Dressers, Drills, and the Message You Can’t Ignore

Written by Rachel Morrow on . Posted in 3Moms Blog

child safety

You know those dreams you have that stick with you? No matter what you do you can’t get them out of your mind. When I read about Kyrie, it was like one of those dreams was coming true—but for someone I didn’t even know.

It all started when my daughter was about 20 months old—the magic age where she still slept in a crib, yet I went to bed every night wondering if she was going to figure out how to climb out. I had a dream so vivid my heartbeat increases just thinking about it. The dream started with my daughter figuring out how to get out of her crib. And what did she do first? She went to explore her dresser, of course.

But she started with the first drawer.

And then she opened the second. This was an Ikea dresser, so it wasn’t the greatest piece of furniture known to man. It did the job, but it was not made to stay upright with the top two drawers, full of clothes, open.

As that second drawer extended, the dresser came tumbling down. Right on my daughter. I saw it all, including the never-want-to-see-in-real-life vision of my daughter squished underneath it. I popped up in bed just like you see in the movies. My heartbeat was insane, and I grabbed the video monitor to make sure my daughter was sleeping soundly in her crib. She was. Thank goodness. But I didn’t stop there.

There was no way I was going to sleep soundly until my daughter’s dresser was mounted to the wall. Since it was about 2:00 AM, I couldn’t exactly do it then, so I did the next best thing. I grabbed my sticky notes and pen and went to work.

When my husband woke up the next day, a sticky note greeted him on our bathroom mirror. It read “Mount Maddie’s dresser today!” As he went to leave our room, there was another sticky note on the door, portraying the same message. And another on Maddie’s door, and on the fridge, and on the garage door. By the time we went to bed that night, the dresser looked like this:

 mounted dresser

Back to Kyrie.

When I heard her story, this very vivid dream of mine played out in my head. I didn’t know any details at this point, just that something fell on a little two-year-old girl, and she was in the ICU. I saw a picture of her, and she looked surprisingly like my daughter did at that age, and I couldn’t shake the image of that dream, how I felt when I thought it was reality, and how these parents must be feeling—which surely is a million times worse than what I can even imagine.

I basically stalked the Kisses for Kyrie Facebook page for updates, bawling with each announcement of good news. And when Kyrie’s mom, Shauna, said she wanted to get the word out about the importance of mounting furniture (for them it was a TV that fell), I knew just how crucial this message was.

We already covered Kyrie’s story last week, but I felt compelled to expand on it even further. As Shauna said, if even one child can be saved, it gives her a sense of peace.

Thank goodness Kyrie shows more improvement every day. But not every child is so lucky. And not every parent has a nightmare warning them about the dangers of unmounted furniture.

Did you realize that every two weeks a child dies from a tip-over accident?

Every 15 minutes, a child is injured from one.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, this includes televisions, furniture (bookcases, dressers), and appliances. In most of the stories I’ve read, it happened in the child’s room, and it was silent. Either the carpeting or the child’s body muted the sounds, so the parents didn’t even know anything happened until they went to their child’s room in the morning. Even if the parents were in the room, it happened too quickly for them to stop it.

And in the majority of the homes these fatal accidents occured in, the parents didn’t even realize they were putting their children in danger.

Image Credit: CPSC

Image Credit: CPSC

But now, you do, and it’s time to take action:

  • Properly secure any dressers, bookcases, and television stands/televisions to the wall. It just takes a few dollars and a few minutes. From the hardware store to Amazon, the tools you need are readily available; you just have to buy them and install them according to the instructions. Many dressers even come with the proper hardware for mounting (make sure you screw into the stud!).
  • Don’t worry about holes in the wall. Seriously. Just mount the furniture. Any repercussions from a landlord for a hole in the wall are minute compared to the alternative.
  • No item of furniture is too small, as Meghan’s Hope points out. Her story is heartbreaking, and when you see the size of the dresser that killed this sweet little girl, you will be shocked.
  • Keep anything tempting off of the top of dressers. (This is something I need to change myself right now! I didn’t even think about this until reading the CPSC’s suggestions.) As cute as the stuffed animals and pictures are, they aren’t worth it.
  • Consider just tossing that old front-heavy television.
  • Have a chat with grandparents or owners of other homes your children visit to make sure the furniture is mounted there, too. These accidents don’t just happen at home.

And spread the word.

There are parents out there who don’t know this is a danger (you might be one of them!). They place their toddlers in their rooms without a second thought. Even if they are in a crib, there is no saying when they will decide to crawl out.

Parents would never put their precious children in danger on purpose, but if they don’t know, they won’t do anything about it.

Mom of Injured Toddler Has A Warning for All Parents

Written by Jennifer Quinn on . Posted in 3Moms Blog

Meet Kyrie

 

How many times have you had a “near miss” of an accident in the home that ended with a band-aid, or a quick trip to the ER?

As a mom of five, I can tell you, PLENTY of times for me. 

There was that time that:

  • One of the kids poked the other one in the eye with scissors
  • One of the kids ran into a sharp edge of the garage and gauged his head open
  • One of the babies was accidentally left in the car seat while I ran in “real quick” forgetting the baby was with me
  • One of the babies fell through the edge of the mattress to the floor in a hand-me-down crib
  • One of the older kids nearly fell down the stairs while holding the baby

The list could go on and on. We’ve all been there. The “OMG moments” when we realize that the event could have had such a different and tragic outcome. But they don’t, and we go on with our day and our lives, virtually unaffected.

This week, I received a text from my sister-in-law. She has two nieces whom she adores beyond measure, and the text read:

“Please pray for my 2 year old niece, Kyrie. A TV fell on her and they think she has a brain injury and may require surgery. Thanks.”

My mind flashed through all of the times that my little ones had accidents. This text meant that the little toddler’s parents were living every parent’s worst nightmare. Helpless…and sad…I knew that the only thing I could do was invite others to join in the praying. I took to social media, and forwarded the text message. It became a balancing act between protecting the family’s privacy, and invoking positive vibes and prayers to help this baby girl and her family.

The next text came in early that afternoon:

“Update: She is in critical condition and they are flying her to Indianapolis. Thanks for your continued prayers.”

That evening I received this text:

“Wow. Thanks for all your prayers. It is amazing so far what He has done. She no longer needs to be in drug induced coma. Skull took most of the impact which actually good. Skull has multiple fractures but so far does not look as if she will need surgery. Keep praying. Our God is so good to have given us this good news so far. He is answering. I will let you know what happens once she wakes up. Thanks again!”

Encouraged, we hoped for better news the next day, but instead, this text came in:

“She is not waking up so they think she may be having seizures or too much pressure on the brain. Inserting something into skull to monitor. Thanks for checking.”

After a few days of waiting and watching, Kyrie’s parents started a Facebook page to keep people posted. In the first update, I was amazed at Kyrie’s mom’s openness and vulnerability at how she shared the details of what happened – and why would she do it?

To save other children.

Kyrie’s mom, Shauna, in her time of heartbreak, took to Facebook to share these words, in hopes of preventing this from happening to another child. If you have the time, the entire story is worth reading (get the tissues ready), but here are the lessons from it all:     

“If one person can benefit from the knowledge of securing a TV, even more than what they thought to prevent this accident, it gives me a sense of peace. We can put up baby gates, we can put stair guards, we can put doorknob handles up. What has been overlooked too many times, told to us by numerous doctors, is this very thing…it is a common occurrence. No longer did I feel isolated, stupid, careless…this is a real hazard that I am guessing, you in your home, right now, with small children…did not think of…until now.”

And this:

“I love my daughters now more than ever. They are not a job. They are not a sacrifice. They are a gift, and with any gift, you treasure it…no matter what.”

Cherish your children. Treasure every moment. These words cannot be repeated enough.  And please, please take the time this weekend to bolt down any dressers, bookcases, TV stands, or anything else your curious child might attempt to climb or pull down.

Finally, PLEASE SHARE THIS STORY with your friends who have children. Please do not let what this family is going through happen to another.

To follow Kyrie’s progress and wish her well, please join the Facebook page.

To donate to the family to offset the unexpected medical expense, see the GoFundMe page. No amount is too small.

We would like to send a deep, heartfelt thank you to Shauna & Jeff for allowing us to share this very important message with you. We are continually holding you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. 

 

Read more about the importance of securing your furniture Dressers, Drills and the Message You Can’t Ignore

The Stranger Who Got it Right

Written by Rachel Morrow on . Posted in 3Moms Blog

new mom tips

“You are so beautiful.” This is the comment my daughter hears every time we go out. Either that or, “Oh my goodness, look at your gorgeous curly hair!” As a mom, of course I love hearing these comments, and I’m sure my daughter loves them as well. But there’s just one problem: There’s a lot more to my daughter than her beauty, and I want her to know that the rest matters too.

So when we were at Target yesterday and a stranger came up to us and started with the usual, “You are such a beautiful girl!” My daughter smiled and started to get her I’m-acting-shy-but-I-really-love-the-attention look on, and then the woman continued, “And I bet you’re mighty smart, too!” Now my daughter’s face went to full-on light-up mode and she didn’t even know what to say. I actually had to remind her to say thank you, which I rarely have to do. And after that thank you, the fire had been ignited and she went on to explain to the lady what her name was, that this was her little brother, and here is my mommy and daddy.

