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PSA: Parents: Watch your young children and try to prevent accidents


Lanny
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This afternoon, before I came home, I stopped in the supermarket to buy some things. My wife had sent me a Text message, with some additional things she wanted me to buy. I stopped at the Customer Service Desk, so I could write on my shopping list, what the additional things were.  As I did that, I glanced at the headline of the local newspaper, El Pais, the largest newspaper in Cali, Colombia.  The headline was that parents need to watch their children better, to reduce the number of accidents. There was a tragedy, on Tuesday. A 15 month old boy from Panama, was in an 8th floor room in the Hotel Intercontinental. . Apparently, the  parents went out and left him with the Nanny who had been taking care of him for the past 3 months. Apparently, she fell asleep, he went onto the balcony, went between the rails (I cant remember the correct word as I write this) and fell to his death.  Another senseless tragedy. Children and Animals have NO understanding of danger. The Nanny is in custody.  This is in Spanish:

 


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Lanny, the only parents who don't watch their children and try to prevent accidents are out of their minds for some reason or another. Possibly drugs, alcohol, some sort of wickedness, I don't know.

 

Everybody else knows to watch children and try to prevent accidents. There's a wide range of what GOOD parents find acceptable, risk-wise, and over-protecting comes with risks of its own.

 

Parents who engage a childcare provider ARE being responsible and diligent. This tragedy is not their fault. We don't even know enough about the nanny yet, to know why she was napping and how the little boy got out to the balcony. We can't assume that she wasn't trying to take care of him.

 

Have you not had accidents in your family? We've had accidents. And I'm the type of mother who did heavily shelter and helicopter the little ones, and didn't sleep while two of my small sons were awake. Ever. I'm thankful that none of our accidents were tragic or fatal. I'm also thankful that none of our smaller, yet still terrifying moments even happened during the internet age because I can't stand the sanctimony. Where (or should I say when) I come from, all humans know that life is terminal and even children might die. It doesn't automatically mean the parents were wrong.

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Be Vigilant, every second of every day, because if anything bad ever happens to your child, it's clearly a fault of your parenting, not something that unfortunately just happens to small children who have no idea of danger, no matter how vigilant the parents.

Y'all know I'm being sarcastic, right?

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Here's the article, run through Google translate (for others besides myself who do not read Spanish):

The accident Panamanian child fifteen months old who fell from the eighth floor of the Hotel Intercontinental, set off alarm bells among parents about the risks they can run minors.
 

The child was found on the roof of the hotel around 6:00 pm last Tuesday. The event occurred when the child was under the care of his nanny, a 26-year-old native of Antioquia department and for three months who took care of him.
 

According to Marcela Captain Narvaez, head of the group of Protection for Children and Adolescents Police, "after noon (Tuesday), parents left the hotel to do errands and left the nanny alone with the child. She apparently fell asleep in the room and he went to the balcony. As expected, the child did not have the ability to foresee the danger and fell through a space between the bars, losing killed instantly. "
 

The official added that the nanny is in custody of the Attorney General's Office as the facts are clarified. The family is receiving the support of a unit of the National Police and the efforts of repatriation of the body to Panama are made.
 

Guillermo Carlos Cabal, manager of the Hotel Intercontinental, told bluradio that "hotel bars meet the standard measures of balconería Cali anywhere in the country or comply with measures for buildings of this type."
 

Risks to children
 

Relief agencies and security experts warn that with the arrival of the school holidays cases of home accidents increase. Drowning, poisoning, burns and falls from height are the most common contingencies to which they are exposed children, especially those between zero and five years.
 

Given this, experts called on parents to be alert to the movements of their children and prevent accidents that could leave from minor injuries to death.
 

The toxicologist said Jorge Quinones monthly in the city there are four cases of poisonings of children with chemicals.
He says the most common accident occurs by depositing pesticides or corrosive acids in different containers (bottles of soda, for example) and let the reach of children.
 

"The population group most are injured are children of five years, but the most tragic events occur in less than one year. They do not distinguish what substance there and, by their curiosity, tend to take things into their mouths. When a child is injured with a chemical will have damage to your digestive system high for life, for burning your esophagus, larynx and pharynx, and in worst cases, may die, "said Quinones.
 

Sgt Volunteer Fire Brigade of Cali, John Rhodes, said that although cases of falls from height in children are not very common, "when they are presented are careless and lack of caution.
 

Most of these events are given in apartments in which, for example, the Musketeers are placed in the windows believing it will also serve as a barrier to prevent the fall of the children, but the truth is that just by touching it subsides ".
 

For his part, Carlos Jimenez, assistant manager of pediatrics at the University Hospital, said that by this time much of the care required in minor burns attributed to both solar and accidents associated with liquids and appliances.
 

"These can range from a minor injury to a third degree burn, which leaves sequels and traumas of life in children. Now many of these accidents can be triggered because children spend more time in their homes and many of them are under the care of people who are not trained for it, which facilitates access to flammable liquids and hot items, "said Jimenez .
 

On the other hand, Maria del Pilar Molina, director of the Santi Rivera Foundation, said that in 2015 146 children died drowned in Colombia, equivalent to one child every two days. "That statistic has dropped enough if you consider that in 2006 more than 400 children drowned in the country."
 

Molina, who created the Foundation after the death of his son in a pool, said that "many people are going to babysit in pools with distracters at hand, such as magazines and cell phones. When there are children in the water should be no carelessness because the drowning happens in seconds, for when children fall into the pool rush straight to the bottom, your lungs quickly fill with water and do not go afloat or ask for help. If no eye contact, you will not hear anything or is it going to realize that his son drowned. "
 

Recommendations to consider
 

    
Preventing falls

Install grab bars around the flight of stairs and use safety gates at the beginning and end of them.
 

Protect windows that are less than 1 meter above the ground, balconies and roofs with railings, fences, etc. A child under one year can pass through a space of 10 cm and less than 6 years, one of 18 centimeters.
 

Try to keep children away from these places by installing a locking system that prevents opening doors and windows.
 

Do not allow children to play on balconies, ceilings and corridors of buildings.
 

If children ride on roller skates, skateboards or bike, insist on the use of safety equipment.
 

