My Son Was Almost A Statistic

Apart from a drawer lock in the kitchen where we keep the knives, we haven’t uber-baby-proofed our home.

We didn’t put up baby gates on the stairs. We didn’t lock off the cupboard under the sink. We don’t put helmets on our kids when they were learning to walk.

We’ve used common sense to keep the things they can get at out of reach. We don’t buy our sons hoodies with strings, we always wear a helmet when we ride our bikes, they stay within arm’s reach on the playground, we stay in the same room to play, and we keep an eye out for what they’re up to.

Have a look at this picture and tell me if you think there’s anything terrible about how it’s laid out – if there are any super dangers you could find.

My oldest son found one.

Zacharie (4) and Charlie (2) were playing in the room with our nanny when Zacharie decided he wanted to play “jungle guy.” He stood on the table, pulled on the blind cord, wrapped it around his neck.

Our nanny says she tried to talk him down and said “don’t do that”, but she wasn’t fast enough. He jumped.

We were lucky. Zacharie ended up with just a really bad rope burn around his neck. He looked like an extra out of CSI or Dexter. The cord ripped into his skin almost all the way around.

The room looked innocent enough. We always have the blinds down so the cords are high and out of reach. But the combination of adventurous 4 year old, slow nanny and table under the window almost added up to our son becoming a statistic.

I am trying to practice free range parenting void of irrational fears around my kids. But I might just wait a week or two to get back on that program, I’m hugging my son too damn tight right now.

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Buzz

Buzz is married to Jennifer and has 2 sons. Zacharie was born in May 2007 and Charles in January 2010. Buzz is a radio guy who enjoys building bridges between old and new media. Follow buzz on Twitter @buzzbishop and check out DadCAMP on Google+

4 Comments

  1. Funny thing is when I saw the picture I immediately envisioned the danger and had warned our toddler of a similar danger in our home with the same vigour that my mother used to advise me of the impending death that awaited me if I didn’t use the escalator in (Simpson) Sears with the utmost care.

    Of course, I then paused to think that we never did anything to protect ours from the knife drawer!

  2. Whoa, thats crazy! Our daughter has never shown much interested in the window blind string so we’ve never given it much shot.

    Just goes to show these little buggers are too curious for their own good!

  3. Our parenting style is very much alike. I follow similar practices when it comes to “free range parenting”.

    I survived childhood, always playing outside and usually without supervision; near a river and on my grandparents’ dairy farm.

    But my ideas must be balanced with my wife’s parenting style which is far more protective. We DO have a baby gate at the top of the stairwell. The blind cords are hung high and a couple cupboards are latched but that’s about it.

    95% of the time I’m actually sitting on the floor with our 11 month old. She is rarely out of sight for more than a few seconds.

    But your story demonstrates an easily overlooked danger which could have had much greater consequences.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Definitely makes one contemplate and have a closer look at the living area.

  4. I also noticed the danger right away. Maybe only because I’ve been in childcare for almost 20 years and a stepmother for 3 or maybe it’s because my brother pulled the exact same stunt when he was 4 or 5. It’s all too common a thing. That cord causes more injuries and deaths than almost anything else in a household. I’m grateful our place came with dowel type blinds, only. Though we also believe in free-range parenting for the most part (we must adjust for our area, a bit), we won’t be having blind cords in our home anytime soon.

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