Monday, July 30, 2007

Small things make the difference in a child's safety

A story that needs to be heard. It’s a small thing that can make the difference in a child’s safety.

There are lots of stories out there about kids being hurt in the home and how important it is to child proof your home. Its little things that make a difference. Years ago my friends parents were babysitting her nephew, their grandson. He was just learning how to walk. This was the first time they had babysat him since he had started trying to walk. The Grandfather drank tea. The Grandmother made some and put it on the side table by the couch so he could reach it. It was just a regular cup of tea like she made every day for her husband, not some thing that would hurt their grandchild. Well the little boy used that table to pull himself up with, pulled the table over and the hot tea ended up on him. He was burned so bad that he will be scarred for life. It was so bad that if he had been a girl she would have been maimed. The breast area would not have developed on one side or would have been miss figured. As it is he will have some very bad scars for the rest of his life. It was only a cup of tea, such a small thing to cause so much damage.

Now if they had used a cup with a lid, like a travel cup he would not have been so badly burned, or not burned at all. I always used a travel cup with a lid for my coffee and tea when my kids were little. This is why. The other thing I always did was make sure that if I left the room my cup went with me, or was in a place the kids could not get to it. We have baby gates on our kitchen doors and don’t let them in when we are cooking even now when they want to “help" us. I also don’t leave a knife out where they can reach it; I will even take it with me when I leave the table to get some thing. Why take the chance. The kids are interested in cutting their own food now, and my knife would be in their hands right away. Its little things that make a difference. I try not to let my kids have pens unless they are sitting, a fall with a pen in the mouth can kill. I don’t leave my kids in the bathtub for any thing. Hard candies, no way. However I did learn a hard lessen, lollypops are hard candy. My daughter almost choked on one.

I know that most of the things seem to be common sense when you think about it. But a lot of people just don’t think about it. Most kids who are hurt at home are hurt because of some thing small. Some one did not lock up a cupboard and the kid gets into cleaning supplies, or a knife, or pulls a kettle down or puts some thing into an electric outlet. Why did I write this blog, so that some one might not make the same mistake, or any other number of mistakes with kids’ safety just because they did not think about it?

When my son was born I took a class on child safety in the home. The stories they told us were sad and terrifying at the same time. People let their kids on the balcony and over the kids went. Why because they never thought the kid would pull the chair over and stand on it. Or any other number of things kids would climb and end up over the balcony. The kids that would climb the bed, or dresser or even chairs to look out windows only to go threw the screen. Hot dogs and grapes, hard candies and other “round” food that kids would choke on. Doctors can not get a hot dog out of a kids air way, so always cut it lengthways, cut the grapes, avoid hard handy. Don’t talk to me about the window covers like blinds with the cords that kids get hung on. Do you have a washer or dryer in your home, can the kids get into it. One lady lost her child because they fell in when she went to the bathroom. Left the washer open, with water in it. Then there are all the plants that are in your home; do you know what ones are poisonous? Look it up, a lot of houseplants can make a kid (and pets) very sick and can kill – Do you have any in your home? Think about where you keep things, cleaners, matches, knives, guns, and medicines? Can kids get into them? Do you have childproof doorknob covers? Kids can unlock and open doors. We found one girl little girl who walked out into the street all by herself. She was about 2 or 3 years old. We called the police and some neighbours came by and told us where she lived. The parent just noticed the kid was gone when the police showed up at her door.

I could go on and on about what things can harm kids but only you can look at your home and figure out what is harmful. A lot of kids get hurt at people’s homes that do not have little kids, the kids are visiting. People just don’t think about what kids can get into. So if nothing else I hope this makes you take a second look at your home, even if you don’t have kids. It’s a small thing that might make a difference.

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