In everyday life, our children will face potentially dangerous situations. Everyday life situations can be dangerous for children who are unable to make good decisions. From bath water to passing cars, without the guidance of a parent, a child could potentially be injured. This is why it is so important for parents to keep a close eye on their children. But even the most committed and close eyed parents can make a mistake. This is why using safety procedures around your home is so important. There is a large market for child safety from cupboard locks to toilet locks; there are many different ways to protect your child from daily risks. One major daily risk is the access that your child has to alcohol.
If a child consumes alcohol, the initial thought is that it will be okay. The effect of alcohol on a child’s body is significantly different than an adult’s body. Because there is more muscle mass to absorb the alcohol in an adult body, it is somewhat safer for an adult to consume alcohol. If a child consumes alcohol, they need to get to the hospital immediately. This is because alcohol can drop the blood sugar of a child dramatically. This blood sugar drop can cause major problems for the child—even death. Low blood sugar can cause coma and seizures in small children.
How to Prevent It
There are many ways to prevent accidental alcohol consumption by a child. The major way is to keep it out of there reach. Keeping alcohol in the freezer or fridge on a high shelf can help keep your child away from it. Another great place to keep alcohol away from children is on top of the fridge. This way, the child will have to work hard to access the alcohol and do things like climb on chairs to get it. This will hopefully trigger the attention of an adult before consumption happens.
Another way to prevent accidental alcohol use by a child is to discard your cups and cans. If you are drinking mixed drinks from cups, rinse your cup immediately after finishing. If you are drinking beer, discard any alcohol immediately. Never leave the alcohol at any point where a child can reach it. Another common way that children access alcohol is by drinking from an open beer can because they don’t know what it is. Or they drink from a wine glass because they think that it is juice.
What to Do
When in doubt, take the child to the hospital. Although it may cost you, it is better than letting the child get very sick. Another great option is to call poison control. Talking to poison control can help you to make an informed decision on what to do. You will want to watch your child very closely and look for signs of drowsiness and mental confusion. Also, watch for vomiting because alcohol can hurt a child’s stomach. If the child is unable to walk or having problems talking, there is a good chance they have consumed quite a bit. This is the time that it is safest to take the child to the doctor.
There are so many ways to avoid your child getting access to alcohol. Because of this, if your child does obtain and drink alcohol, the police will likely get involved and try to figure out how it was able to happen. There may even be legal issues involved. Consider the case in Missouri, where a grandmother was charged when her grandchild consumed wine. The grandmother was also drunk when the 911 responders showed up. She was charged with child endangerment because police were able to find that she was not doing her due diligence to care for her grandchild. Access to alcohol happened quickly. The grandmother left the wine on the table for a minute and stepped away to check on the other child. The granddaughter accessed the alcohol and got sick.
Teach your Child
When your child gets to the age of understanding, it is a good idea to teach them to stay away from ‘adult’ drinks. Show your children safe options for them to drink and teach them to stay away from adult drinks. A child learning to stay away from adult drinks can help you avoid them accidentally drinking it even if you accidentally leave it somewhere that it is available. Along with that, using a specific cup that is just for alcoholic drinks and teaching your child about it can help your child to be aware and stay away. Also, remember that drinking alcohol is not a necessity if you have young children, then it may be worth just staying away from alcohol at home for a few years. Drinking at a restaurant or friend’s house can help you be more aware of what you and your child are drinking.
Alcohol can be a risk to any child in your life. Being sure to drink responsibly so that you don’t risk your child getting a hold of it is essential. Teach your child to be aware of drinks that could potentially have alcohol. Also, store your alcohol high where your children are less likely to be able to reach. Remembering that any alcohol consumption by a child will likely have the police involved will help you be scared into being more responsible about your drinking. If you have any close calls, consider just removing alcohol from your home. There are risks in everyday life from car wrecks to accidental alcohol consumption; a child is in danger unless a parent steps in and helps guide.