If you have children you probably try very hard to protect them, or at least I hope you do. You childproof your house, watch them as much as you can, and tend to their needs.
However, you are failing to notice some of the most hidden dangers that can strike your child, potentially killing them.
1. Shaken Baby Syndrome
Everyone knows you are not supposed to shake a baby. Even when your adorable bundle of joy is screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night, refusing to go to sleep after being changed, fed, burped, walked, glided, and flown. Even after you perform several headstands for his amusement. Yes, even then, the baby should not be shaken.
As you are tearing your hair out, quite ready to start screaming yourself, in the back of your head you know your baby is not supposed to be shaken, so you take a deep breath, walk away for a few minutes and collect yourself for your baby’s sake and then you kick your significant other out of bed, grumbling at them that it is their turn.
But wait, did you know that shaken baby syndrome does not only apply to babies, but also toddlers? And that they don’t have to be shaken all that vigorously for it to be fatal? The year mark does not signify you have bypassed the danger zone. In fact, because most people are unaware of this, it can actually become more of a danger as your screaming baby turns into a screaming kid.
Remember that time you were in the back yard roughhousing around, tossing your kid in the air as they squealed with joy, asking you to do it again and again until your back almost broke and you ended up in the ER looking like the hunchback of Notre Dame? You thought you were bonding and having a grand time. You were potentially accidently killing your child.
As your child was flying through the air, their brain was rattling around in their head, and the outcome could have been fatal if parts of the brain pulled away from each other and blood vessels broke. This is what shaken baby syndrome does. It causes inter-cranium bleeding, blood clots, and seizures. Luckily that did not happen this time, but now you know.
2. Teaching Your Kids How To Swim
What is the best way of preventing drowning accidents? Teaching your kids how to swim of course.
That mentality right there is why there are so many drowning accidents involving children aged one to fourteen. When parents think their children can swim, they become over confident in their child’s abilities, because of course your child is the best at everything he does and your little angel is the next Michael Phelps.
So what happens when your children are running around an unattended pool? You tend to pay less attention because you know your kids can swim. At least you thought they could swim.
3. Going Out Without Your Kids
We all know you should not leave your kids with just anyone. When you went out on your date night you screened your baby sitter, finger printed her and background checked her. You called her references and dug up everything you could on her on the internet. You drug checked her. And then you grilled her with further questions, just for good measure.
Or, she is the one you have been leaving with your children for a long time. She knows your kids, and they love her. You are comfortable with her in your home, and she is easy to get a hold of.
4. Third Hand Smoking
Children should not smoke. You also know you should not smoke around your children. It can cause all sorts of upper respiratory problems, and may also be a cause of SIDS. But did you know about third hand smoke? No, I am not referring to the three handed monster from some distant unpronounceable planet that comes to your house to smoke in front of your children while you are taking a shower.
Even if you only smoke on your lunch break at work, miles and miles away from your children, the chemicals that smoking has left in your hair and clothes can be just as bad as if you smoked in the same room with them.
Camping is a great way for a family to bond, take a mini vacation, and spend relatively little money. Unless you really know how to camp, in which case you go for broke. Literally.
You know not to leave your little one unattended by the fire, and to watch them when they approach the lake. You make sure they are all snug and comfy in their sleeping bags, and try not to drown them in bug repellent.
You heard the rumors about bears lurking around, but you thought that was just too far fetched. Well, you were wrong. Bears do attack small children on camping trips, especially when they are left with food. How else would you leave your child? A child without treats is like asking for a temper tantrum.
Of course you strap your kids into the latest and safest child seats when they are in the car. You probably even purchased all the fancy accessories that came with your overly priced car seat. When you are driving with your kids they are super safe.
But where are they when you are not driving with them? Every time you back out of your driveway and your children are not in the car with you, you are potentially murdering your children. And the neighbor’s kids too.
More children are killed by vehicles backing out of driveways than in car accidents. It is kind of how more people get into accidents within five miles of their house than anywhere else on their commute. There is a certain comfort level associated with your own driveway that allows you to lower your guard. And you thought you were just running out for a few things at the store.