Saturday, November 5, 2011

5 Reasons Why My Swedish Day Care Would Be Shut Down By American Child Services (And why I don't care)

It has taken me a little while to adjust to Swedish day care life, but don't get me wrong here, despite the things I might mention here, I love it. It is a good system where kids really get to explore, learn and be exposed to a lot of germs.

  1. Kids eat fruit straight from the tree (and the ground): There are a few fresh fruit trees growing in the outdoor play area. Lots of apples fall onto the ground, into puddles, wherever. I have seen countless kids just grab an apple from the ground and pop it into their mouths. This means the kids are exposed to all kinds of dirt AND they eat actual apple skins without choking.
  2. Popcorn Fridays: We found out one of Little Swedes favorite moments at daycare is popcorn Friday. This is when all the kids get a bag of popcorn to chomp on. The Swede and I wondered if he had ever had popcorn before and realized, no he hadn't. I did a quick internet search and found out that not only is popcorn considered a huge choking hazard, it isn't recommended for the under 3's because it can be easily inhaled. Little Swede is walking on the wild side.
  3. Petting Zoo Dangers: I went with Little Swede and his class to the petting zoo where we saw sheep, chicken, horses, etc. Then we all sat down and had a cookie. There was no Purell in sight. I admit, although not a clean freak, this kind of creeped me out a bit. But lesson learned, we were all healthy and fine afterwards. (Swedes are pretty diligent about Salmonella outbreaks).
  4. Outlets uncovered: I don't know if American daycares are really stringent about this, I just know that ever since Little Swede could move his fingers, he was trying to poke them in outlets. So seeing all of the uncovered outlets at day care made me a little nervous. But so far, so good.
  5. Diaper disposal: Again, don't know how the American daycares work, but here they have one giant bin for all of the towels from washing your hands and all of the dirty diapers. It is also the type of bin that is just the height that Little Swede can reach his hand in and grab things. Now, he isn't out looking for diapers, but does enjoy reaching up to see what is around. I didn't invest in one of those silly over the top diaper disposal systems for home use, because we just take our garbage out daily, but for day care use? Ah well, they will learn!

BUT, despite all of these horrors, the kids have a grand old time. And aside from the class biter, there have been no (knock-on wood) major accidents, and my kid has learned a lot. So YAY for Swedish day care and breaking out of the Super Safety Mode!


  1. Actually all swedish outlets are covered already, so no need for extra covers for children. Look closer, the little holes are covered inside, with tiny lids that fold in when you put a plug in them (but the holes are to small for fingers).

    I'm the one who doesn't like to be over protective, but this even I think is a good thing... :)

    However, I believe children should learn that they should never poke there anyway. It's more important that they learn what not to do, instead of us making everything too safe, because we cant childproof the world and sooner or later it will get down to them knowing not to do the wrong things!

  2. And that recommendation about popcorn is unheard of here! Popcorn being dangerous? I'm sorry, I do not mean to be rude here, but it all sounds so weird. Not eating "fallfrukt"..? Crazy Americans... :)

  3. Have you asked them to plug the sockets? I'm sure they would, doesn't seem like too much of a hasstle.

  4. All modern sockets already have built in "petskydd"/protection, there is no need for anything more. Unless the dagis is in a very old house, but since it's a dagis it's very unlikely not to have modern sockets.

    To get hurt from that kind of socket the children would have to use two thin metal objects and put one in each hole at the same time. Not very likely...

    But of course, there are plugs sold at Ikea, for scared parents. There's always money to be made from fear!

  5. I don´t know much about the Swedish daycare but the thing about the diper bin sounds disgusting. It would be a nightmare thought to think that children would stick their hands into that bin. I guess kids get exposed to a lot more than you would like to know.
    I am glad little Swede is happy at daycare and has a good time there even with popcorn.

  6. Ha, I have to say I am very relieved to learn about the sockets, I admit I had NO idea. And frankly, those stupid socket covers that you need that red plastic thingy that I keep losing are the most annoying things ever.

    As of this weekend they are banished.

    However, in true American style, if this proves untrue and little Swede gets shocked, I am so suing you guys (wink wink,nudge nudge)

  7. Hehe! :) But really, don't worry, just take a look at your own sockets and you will see. And the tiny lids only open when both of them are pushed in at the same time, you can't open them by pushing one of them in.

    By the way, I like your blog very much, it's very interesting to read about what for me is just everyday things, from another perspective!