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February 21, 2011

Err on the Side of Missile-Proof

Child safety; it's the bane of every parent's existence. It's not that we don't want to keep our kids safe, but with new information constantly coming out to contradict what was once considered good parenting, how can parents rest assured of their choices? After all, it's easy enough to lose your sanity walking down an aisle at Babies R Us filled with no fewer than 50 separate car seats. Each choice claims to be The Best! The Most Modern! The Safest! One car seat claims to have special crash-prevention powers. The next claims to resist bullets. And the one on the end cap? MISSILE-PROOF.

So in light of all of the safety challenges and tough choices facing parents today, here is a short list of things everyone should be able to agree upon, even if your generation says that it's perfectly safe to rub half a bottle of tequila on your baby's teething gums.

1. If you don't fancy a midnight wakeup call to your toddler roasting a marshmallow in the kitchen, purchase stove locks.

2. Because you've been nurturing that shower slime from a single-celled ameoba to the fanged monster that it is today, please invest in a plastic bath mat. No one wants to see your child get eaten by the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

3. When emptying the dishwasher, employ the help of your spouse to wrangle the child away from the knives. Use of a lasso is not recommended.

4. Unless you participate in the extreme sport of in-home base jumping, you may want to consider the installation of a rail guard to quell any curiosities that your child may have about the staircase. Or anything remotely related to the X Games.

5. Outlet covers are only useful when you remember to plug them back into the socket. To your toddler, they look like delicious, bite-sized cookies. Made entirely in China.

6. After selecting a baby gate, immediately clear your schedule for the next month to allow sufficient time for installation. You have at least a 50-50 chance of completing the project before you die of dehydration.

7. If your child insists on running around the house with a wooden block in his mouth, help him select a block that is both brightly colored and too large to be swallowed. Your pediatrician will thank you later.

8. Around the holidays, be sure to secure the Christmas tree to a nearby wall. Just because the family cat has nine lives doesn't mean that your kid should tempt fate... or Santa.

9. If your child has a secret stash of pacifiers hidden throughout the house, unearth them regularly for wear and tear evaluation. Chunks of silicone don't go down well, even with a spoon full of sugar, a jolly musical number, and a few animated bunnies. Especially if your child is still lacking in the molar department.

10. When shopping for a car seat, always err on the side of safety. Missile-proof is the way to go.

Disclosure: I published this post after being asked to participate in a contest through The Safest Line. I was not compensated in any way for my thoughts or safety tips, although my competitive nature would love to chalk this up as a win and pocket the grand prize. For more tips on how to keep your home safe for children, please visit The Safest Line.


  1. so.funny. Love it. I was just in Babies R Us and the word overwhelming doesn't even begin to cover it. Great post!

  2. Creature from the black lagoon, awesome! Great post and great tips for any new parent!


  3. You are awesome and this is an awesome post!