It pays to be a paranoid parent

Paranoid Parent? It’s no bad thing…MDD - Header Picture - milk-A&E

There’s many firsts you anticipate as a new parent – the first smile, the first tooth… and the first time you end up in A&E. I knew it would come one day, I just didn’t expect it at six months old.

We were on holiday in Scotland staying in a top hotel, when we put Boo down in the crib. It was one of those ‘two tier’ ones which had a hammock style bed. You always assume these things would be assembled with due love and care. But on this occasion the hotel failed. We had checked it before putting him down. But nonetheless, our son fell through it with a massive crash, and shortly after a red lump appeared on his head.

Head injuries on babies should be taken seriously, so without hesitation we got a taxi immediately to A&E, only to find we had to go to Kids A&E. At least we discovered that buggies fit in black cabs! Following numerous tests, and half our evening in strange surroundings (and on our first night of holiday). Finally, we were given the good news that our precious boy was ok.

Learning the hard way

It was a chilling way to learn an important lesson. You cannot trust ANYONE when it comes to installing equipment for your baby. You have to be paranoid and thorough, and check everything once, twice, thrice yourself. Because sadly, no one will ever care the same way you do.

Strangely enough earlier that morning we were in the cab on the way to the airport. We had requested a baby car seat which had been put in the car. Thankfully I had the foresight to double-check it and sure enough it hadn’t been installed properly either. Annoyingly, the driver flippantly brushed over it, not fully appreciating the gravity of the situation. It wasn’t the first time.

Yet, there’s a couple of things I’ve learnt over the past few months, which I wish someone had shared with me before I had a baby. So, I’ve put them together to share with you here…

What you need to know

  1. Over 40% of parents have witnessed their children choke, and I am one. Thankfully I had watched this – http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/support-us/our-campaigns/baby-choking-the-chokeables.aspx amazing video from St Johns Ambulance so knew what to do, please give it a watch too.
  2. If you’re ever using a car seat that isn’t yours. Check the instructions (usually on the side) to make sure its installed properly. As I’ve discovered they’re all different and taxi drivers are almost always clueless and don’t often use them, so don’t rely on them to have installed it properly.
  3. Obviously, it goes without saying, if you’re using someone else’s crib/cot, check it. Check it for safety, check that it’s sturdy, check that it has been put up properly. Bring your own sheets and grobag. I’ve stayed in enough hotels now to realise how clueless people are – babies don’t need pillows and bedding. If you don’t use them at home, then don’t use them at a hotel – you always know what is best. Trust your instinct.
  4. If your baby has a head injury, it’s important that they are checked properly, and as we now know – do check if there’s a local Kids A&E first. Also, be sure not to let them sleep for a good few hours after a bang, no matter how hard this may be. It’s important they stay conscious.
  5. If you’re using a high chair at a restaurant check that your baby can fit and that it has been set up properly. Check that the buckle works (the amount of times they are faulty is shocking) and baby is comfortable. If in doubt, use your buggy instead

And Finally

Take the right precautions to keep your baby safe in the company of friend’s pets, here’s something I put together recently – http://milkdrunkdiary.com/?p=2548

I hope you will never need to go through what we did on that day, and if you’ve found this useful, please do share it with friends with babies.

Finally, I want to thank the wonderful medical team at Kids A&E in Edinburgh who looked after us and little Boo so wonderfully. Thank You.

If you found this post useful, read this about being a working Mum, click here >>>