Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Save the Baby

I attended an infant CPR class with my husband. We both felt it was important to know just what to do in an emergency situation. We didn’t realize that the class was also a veritable bullet pointed list of everything else you should be scared about. We thought we were just learning what to do if the kid choked on a grape.
The teacher introduced herself and proceeded to explain how many children die each year from accidental drownings in bathtubs, parents backing over them while pulling out of the garage, and suffocating from eating peanutbutter straight from the jar. We learned just how unsafe 90% of cribs are and how if you put ANYTHING in the crib except for the baby, they jump to 99% unsafe. This would kill your baby...

We learned that if you have stairs (which we do) you need 2 James Bond-proof gates, one at the bottom and one at the top. You need 2 sets of banisters on both sides, a bottom one for when they’re under 3 feet and a top one for when they’re over. If you have rungs on your banister like these...

...you have to cover them in plywood so the kid can’t get stuck in them (a la, the Growing Pains episode when Carol Seaver was babysitting and the kid’s head got stuck and they used butter and shortening to try and slide him out). Basically, we have an entire portion of the house we have to rebuild.
If there are any flowers, plants, or trees in your yard (and grass, don’t forget grass), it needs to be fenced off so that baby can’t eat anything potentially poisonous. If you have a baby pool in the summer, you can put one inch of water in it without threatening your baby’s life. Never buy a house with an actual pool. If you have one, fence it off and cover it with nets and concrete.
Every piece of furniture you own must be secured to the walls or floors in order to keep from tipping over and crushing the baby. TVs are especially well-known for this, and must be nailed, glued, or tied down to an entertainment unit that, itself, is nailed to a wall. (My husband and I high-fived on this one; our TV is mounted to the wall. Point 1, Cohens.)
Kids should not climb trees, ladders, or tall chairs…or short chairs. They should not eat hot dogs that aren’t pureed and must never go to sleep wrapped in a blanket. Mobiles are a choking and strangling hazard. Rugs should be secured to floors so children can’t trip; actually, just, no rugs altogether, ok?
Babies shouldn’t play with keys, writing instruments, or phones as they might stab themselves in the eyes, cut their hands, or...call someone they don’t know. No toy should be smaller than a bread box, or something like that. And pets. Get rid of all of your pets. They’re all dangerous and could hurt or kill your baby. See? Bella just killed a baby.

Now, I may have been highly concerned or even frightened upon leaving this scare-fest of a class if the teacher hadn’t ended on one statistic. She solemnly but sternly asked if the class knew the NUMBER ONE reason children die before the age of 18 in this country. We all began to search our brains for the top news stories of children dying. Car accidents? Drugs? Abuse? As she announced the answer, she nodded her head as if to commend herself for sharing this all-too-important and shocking piece of information with us.
I slowly turned my head to look at my husband, who was slowly turning his head to look at me, so that neither of us could be perceived as overreacting. We made eye contact, immediately began to crack a smile that could have quickly gotten out of control and ended up with laughter, and instead we diverted our eyes to stare directly at the teacher with a slight smirks on our faces.
“70% of the children we lose under 18 years old we lose due to injuries. Keep that in mind, people.”
Isn’t this like saying 90% of all divorces are caused by…marital problems?
Or that a majority of all people with a runny nose are suffering from…sinus trouble?
I carried our bag of “scare you” pamphlets into the house when the class was over and promptly trashed every single one of them, but not without announcing, “Oh! Look at this one. Injuries. Injuries written all over this.” 

1 comment:

  1. Laughed out loud through this entire post... okay, maybe I shouldn't be laughing at babies dying, but this was funny! Thanks for the morning chuckle... only 6 days to go until my due date. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!