Nostalgia runs deep these days. The memories of freewheeling childhood fun is a welcome spectre to those raised in decades past. However, there is one area where the present has one up on those good ol’ days: child safety. Thankfully, scientists and researchers have had their eyes set on making the world a more secure place for children and adults alike. Many general safeguarding protocols have now become so ingrained in our cultural consciousness that they get taken for granted as ideas that have always been common sense. Let’s take a look at three important ways that kids of today are more safe and sound than their parents ever were.
The Phase Out of Lead
Lead has a well-deserved bad reputation. The ingestion of lead by children causes known, irreversible damage including delayed growth and neurological issues. It wasn’t until 1978 that lead paint was banned use in residences, and it took until the 1980s that lead piping was finally prohibited. Finally, in the mid 2000s, awareness was raised about toys, beads, and jewelry containing lead. This led to a phasing out of dangerous products — great news for kids oral fixations.
Mounting Dressers and Shelves to the Wall
Furniture tip-overs can be a thing of the past if parents adhere to recent recommendations. Regardless of the weight or size of the unit, the uneven weight distribution caused by a child’s climbing is enough to cause it to tilt dangerously. Canvas, metal, or plastic straps with accompanying hardware can be installed on the back of potentially hazardous furniture such as dressers and bookshelves. Additionally, child-proof latches that keep each drawer closed can act as a deterrent to curious would-be climbers. Another tip-over prone device to change is televisions. Long gone are the front-heavy CRT’s having been replaced by thiner and lighter LCD TV’s.
Protective Gear For Cyclists and Skateboarders
Gone are the days when children came home with cuts and bruises from adventurous endeavors. According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a fall from as little as three feet is sufficient to cause traumatic brain injury. Luckily the exercise and fitness boom of the late ’70s and early ’80s brought about concern for making activities safer for minors. Innovations in plastics and fiberglass opened up a world of possibilities in safety gear, and by the ’90s helmets became required for minors riding bicycles and skateboards in many states.