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Once upon a time parents didn't know…
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Once upon a time parents didn't know these 8 inventions from the past were so dangerous for their children

November 03, 2020 • By Alison Forde
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The life of a parent is not easy: mum and dad always try to do the best for their child, and to do so they must be able to evaluate the many options that are constantly offered to them. Which would be the best stroller? Can I feed my child this specific food? And many other questions ...

Surely, nowadays there are some topics on which parents are perfectly in agreement, such as never falling asleep with a baby in their arms or in the same bed, or not leaving fluffy blankets or soft toys in the little one's crib. Have today's parents become a little over cautious? We can't say with absolute certainty, but looking back we certainly notice other types of problems and anxieties. To be sure, it seems that in the past, parents put their children's lives at risk constantly, without being fully aware of it. Look at these inventions and methods that parents once used.

1. These "baby cages" were invented to provide children living in apartments with plenty of exposure to sunlight and fresh air (1937)

A photo that makes us tremble just looking at it: a child "in a cage", suspended in the void, in what appears to be a 1930s New York building. In the early 1900s, many parents were concerned that their child was not getting enough "fresh air". What better solution, then, than these "very safe" cages?

2. It's 1936, you want to go ice skating, but you have to look after your baby of just a few months old. One of the most dangerous solutions we've ever seen!

Does this seem like a dangerous solution? Well, it definitely is. For hockey player Jack Milford, however, it was the invention of the century, which allowed him and his wife to ice skate with the newcomer.

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3. In the 50s they thought this was a great way for your baby travel in the first few months!

You know the overhead bin on the plane, the one where hand luggage is usually stored? Well, in the 1950s they invented this hanging seat to attach to the rack, to allow infants to travel in comfort. At first glance it doesn't seem like a bad idea either ... but what happens in the event of turbulence? We don't want to know.

4. Ok, how can such a thing not seem dangerous ?!

It's not clear how that child can stay in the correct position on that kind of bicycle. The photo, today, would scare any parent, while at the time the photographer was trying to make a good impression with this shot!

5. Gas masks for babies during a military exercise in a British hospital (1940)

Baby gas masks apparently covered the entire body except for the feet. It doesn't look like a very secure hold for babies, especially since nurses seem to be lifting them like handbags. 

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6. An ultraviolet lamp which "branded" the children's initials, making it easier for nurses to recognize newborns.

It seems that in the 1930s it was quite common to mix up newborns at birth or even to steal them. To overcome this serious problem, our predecessors thought of this very practical sun lamp! 

7. A butchers scale for weighing children ... is it just our impression or does it seem a bit precarious ?!

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8. The parents of the past had their small children sleep in these very comfortable hammocks ... think if any of them had accidentally rolled over in their sleep!

image: Wikimedia

 Today we know how risky it is even to fall asleep with your newborn in the same bed!

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