Summer is Here, Take Care with Children

Rosa Martinez

Foto: Reynaldo La O

HAVANA TIMES – Cuba is a never-ending summer, like people always say, but July and August are the hottest months in the year and also when children have their longest school breaks.

Even though the majority of parents take holiday leave from work in the summer, they can only take 15 days (a month max) and then there is the problem of what to do with the little devils because they are going to be at home the entire time.

I am writing this article because it has come to my attention that we have already had the first accidents of the summer in my neighborhood. The first accident involved Luisito, who is only 7 years old, who fell from a mango tree and fractured a leg; it could have been worse because he fell from quite high and it was a resounding fall, according those who were with him at the time.

The second accident didn’t have any major consequences, but it could have. An 11-year-old had escaped from home with some friends and was hanging out by a canal. After the mother ran around the entire city looking for him and reporting his disappearance to the police, she didn’t know what saint to ask for help anymore… but he came home as if nothing had happened and told her that he nearly drowned.

When children and young people are at home all the time, the number of domestic accidents increases greatly: they can burn themselves, cut themselves, electrocute themselves… and even fall from a second-floor apartment.

Parents and guardians entrusted with their custody shouldn’t ever leave them alone, we all know that little ones have no sense of risk perception or danger.

Things always happen during this time of year that can leave children disabled and even lead to their death, in the worst of cases. The most common accidents include: 

  • Intoxication: it’s important to keep medicines, cleaning products, insecticides, solvents, alcoholic drinks… out of the reach of children and labeled properly.
  • Burns: keep children out of the kitchen and places where you might carry boiling water, food or hot oil, as well as irons, matches or lighters.
  • Electrocutions: keep electrical appliances at least a meter away from the edge of the bath, make sure that the electricity system is in good condition and that there aren’t any frayed wires and that plugs are protected.   
  • Cuts from sharp and pointed objects: keep sharp and pointed objects out of their reach. Always place them with the sharp edge facing inwards, throw out broken plates and glasses and keep razors in safe places.
  • Fires: check the house’s electricity system to prevent fires from a faulty system.

We need to learn how to give first aid in the case of an accident and take immediate action before taking them to a doctor. But, my dear readers, the most important thing of all is to never let a child out of your sight or leave them with irresponsable people because this is the only way we can have a happy and accident-free summer. 

Rosa Martínez

Rosa Martinez: I am another Havana Times contributing writer, university professor and mother of two beautiful and spoiled girls, who are my greatest joy. My favorite passions are reading and to write and thanks to HT I’ve been able to satisfy the second. I hope my posts contribute towards a more inclusive and more just Cuba. I hope that someday I can show my face along with each of my posts, without the fear that they will call me a traitor, because I’m not one.

3 thoughts on “Summer is Here, Take Care with Children

  • Well Carla if you don’t see the value of being able to spend additional time with children, you won’t understand my point. As for endeavoring to instruct me about raising children, I can only respond that I have four, all university graduates, two with Master’s degrees, plus one step-daughter who I have known since she was a school girl, now a practicing lawyer. Then there are my grand-children, the eldest of whom has an honours degree in International Law and is currently studying for a Masters degree at the LSE.
    i fully recognize that I am fortunate and have been blessed. I have every concern for others, hence sponsoring a child in Mali for many years and being the God father of a Cuban child. I wish you every good fortune in raising your son and I hope you enjoy what is a comparatively short period in life. As I commented, additional rewards may come later.
    As for your comment about letting children enjoy themselves, you remind me of a famous British orchestral conductor – Sir Thomas Beecham. Upon his passing, the Leader of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in paying tribute, said that Beecham’s magic was that: “He let them play.”

  • I don’t quite see your point, Mr. MacDuff – if you have one. There is much more to raising children than enjoying them and letting them enjoy themselves.

    I do not have the luxury of staying home with my child, I am part of the North American black hole, where I work so I can pay someone else to care for my child.

    The blessed days I do have him home, it is a fine balance between caring for and attending to him and taking care of other responsibilities related to taking care of my home and myself. Another precarious balance is letting him go enough to grow up and learn how to care for himself but still keep him safe.

    Rosa’s article is meant to help people achieve success when they seek this balance. Good luck and blessings.

  • But Rosa, you know the joy of having those “little devils” at home with their innocence, laughter and smiles. Childhood is all too short and when ended has gone forever. Enjoy the children!
    When later in life, ones own generation starts to pass on, it is those children – by then adults, who help to make life bearable.

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