Sunday, 27 June 2010

Child Safety - How far should we go to protect our babies?

Becoming a mother has definitely heightened my sensitivity to stories related to child safety. Fact or fiction, when I hear about a child’s wellbeing at risk it can easily reduce me to tears.

My mom taught me that the world isn’t always pretty, and that you need to be aware of this to cope. So when those tears come, I try to remind myself to toughen up and look for the lesson to be learned.

I’m pretty sure it was an episode of 'CSI Miami', that presented me with a mother’s worst nightmare. A woman was walking her baby in its stroller when a couple accosted her and made off with her child in its pram, shouting how she (the real mother) had attempted to kidnap their baby. Passers by believed the true victim to be the perpetrator. Horrible.

Yes, this is very CSI, but it’s also very scary and not beyond the realm of possibility in this crazy world. It made me wonder what I would do if, god forbid, I ever faced a similar situation.

Particularly in this great weather, LLC and I head out to crowded places almost daily and I don’t live in fear of nutters. Still, I always make sure I stay by her pram’s side and also keep my wits about should anyone start to invade our personal space. I’ve never seriously considered taking any additional proactive measures. Should I or would that be bordering on paranoia?

GPS gadgets and child safety tattoos are now available for small children lest they stray from their parents’ side. Should similar measures be taken for small babies who don’t understand stranger danger and would be less likely to protest than an older child if in jeopardy? Such measures would serve as a link between parent and child, rebutting the claims of a CSI-like maniac. But is this a step too far? I’m interested in your thoughts.

This post was written for the Babyrambles Keeping Children Safe Carnival, sponsored by PleaseCallMum.
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