    
Monitoring in water

Never leave a child alone in the water, keep a permanent eye contact.
 

Floats never replace supervision.
 

Swimming lessons do not protect from drowning.
 

If you have a pool, consider installing an enclosure that completely surrounds and meets the necessary requirements. Install an alarm on opening the access door and a dip in the pool that are lit after hours of service and active alerting income unsupervised her.
 

Do not leave toys or objects near or in the pool to call the attention of children.
 

Do not leave chairs or objects that allow scale the enclosure.
 

    
Beware poisoning

Keep medicines, cleaning products, insecticides and gardening products in a safe place, locked and out of reach of children.
Keep disinfectants and household bleach tightly closed with childproof caps.
 

No repackaging substances, keep them in their original containers.
Do not let the liquor or cigarettes hand.
 

Do not store together different types of products (food, toxic, etc.)
 

Do not let children are in rooms treated with insecticides only after a reasonable time.
 

    
Burns alert

Keep children away from the kitchen and ironing area.
 

Avoid splashing, using covers or guards while food is cooked.
 

The handles of pans should not protrude beyond the kitchen cabinet.
Place hot objects or living out of the reach of children called.
 

Measure the water temperature before bathing your child.
 

Prevent children from playing with fire or gunpowder.
 

Keep matches out of the reach of children.
 

Do not keep candles out of reach of sight.

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I took a nap today. Luckily my children survived it. Pure luck. Anything that's never happened before and I couldn't have expected to happen could have happened. But it didn't. It usually doesn't. And yet, I will probably take a nap again tomorrow. And it doesn't mean I'm an irresponsible, uncaring, or stupid parent.

 

It means life is never certain and none of us have as much control over it as we comfort ourselves by thinking we do.

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Is this a cultural thing? I'm pretty sure that most American parents are pretty helicopterish. Perhaps in other cultures, kids are given a lot more freedom than here. Perhaps the PSA is needed in other countries? Not that it means those countries are less than, just that their culture about allowing kids to roam is different from ours.

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Lanny, the only parents who don't watch their children and try to prevent accidents are out of their minds for some reason or another. Possibly drugs, alcohol, some sort of wickedness, I don't know.

 

 

 

I don't believe this is true.  

 

People get distracted without being drunk or on drugs.  They can make unintentional mistakes with very tragic consequences. 

 

Lanny mentioned being in the grocery store.  I could make a list of dangerous things that I've seen involving small children at the grocery store, and I try to help so the children don't get hurt.  

 

I've been the parent who needed help, and I'm thankful for the help I received.  A friendly reminder never hurt anyone...but I was raised by a nurse and a fireman so safety was kind of a big deal at our house. 

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I remember sitting down to take a breather and waking up with a kid screaming bloody murder.  One time I was sitting on the floor folding clothes, and I feel asleep in a pile of warm towels.  The girls had dumped a jar strawberry jam on the floor by the time I woke up.  So glad it was just jam.  Then there was the time I was taking care of the baby, and my older one got out of the house.  I found her sitting under a tree by the road.  Thank God she didn't wander into the road.  (My dh started on a fence the next weekend).  Those are just a few times off the top of my head.  Nothing bad happened, but it very easily could have.

 

I am/was a vigilant mother.  I worried about them and tried to take every safety precaution I could think of. Even so it's so easy for a mom to doze off, get distracted with another child, turn away for a second.  Even with the most vigilant parenting, life is a risk.  Most parents are doing their very best.  Accident happen.

 

Those poor parents.  My heart breaks for them.

 

Of course, a warning is helpful.  I just don't want to heap more blame on parents that are already suffering from unbelievable grief.  

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I think the biggest changes have been on a societal level. Accidental deaths are way down because we design our world better, from cars to helmets, to building code improvements. to swimming lessons & lifeguards, to adding bitrex to cleaners, to having staffed poison control centers who keep chemists on staff to help physicians find antidotes.   People rarely think to look at the stats to see how many children did die of accidental deaths in decades past. 

Our world is not made for children. I think in pre industrialized and nomadic societies, the risks are from disease and predation - & people do look out for their youngsters to protect them from predators. 

There are so many more dangers in industrial societies. 

I don't like how we can't seem to discuss these things normally. WIll we be able to eradicate all accidents? No. Can we eliminate many through better design *and* supervision? Yes, I believe so. 

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My childhood home is on the 24th floor. Tragic accidents happened in residential high rise when windows grilles won't locked by tired adults.

 

There are sleepwalkers in my family. It is exhausting to be vigilant 24/7.

 

There were fatal swimming pool accidents that were freak accidents too.

 

I had to watch out for jellyfish and quicksand when playing at my childhood beaches.

 

There is only so many precautions parents can take without feeling like they are in a constant state of anxiety.

 

Is this a cultural thing? I'm pretty sure that most American parents are pretty helicopterish.

Some young kids are left in tbe library alone without older siblings or means to contact parents/caregivers. The library has to explicitly state that kids under 10 need a caregiver to stay in the library, while kids 10 and older have to have means to contact their parents.

 

You can find kindergartners playing Minecraft at the library gaming terminals and their parent left the library. Not an unsafe situation usually but scary if evacuation or lockdown happens. The school next to the library had a lockdown due to an armed robber escaping in that direction.

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I'd consider an upper floor balcony that a child can squeeze through to be unsafe. 

 

Look, I can be as judgey as the next parent, but this is a tragic accident. The nanny didn't kill the child; she was allegedly negligent and we don't know under what circumstances. Maybe the hotel was negligent too. Maybe the parents. We don't know. 

 

Most caring parents do watch their kids as much as is humanly possible already. 

 

Yes this is the real accident to me.  An unsafe balcony.  I mean what, as parents we can't ever fall asleep? 

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My son lifeguarded. Many parents have no safety rules and the children do as they please until the conversation with the manager where they agree to obey pool rules or leave. Under six nonswimmers must have an adult in the water, within arms reach. There is no drug, alcohol, or negligence involved when parents choose to disobey that rule... just a lack of understanding of the risks, and how fast drowning proceeds combined with a habit of ignoring rules.

