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5 Ways to Protect Your Baby From Common Safety Hazards

5 Ways to Protect Your Baby From Common Safety Hazards

Becoming a parent surely is one of the absolute highlights of the human experience. Your world starts revolving around your newly-formed family and the happiness that you feel during this time of your life is immense.

Having this in mind, you certainly wouldn’t do anything to compromise this situation, so one of the main things to think about is the security and well-being of your newborn. Keeping your baby safe is a challenging job, no doubt about it.

There are many different child safety hazards, and most parents tend to overlook some potentially dangerous situations. Inside or outside of your home, you can never be too cautious. I am not trying to make you paranoid or fearful, just more aware of these harmful possibilities.

Don’t get too stressed about this; I assure you that peace of mind is possible and that your parenting ‘career’ will be even more joyful by taking care of the following hazards.

Here are a few potential dangers that you’ll face during the growth of your baby and simple, yet effective solutions for them.

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1. Choking and suffocation

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    Image Credit: Caitlin Regan, Flickr

    Many parents will put this hazard as one of the first that come to mind when the baby comes, so we simply had to address it. There are many occasions where your child can start choking, and many young moms are on alert from the day one. The small objects, feeding, sleeping, all can potentially interrupt the infant’s breathing and create an unpleasant situation.

    If possible, avoid any toys that might have small parts that can be detachable, or possible to get ripped out by the child. We’re talking eyes, buttons, gears, wheels, and screws.

    While feeding, try to be extra careful and put small portions into baby’s mouth. Provide a comfortable feeding position to your child, ideally rocked in a fine nursery glider chair. It will help you during feeding and sleepless nights. Develop a habit of using it, as it will benefit you greatly, especially if you’re breastfeeding.

    Sleeping – don’t put your baby to sleep on the stomach. Sudden infant death syndrome might occur if your child sleeps like this. Remember not to sleep with your child, no matter how cautious you think you are. Both the surface of your bed and your possible movements during sleep can harm the baby.

    2. Homes of friends who don’t have children

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      Image Credit: Josh Engroff, Flickr

      Being a new parent doesn’t mean that you are not going to socialize or visit your friends anymore. The chances are that some of your single or even married friends don’t have kids; you should know that their homes aren’t as baby-proof as yours. This means that your toddler’s safety might be compromised if you let them roam freely around this new environment.

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      So, what can you do to keep the baby secure so you can enjoy a chat and a cup of coffee with your friend carefree?

      Besides keeping your child near you all the time, the best solution is to set up a play yard because this will limit your baby’s moving space. To keep them entertained, throw in their favorite toys and some snacks in there. You can buy a foldable play yard and bring it along with you, or just leave it at your friend’s place if you visit there often.

      3. Crowded places

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        Image Credit: Quinn Dombrowski, Flickr

        Busy places like malls are always full of attractions and interesting stuff your toddler will most certainly like to explore. When they learn to walk, children enjoy discovering things; this is where they can get in trouble, injured, or lost. You don’t want to go through the stress having a lost child wandering the mall.

        To handle this situation without going bonkers, you can make small cards with information about the toddler yourself, and your cell phone number. Attach this card to the child’s clothing at a visible place, so if it gets lost anyone can contact you.

        Some moms go a step further and use harnesses which can draw some unwanted looks and judgment, but it is ok. Children can be quite active and full of energy so maintaining the constant supervision is sometimes hard. Opinions on this option are divided, and you can use it on your terms – if you think it’s good, use it. If not, don’t. Simple as that.

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        4. Transportation

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          Image Credit: Intel Free Press, Flickr

          For safe drives with your toddler, installing a baby car seat is a must. The problem happens when people set up the seat front-facing, which means turned towards the windshield. Why is this a mistake?

          Well, everyone should be aware that the small child’s spine and ligaments are still developing, and their heads are still large in proportion to their bodies which makes their stability low. A solution which can provide suitable support is to put the seat rear-facing.

          In a case of a car accident, research has shown that setting up the seat this way will reduce the chance of injuries up to five times, for children of two years or younger. Even when your kids grow older than two, it is still a good idea to keep them facing the back seat. Make sure that you learn more about car seat safety, and drive with a cool head afterward.

