I am not an alarmist, or a worrier, or overprotective, but I’m aware. I feel like being aware of dangers can help us take precautions and be mindful as we parent.
Being conscious of these three dangers can help us keep our children, and other children, safe. The stories of those effected by these dangers make me so sad for the families who have suffered losses.
Even when my kids were little, I tried to give them space to learn and test their limits at different ages of development, but it’s always important to be smart and alert to possible dangers. Being mindful without being petrified is a healthy approach. (Here are three playground rules for parents that delve into this idea.)
I’m linking to the stories shared by parents who have experienced these dangers and who want to spread the word to help other families avoid their pain.
You very likely have heard about the need to safety proof your house including attaching dressers to walls and securing curtain cords, but have you actually taken measures to ensure your children can’t topple the furniture or strangle in the cords? You certainly are on alert for drowning at the beach, but do you consider the holes in the sand? It’s a favorite beach activity for our family, and being conscious of this possible hazard, we’ve changed how we play at the beach, and still have plenty of fun, even with holes, but holes that are safer.
When Michael was in preschool, he pulled a bookshelf over on himself. We were lucky. We were in the room beside the playroom, we heard the crashing and came running. We were lucky because the bookshelves were light and had no back so that nothing hit him and we found him standing with the shelves framing him and books everywhere. We were lucky.
After that, we always secured the large furniture to the walls until they were much older. In fact, that same book shelf is in Anna’s room now, and even though she’s almost 11, it’s still secured to the wall. It’s a small, simple thing to do that required little and was done from a place of education and common sense safety precautions, not from hysteria. I have worked with families that are overly worried and their fear effect their children.
There have been so many tragic stories that parents have started the Parents For Window Blind Safety organization to educate parents. Since 1986, 571 cases of strangulation have been reported in the United States. According to USCPSC, 49% of window covering strangulations go unreported.
To prevent the dangers to children, they advise going cordless and recommend these window coverings to keep kids safe.
This story of a dresser accident killing their daughter is heartbreaking beyond imagination. Could it happen to you? Might it never happen? Yes, and yes. But the term “better safe than sorry” is filled with truth. Take the time to secure furniture in any room where a child might be left unattended for any length of time.
Sand holes are another danger that may not be on top of parents’ minds when they’re at the beach. This family got extremely lucky, it’s an incredible story you can read here.
These are four recommendations she has to keep your kids safe when digging in the sand:
“1 – When you arrive at the beach, always check nearby for any holes left by others, and fill them in.
2 – Do not dig holes any deeper than knee-high of the shortest person in your group. Yeah, I know this sounds extreme. If this feels more extreme than your group can accommodate, then perhaps you can at least stop at waist-high.
3 – If you do dig holes, fill them in before you leave.
4 – Make sure any children you go to the beach with know that holes and trenches can be dangerous, and that they should let you know if they see any abandoned holed.”
I believe that without being frenetic or anxious, we can be alert, mindful, and cautious to help keep our children, and other children, safe from these and other dangers. Thanks for sharing this to protect kids with consciousness.
© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2015
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