 

I don't know - I know what drowning looks like, and what the risks are, and I generally hate these kinds of rules.  Here, at the beaches, it recently became kids under 8, parent must have feet in the water if the child is in the water.  (Previously there was no rule about this at all, normally parents watched from the beach while kids paddled or swam or waded, the lifeguards watched within the swimming area.  Same for pools until recently.)

 

Oh, and they don't really want the lifeguards to save drowning kids at the beach, because that is the job of the parent.

 

If I am at the beach in the summer, I usually have at least a few kids that I must be in the water for, and sometimes I have three, plus a baby.  Not only would it be impossible for me to really be within arms reach of all of them unless I made them stand next to me, one is probably in the water at all times - I'd spend all the day standing in the water, holding a baby.

 

Soooo - no beach for us.  Or, an unsupervised one.

 

Somehow I do not see either of those things as better scenarios.

 

And something else - kids drowning at the supervised beach was not a common thing before this rule was in place, it was darned rare.  Which suggests to me it wasn't a decision based on the numbers.  I've lived here my whole life, and I have only ever head of this happening with kids outside the swimming area, and that not often.

Edited by Bluegoat
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Follow on: This was Tuesday night, about 6 P.M., E.S.T.  At that time, it's about to get dark here. The parents had left the hotel room to go out and left the boy with his Nanny.   That was approximately 2 or 3 hours before the 2 year old boy in Walt Disney World with the Alligator.  Both events are very sad.

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But drowning deaths have been going down in Canada due to a variety of interventions. http://www.lifesavingsociety.ns.ca/CLS%20Drowning%20Report.pdf

& for children under 4 the biggest risk factor is being unattended in water or having a caretaker be momentarily distracted.  

I'd hire a mother's helper if I needed more hands/eyeballs. 

I grew up on beaches & boats & my kids grew up with a pool. Water safety is just not negotiable for me. 

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But drowning deaths have been going down in Canada due to a variety of interventions. http://www.lifesavingsociety.ns.ca/CLS%20Drowning%20Report.pdf

 

& for children under 4 the biggest risk factor is being unattended in water or having a caretaker be momentarily distracted.  

 

I'd hire a mother's helper if I needed more hands/eyeballs. 

 

I grew up on beaches & boats & my kids grew up with a pool. Water safety is just not negotiable for me. 

 

It's nice that you have that option.  Maybe if we can hire someone to watch all the kids in the water, we could cut drowning deaths down to nothing.  It would be especially great if that person had some kind of training, like a lifeguard.  How many per kid, maybe one for every two?

 

I am being sarcastic, but really, the point of supervised beaches is to increase safety, people go to the designated area to take advantage of that.  If we can't collectively afford that many lifeguards even there, why would we possibly think individual parents can afford to hire enough helpers?

 

What it means is, people don't go to the beach with their kids, or the pool, if they have infants, if they have multiple kids, if they can't go in the water. 

 

Also - look at those numbers.  As a result of all these measures, we've gone from about 2 preventable drowning deaths in Canada, per year - that is over the whole country -  to about 1.5.  Kids were not drowning willy-nilly at beaches, and they aren't now.

 

Is the idea that we should have more and more restrictions until we bring it down to 0?  Is that a reasonable bar to set?  How many kids are killed in accidents driving to swimming locations?

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Parents are going to be momentarily distracted at various times in the 18-20 years they are trying to raise any one of their children.

 

Yes, general safety precautions are good and of course parents usually do try to keep their children safe.

 

But for the sake of sanity, can we all get a grip on reality and quit acting like somehow bad stuff doesn't happen to good parents or good people in general.

 

Children have never been safer at any point in history than they generally are in modern America. That doesn't mean we shouldn't still watch out for them, but let's not forget that both parents and children are still just humans.

Edited by Murphy101
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It's nice that you have that option.  Maybe if we can hire someone to watch all the kids in the water, we could cut drowning deaths down to nothing.  It would be especially great if that person had some kind of training, like a lifeguard.  How many per kid, maybe one for every two?

 

I am being sarcastic, but really, the point of supervised beaches is to increase safety, people go to the designated area to take advantage of that.  If we can't collectively afford that many lifeguards even there, why would we possibly think individual parents can afford to hire enough helpers?

 

What it means is, people don't go to the beach with their kids, or the pool, if they have infants, if they have multiple kids, if they can't go in the water. 

 

Also - look at those numbers.  As a result of all these measures, we've gone from about 2 preventable drowning deaths in Canada, per year - that is over the whole country -  to about 1.5.  Kids were not drowning willy-nilly at beaches, and they aren't now.

 

Is the idea that we should have more and more restrictions until we bring it down to 0?  Is that a reasonable bar to set?  How many kids are killed in accidents driving to swimming locations?

 

Although I don't trust it.  Lifeguards and eyes are great, but nope, I still watch my kids like a hawk.  I also get in the water with them. 

 

I think encouraging swimming lessons is good too.  Although full disclosure, my kids cannot swim.  I have had them in lessons, but they didn't manage to learn. But you figure the pool around here is open for 6 weeks in the year.  There aren't many opportunities. 

 

I can't tell you how many very young kids end up in the pool here unattended by a parent.  So then I feel like I have to watch them because I would just die to know something happened and I was right there.  I once pulled a little kid to shallower water.  He just wondered into the deep end.  No parent around. 

Edited by SparklyUnicorn
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Also - look at those numbers.  As a result of all these measures, we've gone from about 2 preventable drowning deaths in Canada, per year - that is over the whole country -  to about 1.5.  Kids were not drowning willy-nilly at beaches, and they aren't now.

 

That's per 100,00 - it's not the total number. The total number has gone from 624-478 drownings per year. 

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I'm trying really hard to understand why this thread exists. The kind of people who would ever heed this "PSA" already know to watch out for their children. The kind of people who really need this message either don't understand what being a parent entails or just don't care. All this headline (and thread title) ends up doing is shaming parents who are already devastated by tragedy.

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Yeah, I don't understand the point.  It's wrong to leave your kids with a nanny?