          One of the big problems in this area arises when the child learns to unbuckle the harness by itself. During this stage, you need to teach the child the basics of safety by either adding reward system or putting some educational cartoons for the child’s attention.

          5. Bathing

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            Image Credit: Dean Wissing, Flickr

            Did you know that infants can drown in the water two-inch deep? A lot of cases of drowning were reported in the past years, with not caring as the main reason for this horrific fact.

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            To avoid this, manufacturers came up with the idea to build and sell infant bath seats, which can help in the process, keeping the baby secured and unable to move. Unfortunately, these proved to be not so reliable, as the suction cups on the bottom tend to detach, trapping the baby underwater.

            The simplest solution is – never to leave your baby unattended, especially during bath time. The most common scenario that happens is that parent forgets something necessary for the baby’s bath time and thinks “I’ll just run to get that quick, nothing’s going to happen.

            Don’t do this. Be prepared in advance to prevent this scenario from happening. Have everything necessary for the baby bath near and ready before you start.

            Don’t forget to babyproof your tub with a rubber mat. When your infant is old enough to stand, never allow her to stand in the tub.

            Safety first

            Having a toddler can be stressful sometimes, yet it brings the biggest joy in a lifetime. We can never be too safe, but on the other hand, if we take care enough, our lives can be pretty great.

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            Dejan Kvrgic

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            Published on February 11, 2021

            3 Positive Discipline Strategies That Are Best For Your Child

            3 Positive Discipline Strategies That Are Best For Your Child

            I’m old enough to remember how the cane at school was used for punishment. My dad is old enough to think that banning corporal punishment in schools resulted in today’s poorly disciplined youth. With all of this as my early experiences, there was a time when I would have been better assigned to write about how to negatively discipline your child.

            What changed? Thankfully, my wife showed me different approaches for discipline that were very positive. Plus, I was open to learning.

            What has not changed is that kids are full of problems with impulses and emotions that flip from sad to happy, then angry in a moment. Though we’re not that different as adults with stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, and stimulants such as sugar and caffeine in our diets.

            Punishment as Discipline?

            What this means is that we usually take the easy path when a child misbehaves and punish them. Punishment may solve an isolated problem, but it’s not really teaching the kids anything useful in the long term.

            Probably it’s time for me to be clear about what I mean by punishment and discipline as these terms are often used interchangeably, but they are quite different.

            Discipline VS. Punishment

            Punishment is where we inflict pain or suffering on our child as a penalty. Discipline means to teach. They’re quite the opposite, but you’ll notice that teachers, parents, and coaches often confuse the two words.

            So, as parents, we have to have clear goals to teach our kids. It’s a long-term plan—using strategies that will have the longest-lasting impact on our kids are the best use of our time and energy.

            If you’re clear about what you want to achieve, then it becomes easier to find the best strategy. The better we are at responding when our kids misbehave or do not follow our guidance, the better the results are going to be.

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            3 Positive Discipline Strategies for Your Child

            Stay with me as I appreciate that a lot of people who read these blogs do not always have children with impulse control. We’ve had a lot of kids in our martial arts classes that were the complete opposite. They had concentration issues, hyperactive, and disruptive to the other children.

            The easy solution is to punish their parents by removing the kids from the class or punish the child with penalties such as time outs and burpees. Yes, it was tempting to do all of this, but one of our club values is that we pull you up rather than push you down.

            This means it’s a long-term gain to build trust and confidence, which is destroyed by constant punishments.

            Here are the discipline strategies we used to build trust and confidence with these hyperactive kids.

            1. Patience

            The first positive discipline strategy is to simply be patient. The more patient you are, the more likely you are to get results. Remember I said that we need to build trust and connection. You’ll get further with this goal using patience.

            As a coach, sometimes I was not the best person for this role, but we had other coaches in the club that could step in here. As a parent, you may not have this luxury, so it’s really important to recognize any improvements that you see and celebrate them.

            2. Redirection

            The second strategy we use is redirection. It’s important with a redirection to take “no” out of the equation. Choices are a great alternative.

            Imagine a scenario where you’re in a restaurant and your kid is wailing. The hard part here is getting your child to stop screaming long enough for you to build a connection. Most parents have calming strategies and if you practice them with your child, they are more likely to be effective.

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            In the first moment of calm, you can say “Your choice to scream and cry in public is not a good one. It would be best to say, Dad. What can I do to get ice-cream?” You can replace this with an appropriate option.

