Drawing a line for safety

Written by: Dev Gowda

It can be awkward to see moms in your play group or your in-laws engaging in unsafe child care practices or wanting to do something you don’t think is safe when your child is in their care. How should you handle this?

When it comes to safety—especially car safety or safe sleep—it is worth the risk of being impolite. Situations range from your parents pulling down an old crib from the attic to a helpful friend willing to take your child for a play date—but without a safety seat.

How can you stick to your safety practices without hurt feelings?

First, know the facts: babies sleep safest in a bare crib. Older cribs, recalled products or improvised sleep environments, such as a couch or stroller, create entrapment and suffocation hazards that have killed children. It is the law that children travel in car safety restraints; studies show that properly used car restraint systems save lives.

Remind your friend that while the likelihood of any one child being injured in these situations might seem small, all it takes is one night and a product failure for heartache to ensue.

Provide the portable crib, travel bassinet or car seat to make sure your child is safe. With today’s compact products, it is easy to bring one along.

Perhaps the stickier question is how you respond when you believe a friend’s child is sleeping or traveling unsafely. You can insist when it is your child, but you can only present information to others. As we learn more about safety, we can apply that knowledge to keep children safe.

Children face all kinds of risks in their lives—many we can’t control. But making sure infants and toddlers are safe while sleeping and while traveling is something we can do.

Chicago families share fantastic advice on how to navigate parenting in the city in our NPN Parent to Parent blog postsDownload the full NPN winter issue to read more! Did you receive your Parent to Parent copy at home?  If not, visit My Account and change your mailing preferences.

Posted on January 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM