When I began working as the injury prevention coordinator for Dayton Children’s over three years ago, I quickly learned that accidental injury is the number one reason children ages 1 to 14 die. I was shocked and for the past three years I’ve made it my mission to reverse this trend in our community.
Over the years, I’ve taken the 32-hour certified child passenger safety technician course and checked what seems like hundreds of car seats, given media interviews about pedestrian safety and safe sleep, advocated before the state assembly for Ohio’s booster seat law, fitted tons of bicycle helmets, talked to dozens of parents about baby proofing and checking smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly, and read daily blogs and listservs about toy recalls – you get the point.
I’ve become a bit of a safety dork. I’ve literally lived and breathed “safety” to the point that my theme song is Men Without Hats’ “Safety Dance” and whenever the song is on the radio my coworker texts me to let me know.
But recently – the professional has collided with the personal.
I’m pregnant! I’m going to be a mom!
That means – I have to follow the advice I’ve been sharing with parents for years. And for the first time – it’s a bit overwhelming!
I know I’m about to take a journey of a lifetime – and I know one of my greatest roles is to keep my child as safe as possible. This is what I preach every day – and now it’s time to not only talk the talk but walk the walk.
There is no doubt that being a mom is going to make me even better at my job. I’ll learn first-hand as a mom the skills it’s going to take to make sure my child wears his or her helmet or stays buckled in the booster seat. And any wisdom that I might glean from these situations – I’m happy to share with you!
So welcome to my journey – I’m happy to share it if it means more children in our community will stay safe from accidental injury.