Sounds like a scary question, but it is an important one, Could you Save a little life if you needed to? As parents, we have to ask ourselves that, and make time to consider it and talk to each other about it. It isn’t as enticing as visions of breastfeeding or walking in a park with your new state of the art stroller or baby jogger. Parenting brings it all on, the responsibility goes beyond feeding and diapers or course, we know that. But do we plan for it?
Now don’t get suspicious on me, planning does not portend that it will happen. To the contrary. Planning in this case can save a life or lives. It requires some pre-thought, some discussion, and taking a class prior to delivering the baby. And then perhaps a refresher when they are a little older (if you didn’t get to a class before baby, you can still do it – just DO IT!). Babies act very differently than the little doll dummy’s that you use at the store to learn how to swaddle, put in the car seat, diaper change. And a choking toddler or one who is squirming because they have accidentally sprayed something in their eye, etc, can be difficult to manage. That is why we are bringing up this topic this month: #SafeBaby is our theme in September, because if you don’t think about it or talk about it, you won’t be the most prepared you could be if the time comes. There is a National Baby Safety Month happening, and we encourage you to check it out and use all the information to create a safer home and drive for you and your family.
What are some of the safety topics you should consider as a family?
- drowning (pools, hot tubs, baths, and toilets)
- choking – babies put EVERYTHING IN THEIR MOUTHS
- poisoning (household chemicals, medicines, supplements, vitamins)
- pulling large, hot, or sharp objects down on top of them
- car accidents – know how to install that car seat properly
- heat exposure – NEVER leave an infant, baby, or child unattended in a car
- electrical accidents – mainly from electrical outlets or chewing on an electrical wire
Do any of these sound outrageous? They aren’t. I am a 25 year experienced medical social worker, spent many shifts in the ER and in Trauma, trust me, none of these are a fluke.
I believe planning for safety of the environment is as important in your do to list when pregnant as preparing for your baby’s labor day. Postpartum you will be exhausted, and sleep deprived. And overwhelmed. It is not the best time to start thinking of safety. My baby rolled over at 10 weeks, and fully crawling by 6 months. Once they are mobile it is GAME ON!
I know it sounds impossible, and inconceivable, but babies take everything that they grab and put it in their mouth. EVERYTHING! I’m totally serious. Sometimes it will gross you out, and sometimes it will horrify you. They will find things in your carpet that you didn’t know were even in your house. Ewww. But it is also a serious choking risk. Because it is quiet, they quietly reach and open their mouths…take a look sometimes…it is WILD.
Please do some research and find resources online for information. Safe Kids is one of my favorites. If you live in LA, The Pump Station and Nurtury has infant and toddler CPR classes and can also connect you to local experts, like Richard Pass, RN: “Prevention remains our primary focus and should remain so. Yet we must be ready in case these efforts fail. Taking a current CPR course is an essential part of parental readiness. If you have not taken a course in the last 12 months, we strongly urge you to do so.” He has contributed a few blogs for their site, which I quote from above, and is the Director of Save a Little Life.
Looking for more information? Call your local hospital and ask to speak to Patient Relations or Social Work departments. They should have information on local classes. Your local library will too. And by all means use google for searching.
If you want to read The Pump Station and Nurtury’s full article by Richard Pass on infant CPR and drowning prevention click here.
We will continue to explore these topics all month in an effort to help answer questions and encourage discussion.
Alisa B. Donner, MSW, LCSW, Co-Founder of Pregnancy Awareness Month, and mom to an amazing wonder.
**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.
Alisa Donner, CPR, drowning prefention, infant CPR, National Baby Safety Month, Pregnancy, preparing for baby, Richard Pass, Safe a Little Life, Safe Kids, The Pump Station and Nurtury, toddler