Safety measures

There are times when I wish I could turn back the clock, and look at my beautiful daughter as a baby again, or a toddler. Hold her in my arms, have her lean against me, and coo over her unmarred skin. I’d love to be able to look at her as she was then, and see how she is now, and marvel in the changes time has brought.

I can trace the mishaps, accidents, and life events I have by the trail of scars across my body and the occasional aches within my limbs. I don’t worry much about any of them, but the first time my toddler fell on a sidewalk in Uptown and skinned her knee—it really affected me. Her perfect skin, so unblemished, was now bleeding mightily. That was the first of many mishaps and accidents she’d have in her life and in fact, her scars have surpassed mine in spades. That kid has a knack for being in the wrong place at the right time.

Keeping children safe takes many forms; we all know that. When I was a kid we had a foldable fire ladder in our second story upstairs closet, ready for use should the house become engulfed. We learned about Mr. Yuk, and what happens when your friend falls through your basement window or when your brother steps on a nail. But the one thing I learned from my parents, and took to heart as a parent myself, is that remaining calm is key to any emergency. You may scream inwardly all you wish, but you will delay reaction time, muddle your judgment—and frighten those around you if you wig out. So first, detach yourself emotionally from the emergency at hand. This is the toughest step, but the most crucial, as it will help you to remain calm and rational. It will help you decide what you need to do next.

Know where your emergency numbers are, keep a first aid kit handy, stay calm, be decisive, use a dark towel if there is a lot of blood, and don’t let on how bad something is unless you know for sure you can fix it. There’s always going to be a mishap or accident when you have children. Enjoy their beautiful skin when they are babies, because as with anything in this life, mishaps are inevitable.