Many parents wonder whether
they are equipped to handle the responsibility of keeping their child safe. You
will likely feel more confident if you are alert, take all the precautions you
can, and know how to respond to emergencies.
- Learn first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Classes
usually are offered through your local hospital or fire department.
- Read and learn about child growth and development. Knowing what
to expect can help ease the fear of the unknown.
- Join a support group. Parenting groups can help you learn new
skills as well as help ease emotional issues of having a new child. Groups
differ in their focus. Some target specific concerns, such as breast-feeding,
while others offer parents a chance to get together with their children for
playtime and visiting. Contact a local hospital or religious group, or ask your
doctor for resources in your area.
Connection between parent well-being and child safety
Taking care of yourself is a vital part of keeping your child safe.
Although accidents can occur at any time, most happen during times of excess
stress, such as when:1
- Parents and children are hungry and tired, especially right
after work and before dinner.
- Another baby is expected.
- There is an illness or death in the family.
- Relationship problems develop.
- Major changes in your routine or environment occur. This can
happen when your child's caregiver changes, when you move to a new house, or
even before you go on a vacation.
signs of stress and what situations cause it. Be extra careful during these
times, and ask for help when you need it. Also, work on
taking care of your personal relationships.
For more information, see the topic
All parents have times when they feel
exhausted, frustrated, angry, sad, or overwhelmed. Recognize that this is a
normal part of being human and being a parent. But if these feelings become too
much for you to handle alone, keep your child safe by
getting help. For example, when your emotions are too
much for you to handle alone, you may not have the energy or desire to watch
your child as closely as you should. Some parents injure their children when
their emotions cause them to shake, hit, or push a child. This can result in
injury to the child such as
shaken baby syndrome, which can cause lasting brain
damage or even death.
Call911immediately if you feel you are about to injure yourself or your
Places to go for help include:
For more information on physical harm to children, see
Shaken Baby Syndrome and
Child Abuse and Neglect. For more information on
handling difficult emotions, see the topics
Anger, Hostility, and Violent Behavior.