Report on Family Safety: Smoking, and Food Sanitation in an Emirate Family
Humans are species with a great number of similarities yet very different. Every small aspect affects the development of who a person becomes ever since the formation of the zygote. Genes, environment, and health are considered as three main factors of growth, and each factor can affect the other. This report depicts the life of a typical UAE family of seven based on a questionnaire conveyed at a visit. Three main criteria will be discussed; they are smoking, safety and food sanitation, as well as how they all affect the health and development of a child.
Smoking is dangerous although many people smoke or are exposed to it. People put themselves at risk of being vulnerable to many diseases. After interviewing the parents about smoking, many interesting facts were discovered. The father had his share of experience as a child, but it was only out of curiosity. On the other hand, the mother was a smoker up to the age of 27, and then she quit. Both parents are aware that smoking is dangerous, and both disapprove it. Therefore, the mother strongly censures smoking because of the guilt she feels for putting her children at risk. Their knowledge in this area is fairly general. They know the main effects of smoking such as lung cancer, respiratory and heart diseases but do not know that it can lead to diabetes or other cancers.
Smoking is a great problem that modern world faces. Lots of people are addicted to this unhealthy habit. Though, some of them desire to give it up. All the problem of refusing or at least reducing smoking appears because of the absence of information or disfigured standards of behavior. Everything starts from the childhood. Often, children observing smoking adults consider them grown up free and able to do whatever they want. This aspect is also supported by commercials. None of the tobacco companies presents real smokers with 10 or 20-years smoking experience. None of them also shows the real state of internal organs but beautiful picture of young and healthy people. The cigarette in their hands may deceptively mean success.
Struggling against smoking, there can be observed three strategies (American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2001):
- Reducing the exposure: smoking restriction and bans are regulations and policies that ban or limit the consumption of tobacco products in designated areas. These include private business and employer policies, organization regulations, government laws and ordinances. There also can be initiated groups which educate parents, children and community visitors about the influence and ways of reducing smoking, as well as protection of non-smokers.
- Lessening the tobacco use initiation may mean the rise of prices for tobacco products, as well as boost of the tax legislatively at the state level. Mass media campaigns can be also implemented as interventions of an extended duration, using brief recurring message to inform and motivate children to remain tobacco-free.
- Increasing the tobacco use cessation. Many smokers choose to ignore that they do harm not only to themselves but the people around them, as well. The mother in this family used to smoke even when she was pregnant ignoring that this will harm her children. After having a miscarriage, she chose to give it up, and this made the parents aware that smoking has severe effects on the fetus. In this family, the children do not smoke, but they are exposed to it. They are mostly shown the second hand smoking in restaurants and other public places. The parents do not seem to save them from this thinking that it is their responsibility to be aware and do the right thing.
Children like to explore and learn in many different ways whether it is dangerous or not; they are unaware of the hazards around them. Houses are built for all ages to use and live in, and it is impossible to make them completely safe for children. While visiting, it has been looked around and noticed that the parents try their best to make the house as safe as possible especially for their two year old girl. The house is a two-storey building. The stairs inside are very safe for the children. All steps are of the same height. There are rubbers to prevent slipping. The railing is high, and there are children gates on both ends. The windows on the second floor are high, but there is some furniture near the windows that might allow the children to reach them.
Young children tend to taste and swallow everything they can get their hands on. In such a way, they discover the world around them; therefore, keeping medications and household products somewhere they cannot reach is rather important. This family keeps their medications in the refrigerator, and their youngest daughter cannot open it. Their household products are kept in a separate room on high shelves and are always maintained in their original containers.
Children need protection at all times even when they are outside the walls of their house. The parents allow their children to play outside only under adult supervision. They have a play area in their yard with a grass surface, which is completely separated from the driveway. When they travel, the children always sit on their safety seats in the back. However, when they get a little bit older, they do not wear seatbelts and neither do the parents.
The mother allows her elder children to supervise the young ones while bathing when needed, and she always tests the water before letting it touch a child. In the kitchen, there is no fire extinguisher, and flammable materials are stored there; it might be a risk, but children are not allowed in there. Several injuries in the past year have required them to visit a doctor, but none of them required hospital admission. Personally, they could not have been prevented because the only thing that caused their injuries was falling, and that can happen anywhere and not only with children.