Safety For Kids


Slide and death trap

Since we’ve been spending a lot of time on Memory Lane, I’m going to keep it going with an examination of the scab-ridden woes of childhood. Safety for kids seems like an oxymoron in light of some of the things I’ve seen recently.

I was in Denver looking through old family photos. From age 3 to about 9, I was on giant bruise. Here’s me eating a waffle with a completely scabbed-over nose. Here’s me with a scab in the shape of my glasses’ frames around each eye, the result of a collision during an ill-advised game of un-PC “Smear the queer.” I had no idea what queer meant, but I sure loved to tackle people.

Here’s me with a black eye from the corner of a table.

Here’s me with a bandage over one ear.

When I shave my head I have a scar from an axe, an unfortunate rebound from a double-bladed hatchet received while chopping the winter’s wood with my dad at age 7.

My son is 3 and he’s not faring much better.

In July he stuck a bead up his nose and we went to the ER.

Two days later he rushed upon a dog during a hike and got a bit on his stomach. That night he was trying to comfort himself on his playground in the back yard by going down the slide. Instead, he decided to leap over the edge and got a faceful of wood-chip scars for his troubles.

These things all happened while we were watching him and were within three feet of him. When he gets something in his head, he just goes, and you never know what RPM he’s going to be revving at–only that it will catch us by surprise and we won’t be able to keep up.

I’m amazed at how tough kids are. It’s a wonder that any of them survive.

About six weeks ago we found a family of quail in our yard. 17 babies, 2 parents. The babies were always getting into trouble–getting stuck in our sandbox, getting pecked by other birds, molested by neighbor children and cats.

We saw the parents running around two days ago…with only one baby in tow. Not very good odds.

Thankfully, human children typically have better odds of surviving.

But last night my son dropped my heavy hand grippers on his foot, to the tune of another massive lump.

I guess they’re as tough as they need to be.

Any good stories, readers? How do you keeps your kids safe? Any good child safety tips?



3 thoughts on “Safety For Kids

  1. We also had a similar bead in the nose experience just a couple of weeks ago. Luckily I was able to get the bead out with a dental instrument I have and we were able to avoid a costly ER bill. I think the interesting point that you bring up is that you were RIGHT there when some of these things happened to your son.

    We had another incident, involving safety on a whole other level, with my 5 year old daughter this year. She and the neighbor boy (also 5) were exploring one another’s private parts (instigated by the boy, of course) . Just like you said, we were right there! in the back yard! And they were in the front yard! Needless to say, it was a very disturbing incident for us all. Especially for me! It seems like you can try to do everything possible to keep them “safe”, but in many ways it’s out of our hands. I suppose all of these experiences helps make them stronger, right? I hope.

  2. I don’t know if I have any tips. It’s impossible to keep them 100% safe 100% of the time. Kids are crazy, but also tough: mentally and physically. I wish I had a fraction of their resilience.

    With your first kid (I say, like an authoritative grandfather with 10 of my own, and 150 grandkids), you worry a lot more, follow them around every step, remove all hazards, childproof your home to the best of your ability, and then just hope and pray for the best. Every cough in the night, every bump, every bruise, every fever, you freak out! But then with your second (and especially if your second comes with a third immediately in tow), you calm down considerably. I don’t know if it’s because your first has survived so you realize everything is going to be okay, or you are just too sleep-deprived to care, or what. But it gets easier with the next one(s).

    Thankfully human babies have better odds than the quail. But can you imagine having 17 babies?

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