 

I don't know why the nanny went to sleep and why the kid was able to get to the balcony.  In my family, most kids learn to climb out of their beds by 15mo and some wee tots have been known to take a walk outside in the hours when the rest of the family is asleep.  One never knows which day their kid is going to figure out how to escape.  And, sleeping is not child neglect.  Maybe in this case the nanny is at fault (like maybe she passed out drunk with the kid running around the apartment), but even then, how is it the fault of the parents?  I mean, hey, they hired a nanny.  There are many people in less-developed countries who leave their wee kids home alone (sometimes tied into their cribs) because they can't afford child care while they work.  One would think hiring a nanny would be a fairly responsible choice.

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Well thank god someone posted this. I was going to send my eight-year-old into town with the car to buy an eightball of coke, but after seeing this thread I've reconsidered.  :001_rolleyes:

 

Seriously, though. The parents on a homeshooling forum are not the ones who need a PSA about not being negligent parents, and the aforementioned story sounds like a horrible accident. Things happen, even when a kid has the best possible parents. And we're all human.

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My first thought is, "did the hotel have locks on the door to the balcony??" I have a tall 18 month old. She can open the door to our mudroom if it's not locked. I'm not sure if she was opening it at 15 months, but I could imagine it being possible that a child that age might be reaching for doors.

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I don't know - I know what drowning looks like, and what the risks are, and I generally hate these kinds of rules. Here, at the beaches, it recently became kids under 8, parent must have feet in the water if the child is in the water. (Previously there was no rule about this at all, normally parents watched from the beach while kids paddled or swam or waded, the lifeguards watched within the swimming area. Same for pools until recently.)

 

Oh, and they don't really want the lifeguards to save drowning kids at the beach, because that is the job of the parent.

 

If I am at the beach in the summer, I usually have at least a few kids that I must be in the water for, and sometimes I have three, plus a baby. Not only would it be impossible for me to really be within arms reach of all of them unless I made them stand next to me, one is probably in the water at all times - I'd spend all the day standing in the water, holding a baby.

 

Soooo - no beach for us. Or, an unsupervised one.

 

Somehow I do not see either of those things as better scenarios.

 

And something else - kids drowning at the supervised beach was not a common thing before this rule was in place, it was darned rare. Which suggests to me it wasn't a decision based on the numbers. I've lived here my whole life, and I have only ever head of this happening with kids outside the swimming area, and that not often.

My husband was a lifeguard. He will no longer take our kids to the pool as a family because he cannot adequately supervise them and doesn't have faith in life guards, ironically. Things happen too fast, he says.

 

Just last year a little girl drowned, the daughter of a daycare owner. They took a group of children swimming. They didn't realize she had slipped under the water until they did a head count and it was a local lake so the water was not clear. Tragic. No one's fault, however, a group of young children is hard for fewer adults to continuously be on guard and aware of each individual.

 

Different scenario:

Recently our almost two year old has learned to open our exterior doors but he knew he could do it before we knew he could do it. That's an accident waiting to happen.

 

We have stairs. Accident.

 

There is a lot of truth in that parents, good parents, and caregivers are distracted like never before.

 

There's also truth in that we are a blaming society because it makes us feel warm and snuggly that "x" could never happen to *my* child.

Edited by BlsdMama
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My husband was a lifeguard. He will no longer take our kids to the pool as a family because he cannot adequately supervise them and doesn't have faith in life guards, ironically. Things happen too fast, he says.

 

Just last year a little girl drowned, the daughter of a daycare owner. They took a group of children swimming. They didn't realize she had slipped under the water until they did a head count and it was a local lake so the water was not clear. Tragic. No one's fault, however, a group of young children is hard for fewer adults to continuously be on guard and aware of each individual.

 

Different scenario:

Recently our almost two year old has learned to open our exterior doors but he knew he could do it before we knew he could do it. That's an accident waiting to happen.

 

We have stairs. Accident.

 

There is a lot of truth in that parents, good parents, and caregivers are distracted like never before.

 

There's also truth in that we are a blaming society because it makes us feel warm and snuggly that "x" could never happen to *my* child.

 

Well this makes me feel a little less crazy sounding since so far I've refused to go to the pool with the kids without dh. They are young and cannot swim yet. I told one or two people that I was waiting for dh to take them and they both made comments about life vests and such as if that was the solution. Sorry, not relying that much on a life jacket. A mom with a child close to dd's age told me that the infant life jacket she bought (one I was considering as I figured it would probably be helpful even with me holding her) would float but the kid would start to sink because it wasn't a snug enough fit. The pool I have access to does not have life guards but even if they did I just don't want to add pressure to a situation.

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I'm not sure what PSA stands for? Anyway, I'm not one to read into things... I honestly don't see what the huge deal is about the title of this thread and the contents of the article. Yes, I know about most of the safety measures listed in the article, but it doesn't offend me that it was written, and I can always use a reminder. My 20 month old ran towards the electric stairs at the book store yesterday (we were on the second floor). Not sure what his intentions were? Maybe he just wanted to throw downstairs a train he was holding. It happened so fast! One second he was by my foot, the next second I was chasing him to stop him (and he can run faster than I ever thought). For me this article/thread is just a good reminder. My heart hurts for the parents, the nanny and everyone involved. Another tragic accident :(

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That's per 100,00 - it's not the total number. The total number has gone from 624-478 drownings per year. 

 

Ah, that is a lot more.

 

However, I am still not convinced that it is really better for people not to go to the beach or pool.

 

I am not particularly suggesting that parents shouldn't watch their little kids, I think they should.

 

In fact, I think it would be great if all the parents around keep an eye on all of the kids, and especially anyone who happens to be in the water with them.

 

I keep seeing articles about how fewer Canadians can swim now, for various reasons, and programs to let these people and kids at least learn water safety.  My kids are enrolled in free swimming lessons at the lake in the summer, that sort of thing is part of an effort to get people more active.  Luckily, so far, they seem to ignore siblings wading while others are having the lessons, or it would be impossible. 

 

So what are parents doing with their kids instead?  A heck of a lot seem to be home watching video games.  Because that is low risk for an accident.  (THough interestingly, the beach where the lifeguards are least likely to enforce this here is the one that is most mixed income, that is, where a lot of the kids are poor, and the families are a little larger.)

