Last week I intervened with another child in what was potentially a life-threatening situation. The parents were not within view, and the child was being a bit silly. I’m not going to go into detail, as nothing did happen, but there are a number of lessons I drew from the event.

It can be difficult to know when I see children doing something that I wouldn’t let mine do, if you should intervene or not. I don’t want to come across as interfering, or a kill-joy, or get in trouble with other parents if they are actually there and have no problem with the child’s actions. And yet in any group we all share the responsibility for keeping everyone safe. This particular occasion it was obvious that it could be serious; I was just the first to react. I informed the staff at the venue of what had nearly happened and they were horrified by the idea. I hope that next time we are there they will have made changes to make this unable to occur again.

One of the child’s parents did speak to me afterwards to thank me, and told me “I never thought something like this would happen.”

  • Isn’t that one of the responsibilities we have as parents: to think about possible dangers and minimise them for our children?
  • Isn’t that what makes us adult: our ability to see consequences and judge risk more rationally?
  • Isn’t that what makes us human: to see possibilities and future reactions?

Hopefully they will also keep a better eye on their child in the future and no-one else tries to do the same thing.

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