Come festive season and the spirit of the season is sure to rub off on everyone, most of all children. Not without reason, for what can be a better time than Diwali when they have a break from the routine of school, dress up in new clothes, gorge on sweets and most of all have oodles of fun bursting firecrackers. This is also a time that often has parents on tenterhooks, worried about the safety of children, with enough and more newspaper reports talking about freak accidents that have left children hurt.
It is absolutely imperative therefore to ensure that you take adequate safety measures for your children to be able to enjoy the season the way it is meant to be. Here are some MUST DOs, this Diwali season:
- Adult Supervision– While in Delhi at least, the fate of sale of firecrackers hangs in balance this time with the Supreme Court judgment, if bursting of firecrackers is allowed the one thing that is imperative is adult supervision. It is a common sight to have adults engaging in hospitality with their guests or busy with card parties and children running in and out of the house taking more supplies of firecrackers to be burst. Not having a responsible adult with the kids is a compromise you cannot afford to make from a safety standpoint.
- Safety Precautions– Even if there is an adult with the child, it always helps to explain the safety precautions to the child well in advance so the child is informed and hence safe. Small things like telling the child that lit crackers should not be relit or that long incense sticks work best, can go a long way in ensuring safety.
- Cracker disposal– Ensure that the burnt crackers are disposed off safely, preferably in a bucket of water to ensure that the child doesn’t step on a hot, partially burnt cracker. Also remember to keep a bucket of water, fire extinguisher and a first aid box handy.
- Safe clothes– A part of the fun of Diwali are those ethnic clothes that look ever so gorgeous and give a whole new hue to the festival. While flowing, synthetic clothes are great for Diwali Puja for example, ensure that the children are dressed in well fitting clothes when it is time for them to take on the firecrackers.
- Candles and diyas– Children love to illuminate the house with candles and diyas. Ensure you make it a point to see that these are not being lit around flowing upholstery as it can be a potential danger alarm.
- Eat well– Not all Diwali accidents arise on account of firecrackers. Food is a very important aspect of our celebrations and if not done right can lead to a whole lot of problems. Each year there are enough and more reports about spurious sweets harming people. Be sure to stick to reliable stores as also be watchful of what your children are eating. As far as possible stick with home cooked food.
- Life lessons– Besides keeping the kids physically safe, Diwali is the best time to teach kids life lessons in empathy so that they value the safety of other people as well. Sensitizing them to the needs of the elderly who are disturbed by the sound of fire crackers or people suffering from diseases like asthma, or even to the plight of pets, not to mention the overall impact of fire crackers on pollution levels can go a long way in the children valuing the safety of others.
May we wish you a great Diwali & a super year ahead!