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I'm not sure what PSA stands for? Anyway, I'm not one to read into things... I honestly don't see what the huge deal is about the title of this thread and the contents of the article. Yes, I know about most of the safety measures listed in the article, but it doesn't offend me that it was written, and I can always use a reminder. My 20 month old ran towards the electric stairs at the book store yesterday (we were on the second floor). Not sure what his intentions were? Maybe he just wanted to throw downstairs a train he was holding. It happened so fast! One second he was by my foot, the next second I was chasing him to stop him (and he can run faster than I ever thought). For me this article/thread is just a good reminder. My heart hurts for the parents, the nanny and everyone involved. Another tragic accident :(

 

It sets up unrealistic expectations for parents, and turns accidents, life, into something that is someone's fault.

 

I had a friend a few years ago who was told by her social worker friend that a three-year old should never be out of arms reach. 

 

What doesn't often get asked are things like - how safe is safe enough?  What is a baseline of accidental incidents that we would see as to be expected taking a responsible level of precautions?

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I think we all have our thing where our own personal risk threshold is low.  For me, it was water, until my kids could swim well.  Unfortunately, we can't predict what foolishness our tots are going to get into.  Funny thing, my kids' only ER visit was after swimming - with me being right there with them at 3yo.  I told my kid to go put her shoes on and she somehow managed to fall over (on a flat floor with no obstacles) and break her head on a bench.

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So a drowning tragedy in Canada is in the news today with a 4 yo drowning in a grandparent's pool after he wandered off for 'just a minute'. 

Someone is even quoted in it as saying ""Everything happened so fast, I can't believe there's really anything that could have been done to prevent it."

 

Which is sadly completely false. This was a preventable drowning even if you take the supervision aspect out of it. 

-The pool didn't have an in water alarm. 

-The pool was not cleaned & had thick scum on it. The pool was essentially opaque. It was checked by police right away but they couldn't see the child was at the bottom. 

-The gate on the fence around the pool 'may' have been left open.

-The gate on the fence was not alarmed. 

 

 

There were several points of failure here. We can't pretend that nothing could be done. Things can be done & when they're done, they will help prevent future senseless deaths. 

This stuff makes me so angry. 


 

Edited by hornblower
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So a drowning tragedy in Canada is in the news today with a 4 yo drowning in a grandparent's pool after he wandered off for 'just a minute'. 

 

Someone is even quoted in it as saying ""Everything happened so fast, I can't believe there's really anything that could have been done to prevent it."

 

Which is sadly completely false. This was a preventable drowning even if you take the supervision aspect out of it. 

 

-The pool didn't have an in water alarm. 

 

-The pool was not cleaned & had thick scum on it. The pool was essentially opaque. It was checked by police right away but they couldn't see the child was at the bottom. 

 

-The gate on the fence around the pool 'may' have been left open.

 

-The gate on the fence was not alarmed. 

 

 

There were several points of failure here. We can't pretend that nothing could be done. Things can be done & when they're done, they will help prevent future senseless deaths. 

 

This stuff makes me so angry. 

 

 

 

Home pools seem to be particularly dangerous, and no, I don't think it is useful to say that nothing could be done.  In fact, they pretty clearly weren't following the most basic kinds of recommendations.  Probably there will always be some people like that - ones that don't put up a fence even though it is the law, that sort of thing.  Often it isn't really because they don't know they are supposed to.

 

That's a little different than the hyper-vigilance culture which often seems to come out of fear of liability as much as anything else - the two become very entwined.  And it also has significant consequences when it no longer becomes acceptable for kids to walk to school alone, or schools cancel recess, or parents can't leave a baby in a pram outside the door to sleep.

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I was wondering about the nanny: how much sleep had she had?  Had she been up all night and then left in charge of the child?  Of course that can happen whether the carer is employed or not, but I've seen a lot of nannies left to care 24 hours a day.

 

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I was wondering about the nanny: how much sleep had she had?  Had she been up all night and then left in charge of the child?  Of course that can happen whether the carer is employed or not, but I've seen a lot of nannies left to care 24 hours a day.

 

I know I've fallen asleep before, sitting up in a chair in the day, with kids being active around me.  It would be easy for any tired person to do it with a quiet toddler in the evening.

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I think a "heads-up" is just that, a heads-up,  not a shaming tactic or passive-agressive form of judgement. 

 

For example, this morning I read a headline out of Houston -- a 3 yr old boy, died in a hot car. I read the article -- this wasn't a case of a parent who forgot the child, this was a child who escaped the house, went outside, climbed into the unlocked car (presumably looking for a toy), got trapped in the back seat because of child safety locks (can't open the rear door from inside the car), and being a 3  yr old either didn't or couldn't climb into the front seat (or perhaps the front doors were locked and he couldn't figure that out either), and in the span of 45 minutes inside the car, the heat was sufficient to kill him. 

 

Horrible, horrible accident. Absolutely not blaming the parents, at all. 

 

But, is it truly a judgement for me to then post on my FB "friends, please, consider this another reason to keep your car doors locked even when at home, so this doesn't happen to you..."?  My neighborhood is FULL of little toddlers that play outside a lot, sometimes without parents. This is the kind of accident that I could see happening, easily, in our  neighborhood. Wouldn't it be ....maybe not negligent, but something similar.... of me to NOT share this with my neighbors?

 

This is not an aspect of "lock your car doors" that I, personally, have ever thought of. Maybe my neighbors haven't, either. And yet the article stated that a full 30% of hot-car deaths are due to this scenario. Thirty percent. That's a lot. And living where we live, and the short amount of time involved with our level of  heat.....I don't see offering up a general "hey, parents, be aware that this can happen" as a form of judgement on those to whom it did happen. 

 

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If leaving your child with a trusted care giver is negligent, then the state better just take kids away at birth.

 

Sheesh.

Seriously.

 

And if parents must become 24/7 helicopter non-sleeping, never doing anything but body guard work in order to NOT be indicted by the legal system or court of public opinion, then we should just teach the next generation not to procreate so we don't have to spike city water supplies and wells with zoloft in order to calm the exponential anxiety created by the stress, hysteria, and sleep deprivation.

 

I weep for my daughter trying to navigate this culture with a baby. She is such a good mom, but the mommy wars and guilt trips of society are already so intense she says she will never have another child.

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I tell ya, I think oldest DD was almost 3 when we took her to a local state park and had her in a creek that was up to our calves.  She was between us.  She lost her footing and slipped and she was so little that she panicked and didn't just stand up and regain her footing.  The only thing you saw was her little pigtails.  Things happen SO fast.

 

DH worries about water and kids.  

My thing is little kids playing in the yard with drivers.  I remember reading a post long ago on an email group where the oldest teen son had run over one of his siblings and that is my absolute nightmare situation. :(  I picked up that book (1000 Gifts) a few years ago and after reading how her sister died I put it down and never touched it again until I gave it away.  That is just such a horror to me.

 

 

I think the difference we're talking about here is PROACTIVE vs. REACTIVE.

 

Proactive says, "Parents, you love your kids so much, do these things, check these things, be aware of these things."

Reactive says, "Look at this poor example of these parents.  See how it ended for them?  Don't be them."

 

There simply IS a difference between teaching and kicking the horse when it's down.  And there is such a thing as self-righteousness when we believe it can't happen to us because we're so much better (vigilant, careful, protective, etc.) that it causes us to lose reasonable compassion and understanding.

 

For heaven's sakes, these people buried their baby.  I'm sure they've run through every scenario of how to go back and get a redo one thousand times in their minds.  Must we really add to the torment?

 

I'll also add on a different tangent, life is different after you've watched one of your children die.  We all "know" (hypothetically) that our children can die.  But once you've seen it happen and you KNOW it really can happen, that very vague fear becomes so tangible.  It's really hard to not swing the other way and be so protective that your kids live in a bubble.

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I tell ya, I think oldest DD was almost 3 when we took her to a local state park and had her in a creek that was up to our calves.  She was between us.  She lost her footing and slipped and she was so little that she panicked and didn't just stand up and regain her footing.  The only thing you saw was her little pigtails.  Things happen SO fast.

 

DH worries about water and kids.  

My thing is little kids playing in the yard with drivers.  I remember reading a post long ago on an email group where the oldest teen son had run over one of his siblings and that is my absolute nightmare situation. :(  I picked up that book (1000 Gifts) a few years ago and after reading how her sister died I put it down and never touched it again until I gave it away.  That is just such a horror to me.

 

 

I think the difference we're talking about here is PROACTIVE vs. REACTIVE.

 

Proactive says, "Parents, you love your kids so much, do these things, check these things, be aware of these things."

Reactive says, "Look at this poor example of these parents.  See how it ended for them?  Don't be them."

 

There simply IS a difference between teaching and kicking the horse when it's down.  And there is such a thing as self-righteousness when we believe it can't happen to us because we're so much better (vigilant, careful, protective, etc.) that it causes us to lose reasonable compassion and understanding.

 

For heaven's sakes, these people buried their baby.  I'm sure they've run through every scenario of how to go back and get a redo one thousand times in their minds.  Must we really add to the torment?

 

I'll also add on a different tangent, life is different after you've watched one of your children die.  We all "know" (hypothetically) that our children can die.  But once you've seen it happen and you KNOW it really can happen, that very vague fear becomes so tangible.  It's really hard to not swing the other way and be so protective that your kids live in a bubble.

 

This is all well and good, but (honestly asking this, not snarky/sarcastic) what is an acceptable length of time after....? 

 

I honestly have NEVER thought of an unlocked car, in my driveway, being a potential hazard to a toddler. Now, my kids are well past that age, and I doubt my neighbors toddlers would climb into my car, and I keep my cars locked anyway. But, there are a LOT of toddlers on my street, I live on a cul-de-sac, and because I am only just now aware of this potential danger, having read of it happening to someone else, I would honestly like to share with my neighbors. 

 

How can I do that in a way that doesn't "add to the torment" of the parents to whom the tragedy happened? If I do so without referencing/linking the article? 

 

Should I avoid mentioning this to my neighbors because it falls under the "reactionary" and therefore offensive/tormenting category? 

 

I just think there's a difference between actual shaming (people who posted about the gorilla incident with "how could they let this happen? those terrible parents!") vs imagined shaming (people who posted things like "parents, good reminder to be super vigilant at the zoo, because accidents can happen, kids can wander away, and the zoo fences might not be as secure as you think"). Are those two posts/statements really equal in terms of parent shaming/adding torment? 

 

Even Lanny's post -- maybe because I know him off-board, but I don't see him posting this from a place of judgement. I see him posting this from a "hey, I read this article, it brought up some good points, maybe double check balcony doors because the railings might not be good" kind of a place, even though he didn't really offer any commentary himself. And yet, he didn't offer any commentary other than "I read this article, it's a good reminder we need to be cautious..." -- and yet he's being blasted for being judgy, parent shaming, unhelpful, harmful to the situation/environment/attitude towards parents, etc. For saying nothing other than "parents, I read this, and it reminded me, we can never be too cautious." 

 

So in all sincerity -- how careful are we to be, not with our children, but with our words? I get the proactive/reactive scenario you mention; that's a good gauge. But if I've never thought of a particular scenario, until I read about it, is it really not okay to mention in any form? That seems extreme to me; surely there's a way to discuss potential dangers w/o being accused of being shaming. 

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I tell ya, I think oldest DD was almost 3 when we took her to a local state park and had her in a creek that was up to our calves.  She was between us.  She lost her footing and slipped and she was so little that she panicked and didn't just stand up and regain her footing.  The only thing you saw was her little pigtails.  Things happen SO fast.

 

DH worries about water and kids.  

My thing is little kids playing in the yard with drivers.  I remember reading a post long ago on an email group where the oldest teen son had run over one of his siblings and that is my absolute nightmare situation. :(  I picked up that book (1000 Gifts) a few years ago and after reading how her sister died I put it down and never touched it again until I gave it away.  That is just such a horror to me.

 

 

I think the difference we're talking about here is PROACTIVE vs. REACTIVE.

 

Proactive says, "Parents, you love your kids so much, do these things, check these things, be aware of these things."

Reactive says, "Look at this poor example of these parents.  See how it ended for them?  Don't be them."

 

There simply IS a difference between teaching and kicking the horse when it's down.  And there is such a thing as self-righteousness when we believe it can't happen to us because we're so much better (vigilant, careful, protective, etc.) that it causes us to lose reasonable compassion and understanding.

 

For heaven's sakes, these people buried their baby.  I'm sure they've run through every scenario of how to go back and get a redo one thousand times in their minds.  Must we really add to the torment?

 

I'll also add on a different tangent, life is different after you've watched one of your children die.  We all "know" (hypothetically) that our children can die.  But once you've seen it happen and you KNOW it really can happen, that very vague fear becomes so tangible.  It's really hard to not swing the other way and be so protective that your kids live in a bubble.

 

The reactive part is nasty, but I think the proactive part is a problem too.  How many things do you need to check, do and be aware of, before you can be at ease?  How much can anyone really control?

 

FairthManor's comment about her daughter not wanting more kids because she is anxious is not the first time I have heard people say that - they love their kid but the stress and worry is so much they won't have another.

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This is all well and good, but (honestly asking this, not snarky/sarcastic) what is an acceptable length of time after....? 

 

I honestly have NEVER thought of an unlocked car, in my driveway, being a potential hazard to a toddler. Now, my kids are well past that age, and I doubt my neighbors toddlers would climb into my car, and I keep my cars locked anyway. But, there are a LOT of toddlers on my street, I live on a cul-de-sac, and because I am only just now aware of this potential danger, having read of it happening to someone else, I would honestly like to share with my neighbors. 

 

How can I do that in a way that doesn't "add to the torment" of the parents to whom the tragedy happened? If I do so without referencing/linking the article? 

 

Should I avoid mentioning this to my neighbors because it falls under the "reactionary" and therefore offensive/tormenting category? 

 

I just think there's a difference between actual shaming (people who posted about the gorilla incident with "how could they let this happen? those terrible parents!") vs imagined shaming (people who posted things like "parents, good reminder to be super vigilant at the zoo, because accidents can happen, kids can wander away, and the zoo fences might not be as secure as you think"). Are those two posts/statements really equal in terms of parent shaming/adding torment? 

 

Even Lanny's post -- maybe because I know him off-board, but I don't see him posting this from a place of judgement. I see him posting this from a "hey, I read this article, it brought up some good points, maybe double check balcony doors because the railings might not be good" kind of a place, even though he didn't really offer any commentary himself. And yet, he didn't offer any commentary other than "I read this article, it's a good reminder we need to be cautious..." -- and yet he's being blasted for being judgy, parent shaming, unhelpful, harmful to the situation/environment/attitude towards parents, etc. For saying nothing other than "parents, I read this, and it reminded me, we can never be too cautious." 

 

So in all sincerity -- how careful are we to be, not with our children, but with our words? I get the proactive/reactive scenario you mention; that's a good gauge. But if I've never thought of a particular scenario, until I read about it, is it really not okay to mention in any form? That seems extreme to me; surely there's a way to discuss potential dangers w/o being accused of being shaming. 

 

When you blast people with dire warnings that has a very slim chance of happening, I mean, goodness.  Aren't parents under enough stress?  Do they not get the safety talks and "nice reminders" from everyone about every possible thing their child could do?  Don't give them fluoride toothpaste, fluoride is bad for them.  Don't give them HFCS, it can give them chronic health problems.  Don't leave a child in a crib, they may stop breathing and you won't know.  Don't put them in your bed, they will suffocate. Don't let your child play in a bounce house, it can fly away in a strong wind and kill him/her. Don't let your child have an MRI - one died because an oxygen tank hit him in the head during the procedure. Don't let your child play on the monkey bars - a  child became wedged and died that way.  Don't let your child on the escalator, a child died that way.

 

 

Sincerely, your wording suggests that it's nothing more than fear p*rn, something else to freak parents out and make them try to keep up with.  Accidents happen, it's why they are called accidents.  If you simply acknowledge the loss without judging either the parents it happened to or the parents in your neighborhood, you give compassion where it is needed and allow the parents on your Facebook feed to read for themselves and assess the danger instead of trying to tell them how to parent.

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Well what rubs me the wrong way is the wording - "watch your young children and try to avoid accidents" - as if we need someone to tell us this.  That's called parenting when a toddler is concerned.  "Parent your child" is pretty snarky.

 

It would be more meaningful to say, e.g., "check your balconies to make sure there are no gaps big enough for your child to slip through, and no way for him to climb over the railing.  Consider child-safe locks on doors until the child is old enough to be responsible.  Remember young toddlers can turn into escape artists when you least expect it."

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This is all well and good, but (honestly asking this, not snarky/sarcastic) what is an acceptable length of time after....? 

 

 

 

How can I do that in a way that doesn't "add to the torment" of the parents to whom the tragedy happened? If I do so without referencing/linking the article? 

 

Should I avoid mentioning this to my neighbors because it falls under the "reactionary" and therefore offensive/tormenting category? 

 

 

 

In my mind, I see the line being the difference between saying, "Hey, I don't know if you know, but wow, cars get hot and don't leave your kiddos in them.  They aren't safe even for five minutes," verses, "Did  you hear about Sue?  Oh my gosh - she left her three year old in the car and he baked to death.  Can you imagine doing that as a parent?  Ugh."

 

One is definitely blaming.

The other is proactive - no matter how it is RECEIVED.  If someone receives information, then turns it about to translate it to, "So and so thinks I'm an awful parent" that is a LOT of the problem here.  (In a me centered culture each person tends to absorb the information in that they MUST be talking about ME.)  So I think you have a very relevant point in that everyone is SO easily insulted these days - they are very easily offended.  That cannot be helped.  But I do think we do a lot of pig-piling - so and so did this, they are terrible parents.

 

I was FLOORED when I realized people were blaming the parents of the little boy attacked by the alligator.  Maybe Georgina from Florida could foresee an alligator being toe deep in a Disney man made lake but Kelly from the Midwest sure wouldn't have seen the threat there.  I think the difference between a sign saying, "Alligators may lurk in these waters," is totally different than, "Look at the Grave parents.  They didn't protect their kid.  Don't let your kid become like yours."  The difference exists and while the first might insult someone, (What do they think I am - an idiot?) the second is condemning after a tragic accident and I think tortures parents with a tragic loss.  KWIM?

