If you have a child in your life, here are a few important things I want to make sure come to your attention. Please pass any or all of these reminders on to your loved ones.
**If you have or are expecting an infant...
I had heard this mentioned before but then forgot about it until I came across this post from Amanda in a blog:
$12 Well Spent
Before letting Genoa sleep in Alex's old crib, we decided to wrap the mattress. I will be really surprised if any of you know what I'm talking about because every person I've mentioned this to, including the pediatrician, looked at me like I was completely crazy. Apparently, there is some statistical evidence that mattress gases cause SIDS. That when you put your newborn on a used mattress, their sweat activates some process "generated by fungal activity on compounds of phosphorus, arsenic and/or antimony present in many baby mattresses."
There are many reasons I like this theory. If it's true, it explains A LOT about SIDS statistics. Second babies are more likely to succomb to SIDS; poverty correlates highly with SIDS; the US campaign to sleep babies on their backs has helped bring down our SIDS rates. All of these could easily be explained by the mattress gases theory.
New Zealand used to have the highest crib-death rates of any country in the world, but when they started a mattress-wrapping campaign, the death rate fell by 52%. More importantly, and most convincing in my mind, is that "there has been no reported crib death among those babies who have slept on correctly wrapped mattresses." Not one. Which was really all the proof I needed to run out to the hardware store, buy a roll of polyethylene sheeting (manufactured in the US by Warp's) and wrap the fricking mattress already. Of course we could've spent $30 and bought a brand-name polyethylene mattress cover from New Zealand, but this was cheaper.
Of course, since I love statistics, I understand that this could just be a big fat load of crap. It could just be selection effects - that the kind of people who are more likely to wrap their mattresses are the kind of people who are less likely for whatever reason to have a baby die from SIDS in the first place. But, for $12 (or 30 for that matter...)? I'd rather be safe than sorry.
For more info you can check
**I was meaning to post the other day about some of my favorite handy things to have around the house. Like my favorite Clorox bleach pen (I am no longer afraid to put white outfits on my kids or prints with white backgrounds... the bleach pen is a lifesaver!!!) and the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I bought some of the Magic Erasers before we moved while doing the deep clean of our townhouse and for scrubbing some of our stuff that had been in "storage" out on our back deck. It worked miracles, let me tell you! Just the other day Sawyer got a hold of a crayon and had pretty much covered one of the blond wood bookshelves in Savannah's bedroom. I whipped out my one remaining Eraser from the cleaning closet, and it wiped that crayon off like chalk on a blackboard. AMAZING!
Anyway, as much as I love my Eraser, one family (GO READ NOW) has an unfortunate reminder to pass on of how careful we need to be with any cleaning supplies. Please be aware that these Erasers and things are chemicals and CAN BURN your children. Please be sure your cleaning supplies and any dangerous chemicals are out of their reach... kids are so curious and quick!
**And finally; carseats.
When we moved out here, I was doing some research online for vehicle registration, state driver's licenses and such, and I came across some state regulations for child safety seats. We have a map with gov. info on it and it had said that our state only required children to be in child restraints until they were three years old. After three years they could ride in any position in the car. I hope that map is seriously outdated. According to this website, the age is now four years. But I still find that odd, because most of the surrounding states require children be in safety seats thru age 8 or 80 lbs.
Anyway, along those lines, here are a couple of links that were sent to me regarding the importance of having your children safely secured in your vehicle. This is heartbreaking, but please watch this and think about it.
I don't mean to add more fear to our lives... we already have enough to worry about with the responsibility of the well-being of our children. I know a few people who after watching these pictures, and reading this story would be worried sick about driving their kids anywhere. I saw these links this morning. And with these pictures in my mind, I did actually stop and think twice about bringing Savannah along with me on the 60 mile trek to the airport this afternoon. After all it has been said that "you are risking your child's life everytime you put them in a car." I don't mean at all to sound insensitive... there are countless families who have suffered tragic, senseless losses that I can't even begin to fathom. But accidents happen. You don't have to buy the most expensive car to be safe, or even the most expensive carseats. (they are plenty of great booster seats with five-point harnesses) Just do the best you can with what you have... be sure your seats are anchored if you have them, or that the seats are sinched in and the kids are buckled snugly. Kyle's story is certianly heartbreaking, but you cannot prevent accidents from happening. I have a friend who's child was thrown from the car in her carseat, and with what remained of the backseat of the car, they say that saved her life. I know that is not usually the case; most often kids survive auto accidents because they were SECURED in place. I'm just saying, do what you can to be safe and then know that your children are ultimately in the Lord's care. We have to trust Him with their well-being.
With all that being said, I believe that taking care of your kids -or being part of any child's life for that matter- definitely requires
*using your head
*being aware (which includes being aware of resources and using them)
*praying for our children
Please don't ever forget to regard your children as the blessing the are to this world.