Read on for a chance to win a $75 home/baby-proofing kit from Safety 1st and Healthy Families!
I think I’ve turned into a bit of a preparedness nerd… not a doomsday prepper by any means, but prone to doing things like stocking emergency kits and asking for second floor fire escape ladders for our playroom for Christmas. Yeah, that kind of nerd.
The interesting thing part is that while it is important to prepare for disasters, it’s the everyday calamities that put us (and our families) most at risk. I would run out of fingers and toes if I started trying to list the people I know who have been affected by little things: slamming car doors, knife slices while cutting vegetables, grease fires or boiling water injuries while cooking… the list goes on and on, and it’s enough to make you want to barricade yourself in a padded room.
Of course, becoming an all-consumed hypochondriac is not the answer. Just like planning for a disaster, the best way to not worry about these sorts of everyday threats is simply preparedness. And, I can tell you without a doubt that living in the house of The Kraken (or, What I Wish I’d Known About Parenting and Ancient Sea Monsters circa 2003), being prepared and crossing your fingers is about the best you can do. While our oldest didn’t visit the emergency room until age seven, just (ironically) a couple of weeks after the arrival of our youngest, I feel fairly certain that we will experience multiple broken bones and ER visits with The Kraken.
Like many parents, I baby-proofed our house to the nth degree with our firstborn. Cabinet locks, outlet covers, baby gates, washing pacifiers when they came near the ground and asking every adult who came within ten feet of our little darling to use hand sanitizer were all the norm. With the second born, we skipped a lot of the stress (but of course, still covered the outlets and so forth). What I couldn’t have foreseen was one of those little calamities being the scariest of all: when the littlest kraken was barely walking, she wandered into our bathroom and pulled a five shelf unit over while reaching for something sparkly.
It could have killed her. I’ve had nightmares about it. I was less than ten feet away. The angle of the sink and bathtub caught the shelf, and it teetered above her head. She was surrounded by broken glass (from the various bottles I had sensibly stored up high, out of reach), and only didn’t move out of sheer shock. As I dodged the broken glass shards around her and scooped her up before she made a sound or moved a muscle, I found that just one piece of glass had cut the top of her foot.
Today, that one spot is a tiny v-shaped scar on top of her foot. I see it every day and am reminded, poignantly, that it is MY job to keep this child safe. Like so many things in life, failures heighten our awareness of the right thing to do. So, I control what I can: I have well-stocked first aid kits. I’ve taken outdoor survival courses. We talk about what to do in crowded public places or down the street to stay safe. There are go-bags in my trunk and a well-stocked emergency bin in our hall closet in case of disaster.
However, all that means very little. In all likelihood, she’ll be hurt many more times… and there is even a strong possibility that I will be right next to her when it happens, and a good chance that I could have prevented it. Surprisingly, reminding myself of that is probably the best dose of sanity and preparedness I can give myself as a parent.
Last weekend, our family hiked along a rocky shore and I gripped her hand all the way down the mountain and to the side of the water. Desperate, like all two year olds, to do it herself… I finally let go of her hand. Then we watched her trip on the rocks and fall face first, and we brought her home with a giant fat lip and bruised cheek.
Here we go again.
Ready to make your home a little safer for baby? Enter for a chance to win this $75 home safety kit from Safety 1st and Healthy Families! Just click on “a rafflecopter giveaway” right below the photo at the very end of this post. Healthy Families is an incredible Arkansas initiative aimed at keeping expectant mothers and children ages newborn to five years safer and better informed. Please take a moment to click here to read more about A Safe Home for Baby. While you’re on the Healthy Families website, click to order (or access online) free copies of the Happy Birthday Baby Books – some of the most comprehensive guides available for making your home a safe haven.
And, if you are all fired up about safety and preparedness after reading all that, you’re in luck! I have another giveaway open until 2/28 for a $275 Satellite GPS Messenger from SPOT – read this post to learn more and enter!
Here’s the Safe Home for Baby prize courtesy of Healthy Families: