Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson MAMA DOC
Prevention, Pediatrics, Technology & Innovation
May 27, 2011 9 Comments
Melissa Arca, M.D. says
May 27, 2011 at 7:23 am
Love it Seattle Mama Doc! Especially the music and getting down to baby’s level. We have that same red kitchen 🙂 And, you’re right…it’s really about baby proofing mom, dad, etc…
Wendy Sue Swanson, MD says
May 27, 2011 at 7:24 am
Thanks, Dr Arca! So if you have the same kitchen, tell me this: when you opened the box to start assembling it, did you have a near MI when you saw the number of screws? Goooooood grief. 323 screws later we had a kitchen. The boys do love it though, but lesson learned about looking for a used kitchen next time around. Have you bolted yours to the wall? Entirely tippy…thankfully, it came with a wall mount and instructions for doing so.
May 27, 2011 at 7:54 am
At our house, we choose to balance babyproofing the house with houseproofing the baby. Teaching our children that there are some things they simply may not touch is a valuable lesson. They learn to obey and trust mom and dad, and it is far simpler (and more relaxing!) to take a ‘house-proofed baby’ to visit grandma or the neighbor with far less worry. Much better option in our home…and our children (ages 22, 20, 19, 17, 6, and 6) are living proof that it works well. Even for the insanely curious. 🙂
May 27, 2011 at 9:32 am
I haven’t watched the video yet, but I agree that you need to babyproof the house. I asked on my blog about door locks the other day because my two year old can completely open our front door, deadbolt and all. I got some fairly nasty comments about how I should just teach her to obey me and leave the door alone. But I believe that it is very unsafe to expect a two year old to obey every single moment of the day and not walk into our busy street. (Also, our neighborhood had a small child get out last year while his mother was upstairs and he drowned in the lake before anyone found him.) Even the most well behaved children do not obey every second and the consequences for that lapse shouldn’t be life threatening. (And yes, we put a chain lock on our front door, out of her reach.)
May 27, 2011 at 8:38 am
Jessie, my mom and many others often use the same strategy as you mention. As a pediatrician, I take a different stance. The idea that trust and “no” can hold real value, even to a 2 year old is valid. I believe in the use of example and consistency with helping children understand “safe” from “unsafe.” I agree they can learn a great deal this way. But I contend and have been witness to the reality that the judgment of a 3 year old, or a 6 year old for that matter, may not prevent them from harm. And their compliance with “no” may not be 100%. Because of my experiences working in the ED, at Harborview and in clinic, and after seeing so many children with accidental injuries both life threatening and not, I think the home you live in should be entirely safety proofed, as well. 24/7 supervision is impractical. Injuries, drownings, and ingestions can happen in seconds. So although your incredible cohort (22,20,19,17,6, and 6) represent phenomenal success, I don’t think all children will have the same outcome. Yes, houseproofing the baby is a great layer of protection, but I feel not one that can replace babyproofing the house.
May 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm
Love this, mamadoc! especially the channeling the inner-baby… fortunately he does not care as much as I do about whether the floors have been swept! Question- what about heaters in the baby room… our son’s room happens to be above the garage and chilly! So we heat it in the winter (or in Seattle… like October-June)to keep it at 69. So far no injuries… but do you have advice on safe heaters or alternative ideas (besides sleeping in our bed). Thanks for the lovely video!
May 27, 2011 at 9:38 pm
I agree a bit with Jessie. We definitely baby proof our house for all the dangers but at the same time we don’t go to the extreme of removing every little book and knick knack. Instead we say no and move the child away. So we have kids who don’t tear all the books off the shelves and don’t rifle through all the cabinets where as our friends who removed all the extra furniture from the room and let their children run amok have kids that come over to my house and tear it to shreds. it has ruined a couple of friendships unfortunately. I am happy knowing that while I keep a very close eye on my kids for dangers when in someone else’s house I don’t have to hover and worry they are going to destroy everything in sight.
May 28, 2011 at 8:07 am
Wonderful! I teach a Childproofing 101/Home and Child Safety Class and I emphasize it’s about safety for the entire family, not just babies. So many parents thing “it” won’t happen to them. Ignorance is NOT bliss. Play is the work of children. We, as parents, cannot protect them from everything, but we can make their environment as safe as possible. I lost my daughter Meghan to a tragedy that four dollars and 15 minutes could have prevented. If only we’d secured her dresser to the wall, she’d be with us today. Instead, she died. Alone, under her dresser while we slept. As I tell parents all the time, the hole in your wall or furniture, the money and time it takes to childproof, can be fixed and regained. The life of my child, the hole in my heart, the guilt for not protecting her because of my own lack of awareness or belief that “it” could happen to us, that can never be fixed and I have to live with it every second of every day. My wish is that no parent have to know the pain I do. Thank you so much for speaking to this important and often overlooked aspect of keeping children safe in and around the home! It’s so much more than outlet plugs and cabinet locks. Peace to all.
Logan Martini says
June 6, 2012 at 10:09 am
PARENT’S…………… i need to know DESPERITELY how to make sure my baby doesnt sneak out the front door. plz help me thnks
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