still have it, along with updated child seats, booster seats and other things that are more recent than ’78. The different types of tamper resistant prescription bottles come to mind first.

  • I had no idea that children were so disgusting! Regularly snacking on their own or the dogs’ feces, ewwwwwwwwwww.

  • Time to wean that kid off the bleach and give him something a little less caustic. Like beer.

  • As an expectant father, one thing I can tell you is that both the manual for my car and the book they gave us at the infant care class both warn parents to NEVER use a car seat that was manufactured before 1984. (I am amazed by modern car seats. The one I remember from my youth was all vinyl (and I lost a fair bit of skin to it on hot days), had lots of exposed uncapped metal joints (The kind where two open-ended hollow metal poles are held together by a strap. Also lost a fair bit of skin to those.), and was held in place largely by prayer.

    This book obviously has no place in a general collection, but I do wonder if there might be some surprisingly helpful things in here, since it dates to a time when household products and appliances had fewer built-in safety features, and therefore there were more things a parent had to take care of on their own.

  • I didn’t even know there were car seats in ’78. I was born in 1976 and the only car seat we had was my mom’s arm flying over and clotheslining us every time she slammed on the brakes. (Yeah, we rode in the front seat, where all the action was. Take that, post-air bag generations!) She still does this action 35 years later. We also laid in the back window of the car to enjoy the sun on long drives!

  • @Ross – I remember my car seat too. It was dark blue canvas on a metal frame. The part I sat in was like a blue box and it could be taken out and strapped to a person’s back to carry the child around while walking. I remember a few hikes as a kid where dad took the car seat out with me still in it, strapped it to his back, then he carried me up the mountain to go fishing.

  • @Katie: Car seats, like most safety features, were slow to catch on. Usage of them was near zero until hospitals started enforcing it by refusing to discharge newborns unless they were being put into a car seat. I was born in ’79 and did not have one as a newborn, but my parents got one shortly afterward (I was premature so they hadn’t quite gotten everything prepared ahead of time.)

    I remember when I was a kid, even though my parents were VERY strict about seatbelt usage, whenever I went somewhere with my friends, none of them EVER wore seat belts. Some of their parents had even *removed* the seatbelts.

    Back in the 80s, the front seat was where you were SUPPOSED to install a rear-facing infant seat, so that the driver could see the baby.

  • Katie: Yes! My Dad clotheslined three of us on the bench-style front seat of the station wagon many a time. And we entertained the drivers behind us when we sat in the “back-back”–especially if we lay down and danced our bare feet in the back window! Cars didn’t come with seatbelts. Then they did, and some communities required you to use them IF you had them.

  • @ Ross – my little brother (born in 1976) had a car seat. The seat belt in the back of the station wagon had been removed, so it was my my sister’s and my responsibility to each hold the car seat’s metal bar in place. Never mind that nothing was holding us in place!!!

  • I was born in ’76; my brother was ’79. We both had car seats. At least, I recall having one still when I was about 3; I don’t remember much of anything before that, so I don’t know if I had one from birth or if it was a later acquisition.