Sunday, May 1

Candles and Children

It has happened again.  A house fire as a result of a candle - and again, a candle in a child's room.  My advice to all mothers and fathers, and indeed anyone is that candles and children do not mix well.

An adult with a candle can be dangerous - but a candle near a child is far more likely to end up badly.

In the last few days, a country family has had their house burnt down, as a result of a candle in a child's bedroom.  Not only did they lose their house, but the child has been in hospital in a critical condition since the event, with burns to 80% of his body.

The child is in an induced coma - if he was awake the little boy, who is about two years old would be constantly screaming with the pain.

I recall when my grandchildren were young, how my daughter saw no issue with having a candle burning in her house.  I was always uncomfortable.  My words of warning fell on deaf ears, and indeed I ended up being the one that was seen as the "bad" person.  I have often had to shut my mouth, lest I get into a not to nice argument on some issues with my offspring.

I can guess that every mother would have had an event in the family with a near-miss event with fire or similar.  When my children were small, I was a smoker.  My son found my matches  in my bag as we were driving somewhere.  He was about two, but he'd seen how they worked and lit one while I was driving.  I freaked when he screamed and I saw the small flame.  He actually burned his fingers together.  Not a big fire, or a big injury, but enough for me to learn from the experience to keep my fire making implements well away from him.

It was not, of course,  the only time he experimented with fire or electricity.  One night he set his bed on fire when playing with his bed lamp.  We were lucky that night that not a lot of damage was done to him or property.  He was a boy after all, and much more adventurous than his studious sister.

I am against having rules - well, I mean strict legal rules - we have too many and most people don't know them anyway, but we have lost a lot of common sense.  OK, I know that my generation and the generations before were not all gifted with common sense, but I can recall having more rules than I perceive children having these days. 

We were taught to have respect for others, especially elders.  Clearly that is not something that most children understand.  I may be a bit "picky" but when I was growing up one would never address another adult by their first name.  And even as an adult, you would address another adult initially as Mr, Mrs, etc. until he/her requested that you use their first name.

I remember as a nurse, we had to address our fellow nurses, even if they were our best friend or a sibling, as "Nurse ......." and surname.  We would never address our doctors as anything other than "Doctor", and usually their surname too.  These days it is first names, and buddy/buddy.  

I digress.

Despite all the failed efforts by scientists and other to keep us living forever, we can't even keep our children alive if they have a major health event, and they still die, as do adults too. In some ways there is an element of luck.  

But don't stretch that luck.  You do that when you do, or allow to be done, things that have a high risk.  So protect your children.  By all means use a candle, but ensure that it is used safely.  A children's bedroom at any time is unacceptable.  The risks are too high.

This little boy that I referred to earlier, if he does survive, will undergo many hours of painful surgery and will probably have ugly scars for the rest of his life.  It is not worth it.  Do take care everyone.





No comments: