As most of you know I have a strong connection to the world of first responders. My sister is a paramedic, my father-in-law is a fire chief, and a long time ago I worked directly with firefighters from all across the state at my “big girl job”. I have heard the horror stories, I have seen the damage to families, and in recent weeks I have watched the tragedy unfold on TV.
So, I have headed to the professionals for their help, easing all those mom brains out there.
Here are tips on how you could protect your child from disaster and possibly save their life! None of these tips require you to spend any money!! They are just things that take seconds every day, completely worth it if it protects those sweet smiling faces!
**** I am not a professional safety expert, these are just tips from people who work in this career field. This is not professional advice, just tips from conversations with them.
All first responders: Stay, don’t run
We all have had those moments in the store when you turn your head to grab something off the shelf and in that spilt second your child is gone. Your heart leaps up in your chest, you can’t breathe!
Now nine times out of ten they are just hiding behind the cart or standing behind you with some kind of sugar treat in hand, however it’s the scariest ten seconds of the whole week.
The best tip is… teach your kids to stand still! Now of course as moms we want to laugh at this. And yes, this tip came from all men. We all know teaching a toddler to hold still at any point of the day is ironic. You have better luck seeing pigs fly. However, I get their point.
Most kids run when they can’t see their mom, they take off in the other direction. What they need to do is stay still and let the grow ups come to them.
Now, since my daughter is a toddler and I know better. She wears a ROAD ID, you can find them here for like $15. It’s just like the one I wear when I go for a run. She wears hers all the time, and never takes it off. She has my contact information on it, along with daddy’s, and grandpa’s phone number. So, if heaven forbid she does get lost, and since she is only three and has no idea what phone numbers are, someone can reach us ASAP.
It’s just an added piece of mind for me as we shop, because we all know toddlers.
Police: Take care of your RXs
Keep those pills off the streets and away from your kids. Chief of Police Scharf said that most government offices have a location within the building to drop off old prescriptions drugs. Just make it a habit every few months. The one our local fire department looks like a big mail box, you just open the hatch and drop the medication down.
Chief Scharf warns against just flushing it. Since it can have major effects on our environment.
No matter your kids age, how scary is it to have medication laying around? You never want your kids to get into it at any age. Plus, you don’t want to be responsible if your child’s friend “borrows” it.
Firefighters: The Scare Factor
Fireman can look scary. Now when a firefighter told me this tip I have to tell you I rolled by eyes, I mean come on. I thought especially in our family that it would not be an issue! The toddler has been around firefighters a ton, like a massive amount her whole life. She has seen the gear, worn the gear, climbed the fire trucks, and everything.
However, out of the blue one morning I happened to ask her “what do you do if you see a firefighter?” Her reply stunned me! “Run and hide! They are scary mom! I go hide.” She said it so matter of fact, it threw me.
It just goes to show, you need to talk about it and show them. Over and over again! Explain the turn out gear, talking about why they wear it, and that they are there to help!
Let the kids see them firefighters in the gear! Fire stations hold open houses multiple times a year, or just call them. They are ALWAYS happy to show kids around. What I have found is these firefighters are just big kids at heart, they love to show off their shiny toys.
Car Seat Safety: Fleece it Up
As someone who has grown up in the Midwest her whole life, winter jackets are just a way of life. We tend to wear them nine months out of the year. However, winter jackets are a big NO NO when it comes to car seats safety. I know, enter eye roll here. However, please stay with me.
Whose big puffy jackets don’t allow you to get those seat buckles tight. If there was a crash, the child wouldn’t be tightly secured to the seat!
You want to have your kids wear jackets no thicker than a fleece jacket while in their car seat. How the heck do you do that in Midwest weather you may ask? Well, this is what I do. The toddler wears her fleece jacket under her normal winter jacket. Once at the car she slips it off and jumps into the car seat. I kind of tuck the jacket on top of her once she is buckled in. Now for the baby, I always have big thick baby blankets in the car. I just scoop him out of the car seat, fling the big blanket over him, and run (as fast as I can with two kids) inside. It may be a lot more work. However, I have seen the clips of how kids can slip out of their car seat with big jackets on and I have heard the horror stories first hand! Worth a few cold toes to ensure they are safe!!!
We have tons more tips coming from the professionals in part two and three!! Stay tuned!!