Monthly Archives: September 2010

Child Safety Tips

There were a few interesting stories this morning relating to our industry.  One dealt with some new and hopefully upcoming technology.  Interesting, but a little too boring for the blog this morning.  Another dealt with the release of grand jury testimony by a handful of Hollywood stars, ranging from Orlando Bloom to Lindsay Lohan, and more.  I thought about posting some of the article here and commenting on it.  But, two things inclined me against it.  One, we’ve heard those stories before.  We’ve discussed, on this blog, the emotional toll a burglary can have on the homeowner; how they’ve lost their sense of security and peace.  It’s not new in that sense.  The only reason it would’ve worked, or been any different from previous articles, was the fact that it dealt with the rich and famous.  Oddly enough, that was my second reason for not wanting to do so.

We live in a very strange world today.  We are fascinated with the daily minutiae of people, who, for the most part, we wouldn’t even like if they weren’t famous.  And to be honest, the consistently bad decisions they make in their personal lives do not lend themselves towards sympathy even equaling what I would feel for a normal person.  So, that was out, but luckily I found something else.

There was an article in Mommies Magazine focusing on child safety.  I want to take a quick moment to review that article, and then take a moment to discuss what tips I think really matter for child safety.  But first, the article.

I’m alway pleased when articles give you a series of safety tips.  It makes it easy to pull the meat out of an article and really “chew” on it.  And then, when it’s done, you have a nice series of practical tips to proceed with.  But, despite that, I have to say I was fairly disappointed in the article.  Its not that anything in it was wrong, practically speaking, but I think the focus was wrong.

The article focuses primarily on child safety, in the home, from the perspective of preventing abduction.  And obviously, you want your kids to be safe and avoid situations or circumstances that could lead to anything like kidnapping.  There is nothing more heart-wrenching than hearing about a missing child, and the heart of every parent sinks when they hear about it.  But is it really the best focus for an article on child safety?  I don’t think so.

It’s not the right focus for such an article, because it’s extremely rare, especially the likelihood of abduction in the home.  It would be like me writing an article on staying safe over the holidays and focusing entirely on the ways to survive airline crashes.  Sure, people travel over the holidays and many of them will fly.  But, even in a worst case scenario, only a few of them will ever be exposed to such circumstances.  Tragic?  Yes.  Good focus for the general public?  No.  There are many other, more likely safety issues.  The same idea applies to child safety.

To be fair, the article did end with a paragraph giving some tips on general child safety.  I’ll include those and others in what I think should be included in a child safety article.  From reading below, you’ll see that this list is primarily for younger children; as children grow older, many of these tips will be unnecessary or irrelevant.

  • All knives, pairs of scissors, and other sharp objects should be kept out of reach of children
  • Every electrical outlet not in use should have outlet plugs in them
  • Put child safety latches on all cabinets containing something dangerous to children.  This would include, but is not limited to cabinets containing liquor, cleaning products, glass items, or food and spices.
  • Don’t set hot pots or pans on the edge of the stove within the child’s reach.  Turn the handles of these pots and pans inward, not hanging over the edge of the stove.
  • Keep doors to bathrooms closed and use child doorknob covers if necessary.
  • If you have a pool, be sure you have a working pool alarm to alert you if anyone goes into the water when you’re not there.
  • If you have a hot-tub, be sure the lid is closed and properly secured.

These are just some of the many options for protecting your child at home.  If you have others, please leave them in the comments box.  I’d love to hear them.

I do want to close with one last point: There has to be balance.  You should do the above, especially if you have young children.  But, kids will be (and should be) kids.  You have to let them explore, learn, and get scraped up a bit.  Its all part of growing up.  Our job is to make sure that when it comes to the big things, we’ve got them covered.