Editors Comments: One of our writers, Karen Sibal shared with us the following story. Having 2 young children of our own it was kinda scary and hard to read. It really made my husband and I think twice about our home and how safe it is for our kids, and what we can do to make our home more secure. Julie
Here is the child safety story that Karen shared with us:
It was a beautiful spring morning last Tuesday. What started out as a routine walk to the park with my daughter turned out to be somewhat of a life altering experience, one that I won’t forget for a while. As we approached the park, we saw two young children – a boy around 3 years old and a girl of about 2 – crossing the main road alone. They looked dazed and confused in their socks and pajamas, wandering about. Here’s the frightening part: there was no adult with them. In fact, there wasn’t a grown-up anywhere in sight.
The little girl, holding the boy’s hand, made it across the busy road and sat down by the curb. She had tears in her eyes. The boy looked back across the road, unsure if he should venture back. As we cautiously approached the children, they started to cry. I asked them their names and where their mommy or daddy could be found. All they could do is point to the row of homes across the street, unable to identify theirs. Just then, a woman darted out from one of the homes, hysterical but relieved and thankful to see her children sitting safely across the street.
Apparently, the kids opened the front door that was unlocked, and slipped out while the woman was upstairs on the phone. When she came down, she noticed the house was quiet. She assumed the kids were playing in the basement or in the backyard. It was only after a few minutes when she didn’t hear anything from them that the panic buttons went off.
We would all like to think our kids are safe at home. I learned a lot from this harrowing incident and started to reflect on my own shortcomings as a parent. Could I have been this mother, frantically looking for my daughter? It takes only a moment of neglect or inattention for something tragic to happen. As adults, we have a tremendous responsibility to ensure children are always supervised – and that all playing takes place within a safe and secure environment.
Recent statistics indicate that about 90% of household injuries to children are predictable and preventable.
Editors Comments: If you have not seen these articles already, check out Karens Child Safety Checklist and Home Child Safety Guidelines. If you are looking for more on child safety, two good books are "Safe Kids" by Vivian Kramer Fancher and "Baby Proofing Basics" by Vicki Lanski. Julie
Karen Sibal is a freelance writer, researcher and communications consultant. She is the owner of Sibal Writing and Consulting, a firm that specializes in public policy research and effective communications and web solutions for all types of organizations. Over the past 15 years, Karen has done work for local and provincial governments and several not-for-profit organizations. Karen has written extensively on children’s issues and has recently helped with launching an association for mothers and children in her community. She is a member of the Halton-Peel Communications Association and has also served as the managing editor of a government child welfare journal. Karen is currently authoring a children’s book series for preschool children and keeps busy with various community projects.
Karen lives with her husband and two girls, ages 2 and 8 years, in Oakville, Ontario Canada. For more information about Karen, please visit her web site at www.sibal.ca or call 416-580-9097.
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