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When you blast people with dire warnings that has a very slim chance of happening, I mean, goodness.  Aren't parents under enough stress?  Do they not get the safety talks and "nice reminders" from everyone about every possible thing their child could do?  Don't give them fluoride toothpaste, fluoride is bad for them.  Don't give them HFCS, it can give them chronic health problems.  Don't leave a child in a crib, they may stop breathing and you won't know.  Don't put them in your bed, they will suffocate. Don't let your child play in a bounce house, it can fly away in a strong wind and kill him/her. Don't let your child have an MRI - one died because an oxygen tank hit him in the head during the procedure. Don't let your child play on the monkey bars - a  child became wedged and died that way.  Don't let your child on the escalator, a child died that way.

 

 

Sincerely, your wording suggests that it's nothing more than fear p*rn, something else to freak parents out and make them try to keep up with.  Accidents happen, it's why they are called accidents.  If you simply acknowledge the loss without judging either the parents it happened to or the parents in your neighborhood, you give compassion where it is needed and allow the parents on your Facebook feed to read for themselves and assess the danger instead of trying to tell them how to parent.

 

Fear p-rn is definitely not  my intent, nor "trying to tell (my neighbors) how to parent." But Lanny did basically what you are saying, post the article with no commentary (he did give a heads-up, since the article was in Spanish, but really he offered no more than a translation of what the article states) and yet....here we all are, lambasting him for exactly that, shaming, judging, fear-p-rning, etc. 

 

My intent would be simply to mention it, because if a month from now the news is coming from my cul-de-sac, and I had said nothing, I would feel absolutely, unforgivably awful. 

 

But perhaps you're right, perhaps "This is so sad! My heart goes out to this family!" and a link is the only acceptable form of posting these days.

 

Which makes me a little sad in a whole different way....it grieves me that even a well meaning post can (and usually does) turn into a perceived attack, judgement, shaming, tormenting thing when no ill intent was ever there. It saddens me that it's now more acceptable to tell one another how to speak, write, type, post because of the "risk" of offending someone, but it's not okay to alert other parents to dangers with real risks that they might not have thought of, because that's interfering with their right to parent blissfully unaware of what might happen (because it likely never will). 

 

Yes, I know I asked and I accept the answer, but Lanny was simply sharing an article. With pretty much no commentary. And he's being blasted for it. No, I don't think you are blasting me -- you answered my question, and I'm grateful. Truly. But the answer makes me sad; society seems very upside down and topsy-turvy to me these days. 

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In my mind, I see the line being the difference between saying, "Hey, I don't know if you know, but wow, cars get hot and don't leave your kiddos in them.  They aren't safe even for five minutes," verses, "Did  you hear about Sue?  Oh my gosh - she left her three year old in the car and he baked to death.  Can you imagine doing that as a parent?  Ugh."

 

One is definitely blaming.

The other is proactive - no matter how it is RECEIVED.  If someone receives information, then turns it about to translate it to, "So and so thinks I'm an awful parent" that is a LOT of the problem here.  (In a me centered culture each person tends to absorb the information in that they MUST be talking about ME.)  So I think you have a very relevant point in that everyone is SO easily insulted these days - they are very easily offended.  That cannot be helped.  But I do think we do a lot of pig-piling - so and so did this, they are terrible parents.

 

I was FLOORED when I realized people were blaming the parents of the little boy attacked by the alligator.  Maybe Georgina from Florida could foresee an alligator being toe deep in a Disney man made lake but Kelly from the Midwest sure wouldn't have seen the threat there.  I think the difference between a sign saying, "Alligators may lurk in these waters," is totally different than, "Look at the Grave parents.  They didn't protect their kid.  Don't let your kid become like yours."  The difference exists and while the first might insult someone, (What do they think I am - an idiot?) the second is condemning after a tragic accident and I think tortures parents with a tragic loss.  KWIM?

 

That makes a lot of sense, yes. Thank you. 

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The 30% of kids who die in hot cars because they climbed into said cars - that's something worth pointing out because it's not actually a parenting *choice.*  For that matter, neither is forgetting your kid is there in a rear-facing seat behind you.  If I consciously leave my kid in a car for a short time period, I consider the factors that make it safe or dangerous, and I am continuously aware that my kid is in that car.  My kid is not going to die from being consciously left in a car, because I'm aware.  I have don a ton of research on this; statistically it s safer for a kid to be in a car than in a parking lot, but of course individual outcomes depend on the facts of which a parent is (usually) aware.

 

The PSA comes in where you might not realize your kid is in the car.  "Leave your computer bag back there with your baby so you can't forget."  "Lock your car doors since dozens of kids climb into cars and die each year."  (It might not even be *your* kid who climbs into your car.)

 

When a young child runs off, the advice I've read is to first look in any nearby pool, and second in any nearby car.  It's that big of a deal. (Check the trunk too. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/25/nyregion/3-camden-boys-found-dead-in-trunk-of-car-in-yard.html?_r=0)  Yes, I think that is worth a PSA.  Experience shows that many people would not think of that on their own, in time to save the child.

 

But this is something we should tell people under normal circumstances.  No point waiting until after a tragedy occurs.

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I'm a little thin-skinned today.  Yesterday I took my 6(!!)yo to the very busy grocery store.  He knows the rules.  He knows to stay with me.  I dressed him in neon because we were in a park before that and it's so much easier to keep him in sight.  I did everything I could short of putting a leash on the child.  He decided he was "big" and walked around the corner of the florist area (near the open door) before I could stop him.  And then he disappeared.  He didn't come back to my side, he didn't come out the other side, and he wasn't in the 10ft of a walkway the florist blocked from view before the door.  Thankfully he had enough sense to find a worker and tell them he couldn't find me, but it was a full 20 minutes of panic.

 

We can try to do everything possible, but things happen. Life is not preventable.  Having a mega list of do's and don'ts is tough!  It's even worse when every person decides to add to it.  We cannot possibly prevent every accident that's going to happen.

I do not think it is sad to share a story with a simple, "my heart grieves for this family."  or when someone talks about their kid doing x, responding with a personal "how frustrating!  We had a similar problem and this is what we did."  I think it is a sad state of society when everyone is putting parenting under a microscope and villifying those who do it.

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