Sunday, May 31, 2009

Reactive VS Proactive----Parents on the Edge

What is it that makes too many parents more reactive than proactive when it comes to child safety? Are we becoming too complacent in our present day lifestyle securities? As the news on a daily basis recounts the accidental death of children under five years old, I can't help but wonder; how can this be? Where were the parents of this child? What could they be doing that was more important than a child's safety? Of course, we all know that accidents happen and not all accidents can be avoided. But all too often the causes of these accidental deaths of very young children are all too often glaring 20/20 hindsight. Why do parents not spend a little extra time saying, "Let's do this" rather than saying, "Why didn't I.?"

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A crib baby whose crib is placed too close to a window blind tangles its head in the blind cord and is strangled. A four-year-old squeezes through the fifth story balcony railings of a prominent hotel and falls to his death. A grandmother sends her two-year-old grandson outside to play with his father and grandfather. She shouts out the back door that the baby is coming out, but doesn't realize no one heard. The baby was found an hour later in the bottom of the above ground swimming pool. A four-year-old girl playing around her parent's treadmill has strangled on the dangling treadmill cord. And now, more recently, a two-year-old girl has died after swallowing a tiny button' battery that has destroyed her esophagus. As heartbreaking and unpleasant as these statistics are to read and hear about, we all know that all of these deaths could have been prevented.

No matter how many times you purchase an article with warnings of KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN and bring it home; there is always the one time that the warning goes unnoticed, ignored, or maybe it isn't there at all, because it is something that no one thought could be a hazard-until it's too late. Most manufacturers, especially of children's toys try to think proactively-they have a lot to lose. Now it is time that parents begin to think proactively-they have even more to lose.

My love of children and babies has prompted me to ask-no plead, beg-parents and grandparents to please become proactive in your baby's safety. Look for the obvious safety hazards, and then look again and again for the not so obvious. Don't leave anything to chance. Know where your child is at all times and the very young should be within view or checked on more often than you think necessary. Nothing, absolutely nothing can replace a lost child!

Call me obsessive, but when SIDS became a household word, my babies slept between my husband and myself until they were well past the age of incidence. And we each took turns placing our hands on our babies back through out the night just to check for breathing. We now do the same with our grandbabies, when they spend the night. I'm sure DR. SPOCK' would roll over in his grave if he knew that I read his book thoroughly with my first baby, then tossed it in the trashcan and raised my children my way.

When a parent loses a baby, especially through accidental death, the devastation can be two-fold. A baby's death can put the parent or parents on the edge, or worse, over the edge. Then not only is the child lost but a spouse or parent of other siblings can be lost as well. Don't let your baby become a statistic, don't let your family suffer the unthinkable-become that Proactive Parent and be there for your children.

About the Author

Sandra E. Graham

Sandra graduated from Egypt High School in Egypt, Arkansas in 1965. Continuing her education by attending Eastfield College in Mesquite, Texas; Crowley’s Ridge Community College; Mississippi Community College; and finally back home to Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Visit her website at to see her newest publications. Sandra's books Amos Jakey and Nicolina are historical adventure books published by American Book publishing and may be purchased through, Amazon, Books in Print, Barnes and Noble, and Baker & Taylor. She also writes free book reviews for authors through Book Pleasures.

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