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Random people touching my little one (rant)

  1. #33
    seattleite is offline Registered User
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    I came to HK 2.5 months ago and I have a 3 year old, and an almost 1 year old--- what I've noticed here is that yes, people touch them (especially the baby) way more than in the US (read: not at all) but even if I don't feel completely at ease with it, I play along and let them, especially since my son smiles and laughs when they do. At Harbor City, one Chinese lady was so pleased and touched that I let her interact with my son (stroking his cheek, holding his hands) that she repeatedly thanked me, I mean repeatedly, for letting her touch him, saying that "most people don't want you to touch their babies." I get it. Most of the people doing the "baby touching" don't mean any harm, and they may not understand another culture seeing it as a hygiene issue, so I try to be understanding of that.

    What I still feel extremely uncomfortable about is the photo-taking. My children have had their photos taken numerous times, but not a single time has the camera-wielding person ever asked permission. I just feel weird knowing that my kids' pictures are somewhere on a strangers computer! We visited Thailand and at the Bangkok airport a group of 5 Arabic-speaking MEN! took pictures of my son. In the US, a group of men doing that would be arrested by the police haha!!

    But we used to live in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, where the baby love is rampant... so I try to be understanding. At restaurants there, the employees (Indians, Bangladeshi, Filipino) whisked our baby away to the kitchen! You feel a bit paranoid at first, but then you realize it's OK. We used to go to a Lebanese restaurant and all the workers were men, and it was great fun to see our little infant (at the time) daughter getting held by all these macho guys.

  2. #34
    geomum is offline Registered User
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    I was talking about average size across the population, of course some white babies are tiny and some chinese huge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gataloca View Post
    Totally agree with jvn. And Chinese babies are not smaller anymore. My baby is bigger than some westerner babies of the same age. Also I have a friend (Chinese also) whose 3 1/2 months old baby is already wearing clothes for 6 months old babies. But probably they find the westerners babies special: white skin, big eyes, rosy cheeks, blond hair... Just like porcelain dolls.
    Posted via Mobile Device

  3. #35
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by geomum View Post
    Howard you are right in many respects, but would like your comment on this incident. Our friend's daughter was 2 years old when she got lost in Ocean Park, they've always taught her to be friendly and confident. So after searching heaven and earth they found her sitting with a family having food. She wasn't looking for her parents even after hours of being lost, but the parents of course were worried sick.
    This is the perfect example of the heightened sensetivity around StrangerDanger. So many parents have made StrangerDanger on top of their worry lists that they lose sight of the fact that the vast majority of people out there are *good* and no harm will ever come of them. Simply put, kidnappers & pedos are not waiting in OceanPark just on the offchance that a child will become seperated from their parents and they will have an opportunity to do their harm.
    We've been lucky with our 3 kids in that we've never had a seperation episiode like the one you have mentioned. The worst that happened to us was 15 minute timeframe where our 4 year old wondered off into a far aisle in Sogo. My worry was more around child being hurt or stuck in a door/room somewhere as apposed to some harm coming from strangers.

    Quote Originally Posted by geomum View Post
    The issue being talked about here is of hygiene as well not just kidnapping or abuse. When my daughter was less than a year old I used to take her to the wet market on some mornings and people with filthy hands would try to touch her. Even now when I take my son out people touch him and I smile to them politely and say Please don't touch.
    I take an opposing view from many that have chimed in this thread WRT hygiene. Vast majority of the time I just dont worry about it and I love this comment from JVN:
    Now he's happy to eat shoes every time my back is turned so I'm pretty sure nothing a stranger has got can be any worse!
    I am a firm believer in "Dirt is good" camp. I believe that dirt, germs, bacteria all help children develop a healthy immune system and to be honest, I've not carried wipes since the kids stopped wearing diapers. We are pretty careful about avoiding 2 things: Raw Chicken and areas where there is a high chance of touching faeces (eg: PigPens) but apart from those 2 things, we just dont worry about it. We let the kids play on the ground (anywhere) touch any dog/cat that comes along etc. When play time is finished (and/or we get back home) we wash up.

    This idea of "Dirt is good" started a couple of decades back, but recently we are seeing these studies in much higher frequency. Hopefully these studies will convince parents to take a more relaxed approach.