That stranger got it right. She still gave the compliment about beauty, which I believe is important for every little girl (and woman, for that matter) to hear. When a person feels beautiful, they gain confidence and self-worth. These are traits that are vital to success in the world: Characteristics that lead to resisting peer pressure, standing up for herself, and reaching for her dreams.

But she also told my daughter how smart she is. Clearly, this woman couldn’t really know my daughter’s IQ just by looking at her, but she did place emphasis on something other than her looks. She reminded my daughter that there is a lot more to her little soul than the way she appears on the outside. Of course, this is something I always try to do (e.g. You are so smart, and kind, and generous, and thoughtful, and funny, etc.), but it carries more clout from a stranger.

Now don’t get me wrong: I am just as guilty as the next person of complimenting other kids on their outside appearance, because, obviously, I can’t tell much about their other personality traits from one glance. But does it really matter? No, it doesn’t. To the innocent, impressionable children, your words may mean more than you realize.

By all means, give those compliments about cuteness, because they are important. But also throw in something not so superficial. I know from now on, I will. 

What Is It about Dads? (And a #giveaway!)

Written by Jennifer Quinn on . Posted in 3Moms Blog

Love songs for My Baby 3Momstips.com #giveaway

Seriously. What is it about Dads that we love so much?

The way Dads make our hearts melt when they bend down to help their toddler son.

Or the way we smile with joy when Dads hold their little girl’s hand.

Oh! Don’t get us started on the way we *squeal* inside when Dad gets up in the middle of the night to comfort a crying baby.

There is an undeniable attraction to the relationship between a child and their daddy.  So, you can imagine how we felt when we heard about the CD Alex Mitnick recorded about his new-found love – his baby boy.

Alex is an award winning children’s musician best known for his work with Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band and as host of the TV show Alex & The Kaleidoscope on NYC-TV.Alex & the Kaleidoscope, is actually going to be used in an upcoming Jake Gyllenhall film! (I hope that wasn’t supposed to be kept a secret! Oops!)

The name of his CD is Love Songs for My Baby – and we are so excited that Alex has agreed to give his CD away to one of our fans!  

Enter the giveaway here – lots of chances to enter!

Full Disclosure: 3 Mom’s Tips (collectively or individually) did not receive any compensation (not even a free CD- hey!) for sponsoring or promoting this giveaway. In fact, we decided to throw in an autographed copy of our book to the lucky winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pssst…here’s a sneak listen to one of the songs! Love!

 

 

Don’t Judge Me!

Written by Rachel Morrow on . Posted in 3Moms Blog

parenting

Don’t judge me. Or the woman breastfeeding at the mall. Or the mom giving her newborn baby a bottle at the park. Or the dad whose three-year-old is still in diapers. Or the toddler that is using a binky. And yes, especially don’t judge the parent whose child is being louder than you would like (whether that be by crying, throwing a tantrum, or shrieking with excitement). Why? Because you don’t know their story, and you don’t know mine.

Here’s the thing:

I am always doing the best I can, and I know that you are too. I don’t ever start my day thinking, “Today, I’m just going to give parenting half of what I have. I’ll let my kids misbehave and cause a ruckus while I just sit back and relax.” Nope. Never happened and never going to. I start each day with a desire to keep my kids happy and healthy, and I always give it my all. I’m sure you do too.

Let me tell you a story:

The other day my family went out to eat. It was a casual dining restaurant that was full of people from every age group. My husband took my one-and-a-half-year-old son outside to go for a little walk so that I could finish my meal. When they came back in, my son saw me from across the restaurant and screamed with excitement (what can I say, he’s a momma’s boy). Of course, I smiled and reached my arms out for him.

And then I noticed that the entire population of the restaurant was staring at me. No, they weren’t smiling with fondness of how sweet it is that this little boy was so thrilled to see his mommy. They were glaring at me with looks full of judgment.

Their eyes said:

“How are you letting your child scream?”

 “You are a horrible mother.”

“Why aren’t you stopping his shriek?”

You know why? Because I don’t want my child – my happy, excited, unscathed-by-the-world child – to lose his delightfulness. I don’t want him to think that it’s not okay to show his emotions. And I am not about to teach him that he should make himself less happy to appease others.

When you see other parents out and about, and they aren’t doing things exactly as you would, know that they are doing the best they can. They have a reason for doing what they do. You don’t have to agree, but you should at least smile (or even ignore them!). Because the last thing any parent needs is degrading looks from strangers that make them feel about one inch tall.

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