A sharp assortment of tips to help avert childhood accidents, based on the author’s experience with the National Safety Council of Western Australia.
When Parry began to study childhood accidents, she says she “was constantly surprised to find out information that I had never heard of, information that I felt I should have known when I was a young mother in the 1950s.” In 1976, after two years of concerted educational efforts, the rate of hospitalization for childhood accidents in Western Australia, where Parry lives, decreased by 9 percent; meanwhile, it increased by the same percentage in Eastern Australia. Based on stages of child development, these accident-prevention suggestions point out dangers expected (“supervise children in the swimming pool at all times”) and unexpected (anchor flat-screen televisions) as well as really unexpected (prepare ahead for bush fires). “Supervision of a young child means undivided attention,” Parry says. “It is unwise to attempt to undertake work whilst a young child is in your care.” She offers advice for helping kids avoid choking, falls, cuts, poisoning and burns, as well as means to procure clothes and perform first aid. Half the battle to keeping young ones safe, she says, is to anticipate their actions; after all, they’re full of energetic curiosity. It’s also about the future: “Children are constantly exposed to hazards, and as they grow, they need to be taught how to ‘Take care of their own safety’ as they begin to spend more time unsupervised.” Two shortcomings here: There’s no index for panicky caretakers in the midst of an emergency, and readers who don’t live in Australia will find the telephone numbers useless, so they may have to pencil in their own. All around, reading about all the bad things that can happen becomes somewhat less frightening when Parry couples the fears with feasible suggestions for preventing them.
Not folksy, as the title might suggest; instead, a straightforward, practical handbook.