Having spent many years working in a laboratory, PPE (That’s personal protective equipment) is something I’ve grown to love for it’s ability to make a grown man look like Mrs Mop gone geek chic in an instant.
Whilst you might look like a total idiot, the joke’s on you the day you have your safety specs sat on top of your head in a Fonz level of cool, and you knock over 5M Hydrochloric acid that splashes in your eye. Yes, old habits die hard, and I can assure you, that at every lab related news feature I see, I will be screaming at the TV “Where’s his lab coat?!” Or “Why isn’t she wearing gloves?!”.
And so, as I bumble through on my current full time role of Motherhood, filled with it’s own rainbow of bio-hazards, it’s time someone started demanding a bit of PPE (Parent Protective Equipment).
Eye protection is imperative at several different stages of parenthood. High risk processes include nappy changing (boys), weaning and all stages of toddlerdom. Projectile bricks, plastic animals and forks could result in the loss of an eye in worst case scenario, therefore eye protection should be worn as a preventive measure. (Ray bans for cool parents could be used as an emergency substitute).
STEEL TOE CAP BOOTS
Consider replacing the flip flops with steel toe cap boots in a school run environment. Busy pedestrian path ways, push chair traffic and scooter throughout can result in a high frequency occurring toe / heel injury with consequences varying from uncontrollable expletives, chipped nail varnish right through to manky toenail injury that lasts two summers long. The good news is that steel toe caps are actually pretty wearable these days, so it’s a good excuse to indulge in a little shoe shopping…
Quite frankly, every new parent should be handed a box of latex gloves in their Bounty pack. A key staple in the PPE storage for any parent, particularly when dealing with a highly infectious organism (i.e. a sicky kid). Prevention is always better than cure… unless you’re looking for a quick fire way to lose a stone over the course of two days. Also consider glove usage for day to day tasks such as nappy changing and washing up, thus saving you several layers of skin.
Failure to use the reccommended kneeling protection in the early years of parenthood could cause unnaturally premature ageing of the knees, also known as scaly Mum knees. Invest in attachable knee pads for bath time, nappy changing, cleaning up rice from the floor etc etc and avoid the irreversible damage rendering your nobbly knees unable to take a fake tan forever more.
Whilst it is not reccommended to entirely silence the sounds created by your offspring in the early days, in order to gain sufficient rest to stay alive in severe cases of sleep deprivation, rotate the use of ear defenders on a nightly basis between shared parents. Also useful if one parent is utilising allocated ‘alone time’ and quite frankly cannot shut out the din going on downstairs. Calm may be restored once more. Buy a pair of kids Peltors and they’ll double up as a great festival accessory for the kids too…
HIGH VISIBILITY VEST
High visibility clothing (ideally something on trend in a seasonably fashion forward yellow from Topshop, or an absolutely essential North Face School run number) can be considered fair game within the parenting budget plan. Explain any #HideTheBags purchases as necessary equipment for ensuring children do not lose Mum at the soft play centre. Note, this technique is also reccommended for children too. Dress them in their brightest coloured clothing / light up Christmas Jumper in order to maximise sitting on bum watching from a distance ability on playdates.
Keep well stocked with filtration masks right next to the nappy sacks and Sudocream. Particularly important when moving on to solid foods of the meat variety for the first time. No further explanation necessary.
THE TYVEK SUIT
An extreme measure of PPE reserved mainly for instances of extreme high risk. Poonami. Spaghetti Bolognese for tea when wearing new /white / expensive / favourite clothing. Or just because you want to pretend you are in CSI Miami.
So there you have it. Parent safely, and remember… Wrong gear? Tools down Mama…