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Columbus, Ohio
USA

I am About to be a Father

Blog

Why injury? It's this simple: more children die from injuries every year than from the next three leading causes of death combined. Nobody knows this because no one is talking about it. In the U.S., one child dies every hour from an injury that could have been prevented. Around the world, a child dies every 30 seconds as the result of an injury. You don’t need to have a child to know that we can do better.

 

I am About to be a Father

Guest Blogger

My first child is due on August 25. That is terrifying.

Well, joyous and wonderful. Then terrifying. Because until recently, here is what I knew about babies:

  1. They have little soft spots at the top of their heads.
  2. They like to be. . . Hold on, am I supposed to get past the soft spots? Is the brain right there under the skin, just waiting to be poked by my clumsy fingers? Can you accidentally tear the soft spot? Should my wife and I register for a tiny football helmet?

So I have tried to learn more, especially about how to keep children safe. I know that I am supposed to mount a gate at the top of our stairs with screws and hardware, and not just use a gate that stays in place because it’s wedged up against a wall. I know that I am supposed to use “touch supervision” at the pool – I need to be within an arm’s length of any child that isn’t a proficient swimmer.

But then our new child’s dresser was delivered the other day. It’s pretty big, and the only place for it in the baby’s room is near two windows with blinds. As we positioned it, the first image that flashed in my mind was one I first saw a few weeks ago. On the Consumer Products Safety Commission website is a flyer showing how a baby can be strangled with a window-blind cord. There’s an actual doll dangling from a cord on the flyer. Look for yourself if you want to have nightmares.

Now, I don’t think our infant will strangle itself. I can imagine, though, an adventurous 2-year-old  using the drawers to climb up the dresser, grabbing a cord for balance. . .

I can imagine a 2-year-old trying to climb and pulling the dresser down on top of himself/herself. Or the 2-year-old avoiding the blinds, but somehow opening the window and falling out. I really just this moment thought about a falling child for the first time.

I hope that it’s good that I’m starting to think this way. I need one of those blind cord conversion kits. I need to anchor the dresser to the wall (and anchor the bookcase and the televisions). So much to worry about. Do they even make tiny football helmets for soft spots?

I need to research that.      

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Thank you to our guest blogger for sharing his story.

 

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