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Safety for Small Fry: children and safety in Consumer Culture. Dr Lydia Martens, Keele University Changing Parenting Cultures Seminar – Child-Rearing in a Risk Society . Introduction.
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Dr Lydia Martens, Keele University
Changing Parenting Cultures Seminar –
Child-Rearing in a Risk Society
Age demarcations are strong – something for every stage of pregnancy to childhood:
Shift from ‘health maintenance’ to ‘mobility’ devices
“What is a child? A child is something that gets under your feet and into cupboards, something that explores the secret corners behind the washing-machine and knows that switches make machines work. A child is never quite high enough for its own objectives – it climbs, and pulls, and stretches until it can see over the edge of the kitchen table, grab the biscuits on the dresser, and finally reach the high-hanging key to the garden shed. Every age in childhood is an age of experiment and exploration. A child is unaware of danger … and you have no eyes in the back of your head.”
(Good Housekeeping magazine, September 1961 (special on Kitchen’s Today) page 40)
“Once your child becomes mobile, home safety becomes a critical issue. It's amazing what a crawling baby, an active toddler or a curious child can do in a split second. It is best to start thinking about making your home really safe even before your baby starts to crawl. There are some danger points which will be obvious to you such as stairs, low windows, open fires and hot cookers. But it's easy for grown-ups to overlook other risks like table corners, slamming doors and electric sockets, which can be the cause of minor, and sometimes serious, accidents. While there is a lot you can do to make your home a safer place, you still need to be on your guard at all times.” (Mothercare website 2005)
‘At Mothercare we have a range of products designed to help keep your baby and toddler safe.’
But…’trust me but do not trust me completely’ ..