            The challenge with being calm and redirecting is that we need to be clear-minded, focused, and really engaged at the moment. If you’re on your phone, talking with friends or family, thinking about work or the bills, you’ll miss this opportunity to discipline in a way that has long-term benefits.

            3. Repair and Ground Rules

            The third positive discipline strategy is to repair and use ground rules. Once you’ve given the better option and it has been taken, you have a chance to repair this behavior to lessen its occurrence to better yet, prevent it from happening again. And by setting appropriate ground rules, you can make this a long-term win by helping your child improve their behavior.

            It’s these ground rules that help you correct the poor choices of your child and direct the behavior that you want to see.

            Consequences Versus Ultimatums

            When I was a child and being punished. My parents worked in a busy business for long hours, so their default was to go to ultimatums. “Do that again and you’re grounded for a week,” or “If I catch you doing X, you’ll go to bed without dinner”.

            Looking back, this worked to a point. But the flip side is that I remembered more of the ultimatums than the happier times. I’ve learned through trial and error with my own kids that consequences are more effective while not breaking down trust.

            What to Do When Ground Rules Get Broken?

            It’s on the consequences that you use when the ground rules are broken.

            In the martial arts class, when the hyperactive student breaks the ground rules. They would miss a turn in a game or go to the back of the line in a queue. We do not want to shame the child by isolating them. But on the flip side, there should be clear ground rules and proportionate consequences.

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            Yes, there are times when we would like to exclude the student from the class, the club, and even the universe. Again, it’s here that patience is so important and probably impulse control too. With an attainable consequence, you can maintain trust and you’re more likely to get the long-term behavior that you’re looking to achieve.

            Interestingly, we would occasionally hear a strategy from parents that little Kevin has been misbehaving at home with his sister or something similar. He likes martial arts training, so the parent would react by removing Kevin from the martial arts class as a punishment.

            We would suggest that this would remove Kevin from an environment where he is behaving positively. Removing him from this is likely to be detrimental to the change you would like to see. He may even feel shame when he returns to the class and loses all the progress he’s made.

            Alternatives to Punishment

            Another option is to tell Kevin to write a letter to his sister, apologizing for his behavior, and explaining how he is going to behave in the future.

            If your child is too young to write, give the apology face to face. For the apology to feel sincere, there is some value to pre-framing or practicing this between yourself and your child before they give it to the intended person.

            Don’t expect them to know the ground rules or what you’re thinking! It will be clearer to your child and better received with some practice. You can practice along the lines of: “X is the behavior I did, Y is what I should have done, and Z is my promise to you for how I’m going to act in the future.” You can replace XYZ with the appropriate actions.

            It does not need to be a letter or in person, it can even be a video. But there has to be an intention to repair the broken ground rule. If you try these strategies, that is become fully engaged with them and you’re still getting nowhere.

            But what to do if these strategies do not work? Then there is plenty to gain by seeking the help of an expert. Chances are that something is interfering or limiting their development.

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            This does not mean that your child has a neurological deficiency, although this may be the root cause. But it means that you can get an objective view and help on how to create the changes that you would like to see. Remember that using positive discipline strategies is better than mere punishment.

            There are groups that you can chat with for help. Family Lives UK has the aim of ensuring that all parents have somewhere to turn before they reached a crisis point. The NSPCC also provides a useful guide to positive parenting that you can download.[1]

            Bottom Line

            So, there your go, the three takeaways on strategies you can use for positively disciplining your child. The first one is about you! Be patient, be present, and think about what is best for the long term. AKA, avoid ultimatums and punishment. The second is to use a redirect, then repair and repeat (ground rules) as your 3-step method of discipline.

            Using these positive discipline strategies require you to be fully engaged with your child. Again, being impulsive breaks trust and you lose some of the gains you’ve both worked hard to achieve.

            Lastly, consequences are better than punishment. Plus, avoid shaming, especially in public at all costs.

            I hope this blog has been useful, and remember that you should be more focused on repairing bad behavior because being proactive and encouraging good behavior with rewards, fun, and positive emotions takes less effort than repairing the bad.

            More Tips on How To Discipline Your Child

            Featured photo credit: Leo Rivas via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] NSPCC Learning: Positive parenting

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