In general Brazilians are not known for their safety habits. My husband (who is Brazilian) says, “Brazilians are reckless, it’s part of our culture.” Last January the world watched the devastation of a fire in a Brazilian club in the city of Santa Maria that killed approximately 242 people (mainly 20 year olds). But that is not surprising to me because there are no fire alarms in our own apartment building. In fact of all the apartments I’ve been to in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, I have yet to see a smoke alarm. When my son was born I made my husband buy one for the ridiculous price of R$70.00 ($30.00).
Even before my son starting crawling (he’s now walking), I began talking to my husband about childproofing. He thought I was crazy, he argued that his parents never childproofed their house and he is fine. My response was that I too rode in a car without a seat belt when I was little (there were no seat belt laws in the US then) but we were the lucky ones. Just because I never got into a car accident it doesn’t mean another child did and died. Do we really want our child to be one of the unlucky ones? My husband finally conceded and we child proofed.
Things in Brazil are slowly changing. Around the time when I moved here they passed a law requiring children to ride in a car seat. However, I still see people holding babies in cars and I once saw a four year old bouncing around a car without a seat belt. So even though Brazilians have laws in place a lot more education needs to be done.
Recently I have seen a campaign on TV called CRIANÇA SEGURA. It is all about child safety and childproofing. The ads are actually really clever and even a person who doesn’t understand portuguese can get the idea.
This is one of my favorites; it is called Prevention: Poisonous Products. The translation is, “Juice, little juice, and it’s strawberry! I love strawberry juice! I want it.” Then the tag line reads “Use your imagination. They are going to use theirs.”
The Brazilian website has the two other videos if you are interested, plus many facts about child safety (all in portuguese of course). http://criancasegura.org.br/