As far as parenting goes, I am the first to admit that my strategies are pretty poor. With my eldest son approaching the age of 5 in a few short days I spent some time last night reflecting over the (few) successes and (many) failures that I have had as a father. All of them though, were valuable learning for myself, my wife and sometimes the boys themselves. One experience though, one heart stopping moment, has stuck with me, and I am reminded of it almost every day.
We had had a good week, Pierre had done all the right things at preschool that week and as an added bonus toilet training was coming along just fine! As a reward I was to take Pierre to the shops on Saturday and we would choose one or two small toys for Pierre and something similar for his brother Buiron. These treasures would serve as an incentive for further good behavior and also as an occupation for the kids while I attempted to fell the forest that was our back lawn.
Saturday morning came, and Pierre and I spent about 45 minutes wandering around the toy shop at the mall. Pierre had chosen his two toys and had carefully selected one for Buiron, we just had one more item to select (for Buiron) and we were out of there.
On our 27th lap of the toy store a Peppa Pig colouring-in set caught my eye.
Buiron was a huge fan of Peppa Pig, and out of our two children he was the “artistic” one. (By artistic I mean he was the one that coloured on the walls and spread dishwashing liquid on the floor).
Stay with me, this story has a point…
All day that Saturday both the boys played happily with their newly acquired toys, and both of them enjoyed the Peppa Pig colouring set I bought them, my wife even commented on how much they enjoyed it. Maybe I wasn’t such a bad dad after all…
Fast forward to the following Wednesday. I had been at my desk about 90 mins when our training manager walked into our open plan office and announced: “The government has issued a recall/warning on kids crayons in colouring in sets.” (I wasn’t listening fully at this point) “They have found asbestos in some of the crayons…”
I leapt to my feet and turned around, Kevin was standing there with a copy of theACC Statement in his hands, complete with photos of the offending products. My heart sank, there they were, the Peppa Pig crayons that I had purchased. The same crayons my kids had been using just 4 days earlier. Asbestos. I thought…what have done.
I immediately sent a copy of the ACC statement to our home computer and instructed my wife to dispose of the crayons.
On further reading and discussion with our training staff at work I was hugely comforted to find that the risk of any sort of asbestos contamination was extremely low due to the way the crayons were made. But even so…how did such a deadly material find its way into a child’s toy, and then make its way into Australia where asbestos is banned.
Asbestos Kills, Asbestos can be found in many places, Asbestos can’t be ignored.
This time I had dodged a bullet and my children were safe. But it got me thinking…how many Australian mums and dads know the risk? How many of our friends and family have unknowingly been put at risk of inhaling Asbestos?
Since this incident with the crayons I have been pretty passionate about raising awareness about asbestos.
- You can check out the Asbestos Awareness course here: http://bit.ly/1ZRm4sF
- To give you some idea of the seriousness of asbestos in Australia, check out our LinkedIn Asbestos Awareness Page . It is updated almost daily with news articles about asbestos contamination, debates, and scares
If you have any questions about asbestos contamination or asbestos training feel free to get in touch.
(PS : We are interested in hearing from anyone who has a story about asbestos.
This is a re-publication of a first hand experience from one of our team here at Height Safety Engineers from LinkedIn