On November 7, the world celebrated infant protection day— a day dedicated to raising awareness about the safety of infants and taking their proper care. However, with the world-changing rapidly, the challenges faced are different from those faced just a decade back. In an interview with Dr. Atish Laddad, founder and director of Mumbai-based Docterz, with over 10 years of experience as a practicing pediatrician, EducationWorld aims to decode some of the challenges parents, especially, first-timers face while raising their infants and toddlers and suggestions to deal with them.
When asked about the safety challenges parents face in today’s day and time in raising younger children (age group 0-5), Dr. Ladadd says, “These challenges can be broadly divided into physical safety and mental safety.” Adding further, he says, ”Speaking about physical safety challenges, it is pertinent to note that children in this age group are very explorative and experimental. This puts them at a higher risk of accidents, including falls, burns among others. One of the most important things that parents must ensure is that they childproof their house.” Childproofing includes, but is not limited to, keeping sharp objects, medicines and hazardous materials out of their reach, checking the temperature of objects which within the reach of children and taking care to avoid situations where they may injure themselves by falling or stumbling.
“The second is the mental safety and wellbeing of children. Today’s children have increased exposure to mobiles and laptops. Due to the advent of mobile, cases of hyperactivity, speech delays, and even symptoms of secondary autism. As per international recommendations, children up to the age of six should avoid screentime completely, it is because their brain is developing at this stage and we cannot give pre-fed literature to them, which could potentially hamper the brain development process,” says Dr. Laddad. He suggests that parents must not give in to every whims and fancies of their children and make an informed decision before obliging to any of such requests made by their children.
“Having said that, it is also important to note that parents are not overtly protecting their children. Micromanaging their children’s actions may have different harmful repercussions that include low confidence and a sense of judgement,” cautions Dr. Laddad.Parents Resources