19 Sept 2015

Safety and parental responsibility

The parents of Breanna Jaglal are understandably distraught over the accidental death of the little girl,  who by all accounts,  got electrocuted while trying to plug in an electronic device to charge it.

This isn't the first time I have known a child to be electrocuted in Trinidad and Tobago.  Neither will it be the last. Why?

Health and safety is not a primary concern for anyone on that Rock.  Even the electrical plugs have a piss poor design that allows little fingers to come into contact with the conducting prongs... Take for example a UK plug which has half of the prongs as a non conducting material and thus only after going in all the way into the socket, can become 'active'.

Couple that with a switch built into the socket so that electricity can be switched on and off...

But my main grouse as a parent is to understand why a child would be allowed to use the plugs and sockets at such a tender age? Punks,  my daughter,  was actually taught by me proper ways to use a plug (how to hold it to keep fingers out of the way,  how to insert it fully,  how to switch on the power AFTER), and other appliances including a fan,  iron,  and yes,  even to stay away from the stove and 'cockset'.  Her training began at crawling age,  pre-toddler.

Until she was ten or older,  she had to get an adult to do certain things for her,  including adjusting the shower for the water to be a safe temperature.  I've even taught her how to use a knife safely in the kitchen.

Why are these not common sense household practices? Are parents just too busy to provide basic guidance,  or to assist children in safety matters?

Do parents on the Rock depend on religion or teachers to teach their children about sex and reproduction? Or do they discuss this with the children themselves?

Everyone has to learn to be a parent,  usually by trial and error... And mistakes are made from cradle to grave with offspring,  but these can be minimal with a little common sense. 

Maybe the party atmosphere is preventing some from being responsible ;maybe for others it's the daily rigours of escaping bullets and stray penises as the Captain says...  But the consequences are horrible.