And I don't mean in the sense that they are miserable... I've had a month of heavy exposure to the distress that manifests when children are involved in serious accidents or are very ill. Mothers especially, become either muted and strangely calm or are utterly distraught and inconsolable.
For example, a mum who listened carefully to the instructions being given to her while her 2 year-old screamed in agony after hot tea was accidentally spilled onto her. 'Yes, I tried to put a wet towel on her but she won't let me touch her.' The child is moaning in between cries and clearly not in good shape. Mum wants to do something to ease her pain but the little girl thinks whatever mummy is about to put on her will probably make her feel even more pain; she doesn't want to be touched and she doesn't want anything else on her skin. Mum feels powerless but her child's skin is dying every second that she paused to think about it. It's heart-breaking stuff.
And there are other behaviours, contrary to those that illuminate parental protective instincts. Like the parents of an epileptic child who fitted for twenty minutes until an ambulance was finally called. The parents are immigrants and do not speak English; they come from a country where healthcare is neither free nor freely available but it doesn't explain their bizarre impulse to film their child having a seizure so that they could show the ambulance crew when they arrived.
Children with serious medical problems and who have terrible accidents are all at the mercy of their parents. In the time between the occurrence and the arrival of professional help, the difference between life and death, surviving intact or with life-long scars - the length of time in which there is pain - a parent can respond appropriately and accordingly or, notwithstanding excuses for ignorance and disabilities, can leave their baby to suffer or die. How many of them would throw their hands in the air and wail 'what took you so long?'
Mum, dad... I don't care where you come from - learn how to save your own children.