Monday, November 16, 2009

Protecting kids

For the past three and a half years, I have had a new passion in life...protecting my kids! Protecting them in any way I can that is. I know that there are so many things in life that I can't control...there's illnesses and car accidents, broken hearts and guilty consciences, depression and loss just to name a few. But on the other hand, there are things that I can do to protect my children. And I am very passionate about them...and I hope you are too!

First off is my biggest safety passion of all...carseats. After working in the ER for a couple years, I saw the frequency of car accidents and the possible severity of injuries passengers sustain. For a while I was always a little fearful to drive, but then realized that as long as I took every safety precaution I could, then I could not control what other drivers did. God was still in control of the situation. So, I wear my seatbelt everytime I get in a vehicle. Most importantly, I make sure my children are properly restrained in a car seat as well. C is 3 1/2 and is still in a 5 pt safety harness car seat. Her seat will hold her harnessed until she is 60 pounds. Then I will move her to a booster seat. I will not switch her to a booster seat when she reaches the "minimum" set by the government of 40 pounds and 4 years old. Who wants to only minimally protect their child? Watch this to learn why she will not move to a booster any sooner. Not me! I choose "maximum protection." The exact same thing stands true for 23 pound 13 month old D. He is still happily riding rearfacing in his car seat because it is considerably safer than forward facing. He does meet the minimum to be forward facing of 20 pounds and 1 year old. But again, I choose not to "minimally protect." His seat will hold him rear facing until he is 35 pounds. Does he look "uncomfortable" to you?

Here is a very informative video about why your child should ride rear facing as long as possible...please take the time to watch. It changed my mind about "flipping" D at 12 months as I had originally planned. Hopefully it will change yours.

Next thing on my safety list is vaccinations. A lot of people disagree with me on this one for a whole variety of reasons, but I am still quite passionate about it. I know I cannot prevent cancer, depression, or an even ear infection, but I can help prevent a whole array of childhood illnesses. I have chosen to vaccinate my children on schedule with the American Academy of Pediatrics. They got their first one at birth and have been steadily receiving them ever since. Most recently on the agenda have been the flu shots. I have received the flu shot for the past 5 years, so naturally, I choose to vaccinate my children. I feel that if I can prevent a week long battle of fever, chills, coughing, and body aches, why wouldn't I? Because some people think it may cause a problem in the future? There seems to be tons of controversy around the H1N1 vaccination this year since it is the new strain of the flu. All I can say is to do some serious research about the complications of the H1N1 virus before making your decisions. This can be very deadly to children. I know that the H1N1 vaccine hasn't been out long, but by doing research, I have learned that it is made the exact same way as the seasonal flu shot. It would have been included in the seasonal flu shot if H1N1 had surfaced just a few months earlier than it did. But, because it came out after the seasonal flu shot was already in production, it had to be its own vaccine. I see no harm in giving my kids a vaccination that has been assured to be safe by the CDC and is recommended by every doctor I know and have heard speak. I am not a doctor, so I trust those that are. I will be protecting my children from all strains of the flu this year...even if it causes their leg to be sore for 24 hours and for them to scream while they are getting the shot. That is a VERY little price to be payed for their health. Just ask the 35 families whose children died from H1N1 last week alone.

Lastly, SUPERVISION is on my list of ways to protect my children. In the home. At the store. On the name it, I am watching them. It is my biggest pet peeve to see unsupervised children on a playground or in a fast food restaurant play area. This is how children get hurt. I have "rescued" numerous children dangeling from monkeybars stuck but afraid to drop, or children who climbed up too high on the playground and froze out of fear. I always give "mom" a chance to save her child, but after an appropriate amount of time where no mom is coming, I step in and help. I have seen kids rough housing near small children playing. I have seen big kids playing aggressively on toddler playgrounds making it near impossible for the young children to play. Where are these parents? Gabbing on the phone in the car, eating their lunch in the peace and quiet of the chick-fil-a, or consumed in conversation with a friend 50 yards away. Please people, SUPERVISE your children!

Okay, there is more, like babyproofing the house, not giving kids under the age of three toys not designed for kids under the age of three, cutting up grapes into quarters, etc...but I will get off my soapbox for the night.

Basically, my take is that there are so many unpredictable things out there in this big world that I can't protect my children from, but there are some things (like proper car seats, immunizations, and supervision) that I can control. I choose to take control and be a parent...and protect my kids. Won't you do the same?

1 comment:

  1. Elle is still in her 5-point seat and will be until she outgrows it. She will be 5 come July and still in it! I'll do the same with Aaron too. Her teacher told me today that she sees 4-5 yr olds get in cars w/out carseats OR boosters! And in the front seat too, I can't imagine driving off with my kids like that. I just pray that the Lord is watching over those children so nothing happens to them. If only their parents would THINK!