Part II: Direct Care
The Danger of Pesticides on Infants
Pesticides refer to any chemicals used in the control of the pest, in either agricultural farms or the living houses. Pesticides are designed to kill pest by interfering with their digestive or respiratory system. Although human beings’ bodies are not comparable, regarding size and functionality, to insects, their exposure to some chemicals used in the manufacture of pesticides may be dangerous. Pesticides may harm human beings through skin contact, ingestion or through breathing contaminated air. According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 3 million cases of pesticide poisoning reported in the globe annually (Bertolote et al., 2006). Further, Pimentel et al. (1992) argue that most people consider pesticides safe to human beings. For this reason, people take little or no precaution while handling pesticides. It is on this ground that I decided to educate the public, particularly mothers to infants on the dangers of pesticides on infants.
In my endeavor to reach out to the parents, I prepared a template with information that would sensitize the parents on the health risks of pesticides in infants. Before I could distribute my models to the entire population, I decided to assess its impacts by giving it to one mother and gauge her reaction. Luckily, my neighbor, Mrs. Johnson, had just delivered a baby boy and, thus, qualified to be part of my target population. Therefore, my neighbor became a good sample to help me assess the effectiveness of my template.
After I prepared my template and was convinced that it was right for public sensitization, I took it to her and requested her to go through it and share her mind. I gave her a few minutes to internalize the templates content before I engaged her with some few questions. All along, I stood by her side watching her facial expressions carefully to examine her immediate reactions.
Just as I expected, my neighbor was one of the many mothers who regularly use pesticides in their houses. According to her, she frequently uses pesticide to get rid of cockroaches and small ants that often invade her kitchen. However, she was quick to admit that she always considered pesticides safe for human beings, including children and adults. In fact, she expressed that she would not have hesitated to spray the insects should they have invaded her house even after the birth of her son. Further, my neighbor lamented that she hardly take the time to read the label that is packed together with the insecticide, arguing that she believe she knows all that entails her regularly used products. Nonetheless, my neighbor was happy that I shared such pertinent information, terming it as just what she needed as a gift for her newborn. She further confirmed that she will always be careful when using any form chemical product and not just the pesticides.
From my assessment of Mrs. Johnson’s reaction, I think that my template will be effective in educating the public about the dangers of pesticides on infants. I could read from her facial expressions that she was surprised and was possibly seeing such information for the first time. Therefore, it is apparent that parents need to be sensitized on the health hazards of pesticides not just to the infants, but also to the other members of the family.
Bertolote, J. M., Fleischmann, A., Eddleston, M., & Gunnell, D. (2006). Deaths from pesticide poisoning: a global response. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 189(3), 201-203. Retrieved from http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/189/3/201.short
Pimentel, D., Acquay, H., Biltonen, M., Rice, P., Silva, M., Nelson, J., … & D’amore, M. (1992). Environmental and economic costs of pesticide use. BioScience, 750-760. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1311994