Child Safety – Through the eyes of a child!

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As each day passes, I think about the patients that I have seen. Last week I saw one of my older families. This was a child and her brother, she injured her eye in an unusual accident. They were playing with the brother’s marbles and he threw a marble which struck another marble. One splintered and a piece stuck the young lady in the cornea. She presented to the office at that time with the piece of marble protruding from her eye. She is fortunate and has had minimal visual impairment. It is striking to me how many times our children come close to serious injury and escape relatively unscathed.

Any way, it brought to mind the title of this post and research shows many recording artists have used through the eyes of a child as the focal point of their song. I am not an artist but I am concerned about how we as adults and parents can anticipate the needs of our children.

It is important that we try to meet the needs of our children as best we can. We must provide shelter, food and safety for our kids. My focus is to discuss safety tips for our children.

Caring for your child’s safety may begin before birth. It starts with healthy decisions about our personal lifestyle: food choices, vitamins, beverages, exercise. We must also be careful with the physical environment: our home and when possible our work place. We must be aware of our pets and the impact that they have on our lives both psychologically and the health risk that they may pose.

The links at Kids Growth and Kids Health have good advice that discuss many of the topics that most new parents need to check. The Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC have similar pages. What I would like to give is some practical and simple advice that I give to many of my families.

Start baby proofing your home during the middle of the pregnancy. You want to start before you become too uncomfortable.

Focus first on the nursery or where you expect the infant spending most of the first year. If you choose to have a crib, buy a new one and check on-line to make sure there have been no recalls. Start putting in the safety outlet plugs, and safety latches on cupboards. Get rid of your clutter. Look at your furniture any sharp corners or glass surfaces need to be removed. All electrical cords need to be out of reach for all children under 3-years-old. Research monitors or intercom that will broadcast to other rooms of the home. If you must have a changing table do not bother to use the straps that may come with them. They are dangerous and will give you a false sense of security.

Start looking at car seats. Do not get one second-hand. Get one that will convert as your child grows. Be aware of the weight. Keep in mind that your child may weigh 8 pounds at birth but will gain an ounce a day or 2 pounds a month so a 20 lb car seat and a 20 lb child adds up to 40 plus lbs.

You can research some baby books but each may say things differently. Find one that makes sense to you and only read that one.

Build the crib in the nursery and follow the directions. Many Dads have built the crib in the family room and then realized that it does not fit through the doorway. Many parents will have their first child sleep in a bassinet in their bedroom for the first 2-3 months. Be aware that babies as young as 2 months move and can fall off of couches and beds. Do not place the child on a big/adult bed. Do not think pillows will hold the child in place. Infants have smothered from pillows. No pillows or blankets in the small infants bed or bassinet.

We must prepare the nest for our family. Shelter it from the storms that may arise. Limit the exposure as practical. Just as the mother finch who built her nest on our front door did this spring. Her four eggs were laid over a 1 week period. They hatched about 2 weeks later and then they flew away 2 weeks after that. Now they are flying around our yard.

Get a plan or time line. We are all busy with our jobs and social life. We have to use our time wisely. All too often we run out of time during the last month of the pregnancy.

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