Blind Cord Safety

The post below contains something extremely scary that our family has experienced first-hand. It may trigger some intense feelings. I understand if you cannot read it, but I need to share our story of something that could have left us living in a nightmare…just in case it helps another parent or caregiver. Blind Cord Safety¸ like other posts on this blog, may contain affiliate links to products but the suggestions and opinions in this post are my own.

blind cord safety

Last Sunday, our life as a family of six flashed before my eyes. We could have been entering the holidays in a very different place than we are right now.

Greg was with The Bigs, spending time with them before taking Uber drives. I had just laid the girls down for a nap in their room (free of everything except toddler beds and a stuffed Elmo chair) and was washing my hands before going downstairs to make some truffles.

And then? One of those God Moments happened.

While I was in the bathroom, I heard Ava making horrible noises. Thinking she was being funny, trying to keep Isla awake, I yelled for her to hush and let her sister go to sleep. When the noises didn’t stop, I decided to sneak in the room and put them back on their beds and start again. For that momtuition, I am going to forever be grateful.

What I walked into will not leave my mind. Ava was stuck in the cord from the window blinds, swinging and choking. Her eyes darted at mine and I went into full on emergency mode. I ripped the cord from around her neck and made sure she was breathing. Screaming for Greg, I inspected her neck and held her close. He got to the room and asked what was going on – then started to rip the blinds from the window. I held her for what seemed like hours, the two of us shaking and sobbing.

It could have been a nightmare.

Thank God it wasn’t.

I share this story because I need to know that those I touch know the dangers of blind cords. To know that I feel so thankful for God being with us that day (and every day), keeping me alert to the signs. To give myself grace and forgiveness for not getting in there sooner and for not checking that the cords maintained rolled up as we had set them on moving to the toddler beds. To ask for love.

This week has been tough, but it could have been tougher. For that, I am so grateful.

I’ll love you forever!

Admittedly, this is one of those back of the mind babyproofing tasks that more should be aware of. I sort of obsessed researching over options for fixing the rest of the windows in our house and to see just how blessed we were. A short summary and some links follow.

Blind Cord Safety

Just this week, a former NFL player (Reno Mehe) lost his three-year-old daughter in a story very similar to ours’. I could barely stand to hear it, let alone read the metrics in that article. But I had to. I have to join the fight to make things better for our kids.

Many children who are lost this way are lost silently, quickly. Our Ava was desperate to let me know something was wrong. Thank you, God.

Window Covering Safety Month was in October, but did I hear anything about it then? Nope, because these kind of things don’t really happen to anyone I know, right? Wrong, so wrong. It is happening often enough, to the point one child dies a month from this horrible, hidden danger (according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission).

Have corded blinds? It is not expensive to retrofit existing corded blinds to be safer (like the wraps shown below or by ordering a kit specifically for this).

Another, the safest option, is to go cordless and replace window coverings with cordless options (something we’ll be working on as this is a danger for kids up to age nine).


+

From now on, I’ll be following @Parents_4safety on Twitter and sharing Ava’s story to help save other children. I’ll be praying lots and giving thanks for what happened to us. I’ll be vigilantly mothering my kids (not that I wasn’t before, but just being even more aware of the dangers) and loving on them lots, holding them tight.

So please, do me a favor right now. Go hug your babies tightly. Come up with a plan to make your homes safer, too. Pick up some blind cord safety products (with two-day shipping or faster!) and install them immediately. And, if you would, pray for me to find peace with this. XOXO

Carbon Monoxide Detector (and our plan)

(Enter disclaimer text)  I was in a dead sleep, dreaming the night away, when Greg shook me and told me I had to get up. Our carbon monoxide detector was beeping. (Didn’t we have a plan?)

PRO TIP: Before you read further, think about your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Do you have them? Are they in working order? If not, stop reading and get yourself a carbon monoxide detector then come back over here and read what happened to us. 

(We didn’t have a plan.) Being the gen-x’ers-on-the-millenial-border we are, we Google’d the obvious. We needed to get out and call 911.

Thank goodness we have a Carbon Monoxide Detector.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

It took us an incredibly longer than I like to admit time for me to scoop up the babies and wake the big kids while Greg grabbed the dogs and car seats. I got the kids out, but didn’t know where Greg was, so I started to shake and cry, yelling into the back and front doors while my four kids sat on our porch in the middle of the night. Arianna finally spotted him, bringing our van to the front of the house (from our detached garage). Lesson 1? Have a plan and practice it. Time ourselves and get better at it. Have keys handy!

I got 911 on the phone (the 3rd time in my life to call) and somehow calmly explained / answered their questions. The fire whistle blew and the kids started to ask questions. Greg had them all buckled in and drove them out of the way of the trucks.

After what felt like forever (but was really only 4 minutes), two members of the fire department arrived. What irked me was that none of the houses on our street have really clearly marked house numbers. Greg was waving wildly and I was so glad it wasn’t a medical emergency. Lesson 2? Get bigger, bolder house numbers.

The fire truck arrived and after everyone geared up, they went in to detect the issue. It warranted enough of a check to call the gas company and for us to remain outside. I stayed in the van with the kids…running the van in the heat of the night. (Looking back, now I’m wondering if that’s what I really should have done, seeing that we were outside due to carbon monoxide and all…)

After almost three hours, the teams determined it was okay to go back in; however, they turned off the gas to our boiler and had us put in a service call for it. Turns out, the boiler is old (hello, so’s this house) and needs replaced before winter.

The good news is that we are safe, and none of us were impacted by the silent killer that is carbon monoxide. The bad news is that boilers are not current technologies and won’t be exactly covered under our home warranty (sigh). Again, the good news is that we are safe and that we’ve learned our lessons.

We need a plan, and so do you. Let this be your lesson to know what to do when the alarms go off in your house (or get yourself a carbon monoxide detector if you don’t have one – we suggest this (via our affiliate link) combination smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector with voice command). Most of all, have a plan on how you’ll get everyone out, stay out, and do it fast.

So, what’s your plan?

fruitybreakfast

(My plan the next day was to enjoy a late, fruity breakfast. I vague posted about it on Instagram, now here is the whole story!)

Bzz! If you need tips on what to do to create your plan, check out these room-by-room tips on SafeBee.com (from UL – the safety people!).

Toy Safety

I’ve been busy sharing lots of toy reviews with you this holiday season, but how about safety?!?! Edgar Snyder & Associates shared this infographic with me, and I’d love you to take some time and review it.

Source: Edgar Snyder & Associates

To read more about Toy Safety and recalls, please visit Edgar Snyder’s website: http://www.edgarsnyder.com/seasonal/winter-holiday-safety/toy-safety-tips.html

Thirty Days of Thankful and NaBloPoMo Day 9: Safety

Today, I am thankful for safety.

As I was driving in to work early to go to my alma mater to hear my company’s CEO speak, I got backed up on 28. There was a multi-vehicle accident, but it made my day off to a slower start than I’d have liked. Nonetheless, I was safe.

As I walked into my building after the event, I felt extremely dizzy, nauseous, and out of it. Nothing happened, but I went to MedExpress then home. Turns out I have a good ‘ol set of ear infections. I was safe from what I was scared of — low sugar! Greg came to get me so I wouldn’t have to drive home, again, keeping me safe.

+

I’d love to share with you some of the great things I learned about my company and leadership. One of these days, I might, but in the mean time, you should head over to see what Back’nGrooveMom had to say about it, so fun!

+

This post is part of NaBloPoMo.

NaBloPoMo November 2012