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- Safety gone sane.
Mount Vernon. Mountlake Terrace. North Bend. Oak Harbor. Ocean Park. Port Angeles. The dangers of slings were not mentioned in the antenatal classes we attended, or in any of the baby books we read. I bought a stretchy wrap sling online. It came with minimal instructions and had no safety label. It was Christmas Eve and Eric was quite unsettled so I put him in the sling and took him out for a walk to the local shop. He started to get a bit hungry and I tried to breastfeed him whilst carrying him.
I then decided to go home. At the time I thought Eric was just falling asleep. He had either choked or got into difficulties. By the time I got back, he had stopped breathing. We called and tried to resuscitate him. We loved Eric so much and wonder how things went so wrong. Eric was our first child, and as new parents, we were finding out what to do for the first time.
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Eric is now a big brother, our little girl Sola Eden was born in October , and she really is a miracle for me and my husband Bob, especially as we had her when we were still grieving. I have learned a lot from Eric. Safety is an absolute priority. Marianne and Bob Matthews have celebrated the birth of daughter Sola Eden since the tragedy. My advice is not to use a baby sling for a newborn baby — wait a few weeks until they are stronger and have more neck control.
In my opinion, the feeding position is unsafe for baby particularly a newborn to be carried in, as they need to be kept upright to keep their airways clear. A baby trying to feed may make similar sounds to a baby struggling for breath, or make no sounds at all, and tragedy can occur in a minute or so.
Your baby is safest travelling with you in a pram or pushchair in which they are lying flat, on their back, in a parent-facing position. Here at Braintree District Council we thought we should do our bit to keep our roads as safe as possible. From the beginning of October until the end of November I ran a road safety project. Its aim was to raise awareness of road safety and advise people how to stay as safe as possible.
I wanted to let people know about the services they can use to make themselves safer when driving. Throughout my project I wrote reports, visited road safety partnership sessions and local colleges and updated the Braintree Council website , in order to reach out to people. I featured many organisations and gathered leaflets and posters from different charities. This should result in the community becoming more aware of the services available to them.
The number of people killed on UK roads increased by four per cent in Sadly, some drivers still appear to be unaware of the dangers they are causing. Pedestrians too can make reckless decisions. Focusing on young drivers and their vulnerability made me come across RoSPA, which offers practical advice and resources to help this age group become confident, safe drivers and campaigns for changes to the current system for testing and training them. As a young driver, I know the problems they face daily. Young and novice drivers are more likely to be involved in road accidents than more experienced drivers.
I also looked into what causes accidents to happen. For example, being over confident seems to be common in young drivers, especially male ones, which can be a factor contributing to accidents. I would advise more organisations to focus on this aspect because being overly confident can cost you your life, leaving family and friends devastated.
The best way to educate young people on the roads is to consistently keep the safety message alive, so young drivers are aware of the resources around to help them become accomplished drivers. RoSPA fundraiser Peter Lowe has been raising awareness of our Lighter Evenings campaign by living an hour ahead of the country since the clocks went back in October.
So I have come to the official end of the Happy Hour challenge, but I intend to continue as much as possible throughout the winter. The challenge has been interesting, informative and I seem to have overcome most obstacles. I have tried to work around social events rather than pull out. I would add however that with average commute times of 79 mins compared to 59 nationally for a round trip, arguably this puts us more on a par with other regions for usable winter daylight during weekdays.
I have certainly found that I can get more done during daylight at weekends, but even during the week with work finishing shortly after dusk, if found it physiologically beneficial with daylight for most of the day. This is similar to members of my family, some of which have been very supportive. Some have also stated that they can get more done in the day.
Some colleagues have expressed their dislike for the current time system. I may have persuaded a few people that the system needs to be changed, but going by Facebook comments, my blogs have also helped to inform many others who liked lighter evenings, that this policy is in fact serious and makes sense for safety, business, tourism, health, sport, energy and other sectors of society. In terms of a desire to change, some people preferred to stay on BST all year, to conserve daylight in winter and to end the inconvenience of changing clocks — going by the latest e-petitions, year round BST is by far the most popular time system to change to.
The benefits would far outweigh the inconvenience of retaining the twice yearly clock change. I was also surprised at how many people were unaware of the time system on the continent and that SDST would put us on the same time zone. If this was more widely known the e-petition results might be different. In my blogs I have tried to lighten some of subject matter with catchphrases and photos to illustrate my points.
I launched by talking about the history of timekeeping and photos from the Willett Memorial Sundial. Crucially I have also mentioned recent interest from the Republic of Ireland in lighter evenings. If Ireland were to participate in the trial period, this would further boost the case for safety and business and do away with any concerns regarding the land boundary with Northern Ireland.
We may not be able to win the aesthetic arguments for this policy, but then again RoSPA campaigns for what will make us and our families safer, not what looks good — in the same manner seatbelts are hardly fashion accessories and may be a nuisance, but they have saved countless lives and injuries! It is concerning that in recent years attempts to introduce lighter evenings have been allowed to be derailed by relatively few aesthetic objectors and entrenched opponents who still claim lighter evenings will be more dangerous.
They should look at the RoSPA website — the evidence in favour is all there! Yes casualties will rise in the morning, but this will be surpassed by the fall in evening casualties. Even this would quickly be re-cooped by the treasury. We understand the concerns that many people will have about this. But the vast majority of the current evidence already points to the fact that it would work — hence the need to make the first step — the trial. Some people see the proposed change as inconvenient or believe that the current daylight regime is safer than SDST.
The move could reduce road deaths by around 80 per year, and serious injuries by around per year. If we can do that, and prevent the incredible heartache and suffering that these road accidents cause, the perceived inconvenience of darker mornings and lighter evenings would be a small price to pay. When we ask people if they think their preference should take priority over making a change which could help to save lives, they generally agree that the experiment would be justified. There are two peak times for casualty rates involving child pedestrians — during the school runs at 8am and 3.
However, the afternoon casualty peak is around four times higher. Casualty rates increase with the arrival of darker evenings, so ensuring children are walking home in daylight will help to reduce the number needlessly dying or being injured. But to be clear, there is a potential rise in morning road casualties to children, which is, however, more than offset by the evening reduction — the net figure is the key calculation.
And once again, wherever you live in the UK, children have to go to school in darkness in midwinter, though a change to SDST would make this less significant. We are no longer an agricultural economy and the dependence on morning daylight is much less important in the 21 st century.
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Road casualty rates currently increase with the arrival of darker evenings and worsening weather conditions. Every autumn when the clocks go back, and sunset occurs earlier in the day, road casualties rise, and the effects are worse for the most vulnerable road users such as children, the elderly, cyclists and motorcyclists. In , pedestrian deaths rose from 32 in September to 40 in October, 38 in November and 61 in December. In , this number jumped from 38 in September and October, to 53 in November and 51 in December.
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And in , it rose from 39 in October to 66 in November and 73 in December. The effect of moving the clocks back in the autumn is immediate and obvious and we can easily see how to prevent these deaths. We are effectively allowing these people to die, and many others to receive serious, life-changing injuries, when we could intervene, and this gives me and many others, a real sense of moral frustration.
There is a mountain of evidence that this would work — and very little against the benefits of the change. For those old enough to remember, an experiment was actually carried out between and It was curtailed early because a unknown number of people wrote to their MPs and complained — this was hardly a democratic decision.