Avoid the death of your child! Learn from these SG dads' mistakes

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Were they being careless or plain unfortunate, we would never know. But you need to learn from their example and avoid these mistakes.

  • In the last few months, we have been reading horror stories about dads being careless around their kids. A few were lucky and the children escaped unhurt. But a few more were not so lucky. Here are a few shocking events that took place in the recent past that every parent should know about. The names are not as important as the events, so I have left them out.

These are the perfect examples of what is not to be done around children.

1# The unfortunate child who choked on milk while the dad was busy on phone

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This story sent a chill down my spine. Reyhana, a three-month-old baby, drowned on milk while her father was busy with his phone. The whole setup is a disaster in making. Just five weeks before this incident, she suffered skull fracture when her dad dropped her while retrieving a fallen pacifier.

The sad part of the story is, the dad did not even realise that his daughter was not breathing. He put her down and she was later found unresponsive by someone else.

Something like this can occur to anyone. How often do we see parents in MRTs and buses with kids in tow and busy on their phones? I understand the need to connect with the world, or to pass the time during the commute, but this should be done after ensuring that the child is safe.

A few safety tips while feeding the baby

    1. Support the neck in such a way that it is not too flexed nor too extended.
    2. DO NOT MULTITASK.
    3. Keep an eye on the milk level, and adjust the bottle to avoid air from going in
    4. Understand choking cues: reddening of face, watering of eyes, poor suckle
    5. If this happens, keep the baby straight, and attempt to burp
    6. Rush to the emergency department of the nearest hospital

2# The kid who drowned while the father was not looking

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A three-year-old kid and his elder brother went to a swimming pool accompanied by their father and a private swimming tutor. While the father and the tutor were busy with the older kid, the younger one wandered in the deeper end and unfortunately drowned.

The sad part is, the father noticed the boy only when he was lying motionless at the bottom of the pool.

Swimming is a great exercise and all of us want our kids to be the next Schooling.
But this should not come at the cost of vigilance.

Here are a few tips if you are taking your kids for swimming lessons

  1. Don't rely completely on the tutor to watch after your kid. There might me more than one kids per tutor.
  2. Never take a young kid to an adult swimming pool
  3. Keep an active watch on your child. Pace the length of the swimming pool if you have to.
  4. Remember - even the best of the swimmers can find themselves out of breath. If possible, always accompany your kid in a pool
  5. If you want to socialise or check your phone, stay home and send someone else instead to keep a watch.

3# The kid who was carjacked and later found unhurt

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This is a story where the ending is not tragic. But that does not take the horror away from the incident.

A dad left his son waiting in a car while he went in a shop. He had kept the car unlocked, and someone took advantage of the situation. The dad came out to find the car gone, and along with it, the boy. This happened in a foreign country, and the dad was lost as to what to do. The local police helped locate the boy, who was found unhurt but shaken after a few hours.

When you are driving your kid around, you may not want to wake up your kid while you run a short errand. Well, a cranky kid is better than one kidnapped.

Here are a few things every parent should remember when they are travelling alone with the kid

  1. NEVER leave the kid alone in a car, bus or any other public transport.
  2. If you are in a flight, enlist the help of a flight attendant to look after your kid while you freshen up.
  3. In a foreign country, tag your kid using your address and a phone number.
  4. Always be extra careful when you are abroad.

Every parent has a good intention, but tragedies like these do happen. It is better to anticipate one than repent later.