Summer is about FUN & GAMES, and SUN & SWIMMING, and BBQ & POOL PARTIES. With all the outdoor activities come an increased risk of accidents or injury. As expectant moms or new parents, we have to think about this stuff, even if I kind of sound like a “Debbie Downer”. I have worked in the medical world as a Social Worker for 25 years…OMG…and I am also a mom to a 9 year old….OMG…so I have some personal and professional experience with this. No big scary statistics will be thrown at you in this post, promise!
As a pregnant woman, slips and fall risks increase with each week you are pregnant. Your center of gravity is shifting, almost daily, and that means that your balance is not where it was pre-pregnancy. So take it slow, and take care in how you move while pregnant. Be on the look out for wet grass or climbing in and out of pools. One of the perks of being preggo, even in the USA is that folks will open doors for you, and let you pass by first – take them up on it, the next time this happens is when you are wearing granny shoes!!!
For parents of toddlers and young children the thought of all the puddles, slip and slides, pools probably makes you want to scream like Macaulay Clukin in Home Alone – oh yeah mama, I’m right there with ya! But fear not, they are way lower to the ground than us, so bully for them! Minor bumps and bruises come with the territory of being a mom of a young one in the summer. We have a FAB post here with some great natural remedy info.
What about the serious stuff? I’m talking the 911 call related stuff. Yes, if that happens make the call, don’t ever hesitate especially with anything that has to do with airway (meaning anything that is interfering with your kid’s ability to breath), or head injuries, or electric shock. As a former social worker in the ER & Trauma at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, I have seen many babies, children, and parents coping with the aftereffects of such injuries. Thank goodness we live in modern times with paramedics and trauma ER’s. But you can be prepared as well via CPR courses, they have them for expectant parents and parents and I highly recommend you take one. And if you own a pool, and you will have a nanny or babysitter with your toddler daily, make sure they are CPR trained and know how to dial 911. Not only will you learn valuable techniques that might save someone’s life, but it will make you feel more confident and empowered in helping in an emergency – and clear headed thinking is crucial during those times. If you are in LA The Pump Station has regular community classes. If you live somewhere else, ask your pediatrician or midwife about local courses, your park and recreation center, even your library will be able to direct you to a resource near you.
Pool Safety With Toddlers and Young Children
In my humble opinion, as well as of the nurses I polled from the current medical center that I work in in Los Angeles – there is NO SUCH THING AS A TODDLER OR YOUNG CHILD BEING POOL SAFE. Please let the buyer beware of toddler swim classes who’s marketing material make that claim. Of course give them swim lessons, all children really should have swim lessons for years and years, seriously. Take care in thinking that your toddler or young one can be left alone in the yard with a pool, even for a minute. Drowning of a baby, toddler, young child is usually silent. There is no splashing or screaming. They sink, quickly. And if they don’t know that they need to keep their mouth closed, they open it and fill there lungs and belly with water. I counseled many a stunned parent in the ER who told of not hearing any splashing, of being away for less than 30 seconds…it happens.
My daughter is 9 and I started her with summer swim classes at age 3, and we haven’t missed a summer. She is a good swimmer. But I still will not allow her to be at a friend’s with a pool without inquiring about what the plan is for the kids if they want to go in the yard to play or in the pool. And I am vigilant in reminding those parents that I am not comfortable with her being unsupervised in play near or in the pool, ever. Its OK to be clear in your communications regarding pool safety.
Summertime is fun time, that is for sure. Being proactive in prevention of injuries and knowing how to respond when emergencies happen keep the good times rolling. Here are some more links to posts that have more info on the topic of safety.
Alisa B. Donner, MSW, LCSW, Co-Founder of Pregnancy Awareness Month, and mom to an amazing wonder.
Thanks to Ingrid Franz Moriarty for the amazing image on this blog post!
**REMINDER – Pregnancy Awareness Month’s blog post is for moms and expectant parents by moms (and of course some experts sprinkled in – and some mom’s are licensed board certified experts!). HOWEVER, we are not giving blanket ADVICE on what you should be doing, eating, how you should be exercising, parenting, etc. These are opinions, food for thought….think about it all, talk with your mate, and when it comes to diet, exercise, and health questions, ALWAYS discuss and seek advice from your medical health provider