    Here are just a few that I found quickly. There are many many more:
    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...-immune-system
    http://www.montrealgazette.com/healt...400/story.html
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...081705420.html
    http://www.futurity.org/health-medic...good-for-them/
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/27/health/27brod.html?em
    http://www.via.se/media/downloads/%2...Whitepaper.pdf

    HC

  4. #36
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    i agree with you, HC, however, have you ever watched in a public toilet to see how many people actually use soap to wash their hands? i have. the numbers, especially in asia, are remarkably low. i'm talking 1/20!!!! it's disgusting.

    i, too agree that dirt is good. but after seeing how few people use soap, we now carry wet wipes and make sure we ALL "clean up" before eating, drinking etc.

  5. #37
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    i agree with you, HC, however, have you ever watched in a public toilet to see how many people actually use soap to wash their hands? i have. the numbers, especially in asia, are remarkably low. i'm talking 1/20!!!! it's disgusting.
    *smile*
    Disgusting - most certainly
    But is it dangerous and should I worry about it? - Thats up to the individual, but we just dont make a big deal about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    i, too agree that dirt is good. but after seeing how few people use soap, we now carry wet wipes and make sure we ALL "clean up" before eating, drinking etc.
    Having good habits and teaching kids about good hygiene habits is a good thing (wash hands in timely fashion before eating and handling food, brush teeth etc etc) which we also practice.

    My post was more to answer those who worry about strangers and fear of the unknown diseases that the strangers might expose our kids to. I dont believe its worth stressing over and we dont worry about it even if the stranger did just happen to come out of the bathroom :-)

    I do find (general observation) that most first time parents and parents of very young kids worry and get into themselves into a tizzy over far too many things; many of them trivial. Whether it be StrangerDanger, photography, germs&dirt, strangers looking/touching/talking, car seats, tv & internet, the best/most perfect school etc etc...Geobaby message boards are full of these worries.
    After a few years, after they get more comfortable with the situation they relax a lot more and life becomes just a bit more stress free. By the time the 2nd or 3rd child comes along, I find that most people have given up on those worries and are a lot more relaxed.

    HC

  6. #38
    AmyH is offline Registered User
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    HC I do agree with you that the chances of a paedo being in Ocean park waiting to pounce are slim to none. The statstics around children being abducted by strangers is low, but it is not zero so there are people doing it and while Hong Kong is seen as safe, many places in the world are not and I would rather have my child prepared for a situation where if a stranger approaches him and tried to lure him away, he would know what to do.

    When I was a child, my sister was walking home from school at the age of 10 with her friend and a man approached them in a car, offered them sweets and then tried to lift them in to the car. My sister screamed and started to run and luckily a neighbour was near by and came to help. The man was never found. My husband grew up in Liverpool and was 12 when James Bulger was taken and killed.
    We lived in Liverpool (near croxteth park) when Rhys Jones was shot. Although this was not strangers trying to kidnap children, there are many gangs in those areas who are dangerous and can hurt both adults and children. Not everywhere is as safe as hong kong and we do not plan to live here forever so we would like our children to be aware that not everybody who approaches them just wants to touch their face and take their picture.

  7. #39
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmyH View Post
    Not everywhere is as safe as hong kong and we do not plan to live here forever so we would like our children to be aware that not everybody who approaches them just wants to touch their face and take their picture.
    I came here for a 3 month assignment 16 years ago and for various reasons we never left and have now made our home in Hong Kong. One of the biggest reasons for not wanting to leave is just that; the safety feeling in Hong Kong. Whether its the kids or ourselves I can say that Hong Kong is the only city in the world that I have been in where I feel no fear, no matter what time of day or night, with or wihtout kids, dressed simply or extravagantly. We can walk the streets, ride the public transport or hike up in the hills.

    Aside from the pollution issues, Hong Kong (for us) is the best place to be.

    HC

  8. #40
    AmyH is offline Registered User
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    I agree that we feel very safe here and we love it very much for that reason. We oroginally agreed to come over here for a few years (maybe 4) to make as much money as we could and pay off our mortgage back in the UK so we could go back debt free and with a big amount of savings but we are now discussing the possibility of staying longer (maybe buying somewhere here) but I do take some long trips back home during the summer (am a stay at home mum) and need my son to be aware of his surroundings when we are there.

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