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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Counting My Blessings....and a WARNING

Last night I experienced one of the biggest scares in my twenty-five years of parenting. I am praising and thanking God that all turned out well, as it could have been a tragic even fatal accident. The most important lesson learned, is that this was all 100 % preventable.

Words can't even describe the overwhelming fear and dread I felt when I heard a huge crash and bang from the upstairs bedroom.

My youngest had been a handful most of the day. I was really sick, the sickest I've been in a while, coming down with the nasty cold bug he and my twelve year old had earlier in the week. My youngest kept challenging me all day, climbing on furniture, jumping off of furniture, basically just doing dangerous stunts and not responding to my corrections. Tiring out and not feeling well I sent him to bed early.

As usual, I sent him up with a snack, tucked him in, gave him a kiss and latched the safety gate, which we keep up to keep the little dogs and other pets out of his room. I came back down and sat at the computer to listen to a sermon I had downloaded and was anxious to hear.

About ten minutes later, came the CRASH, BOOM, BANG!

I quickly ran up the stairs, with my 12 and 14 year olds following closely behind. When I saw the scene all I could do was start praying out loud that my child would be okay. I found the tall chest of drawers fallen over on top of him and his body half in and out of the dresser. It looked like a dreadful scene. I was sure there had to be VERY serious injuries. Before I even entered the room I ordered the 12 year old to go down and call 911.

I was so eager to get into the room, and my strength just over took me as I tore the safety gate right off the wall to gain access. The first goal was to get the dresser off of him. The way he was under it I feared he could have a back injury and most likely a broken arm and leg on his left side.

I am 100% convinced it is a miracle that other than some bruising the child is fine! Luckily the 12 year old had difficulties operating the cell to call 911(Something we will work on and review today, as it could have been tragic if it turned out we did need them and precious moments were lost due to him not being able to figure out how to use my smart phone) After the tears were shed, and we got the injured child up and moving, it was amazingly obvious he had no serious injuries.

If you had seen the scene I saw when I found him with the dresser on him, you too, would be having the same feelings of awe that I now am. I am extremely grateful he is fine, but can hardly believe it!

In this horrible situation, my 14 year old really stepped up and played man of the house. He took down the gate to my room and moved the dresser over there until my husband can install brackets on it to secure it to the wall in the boys room. He put back up both gates, did the clean up(a lamp, and several books and other items were on the dresser when it fell) and basically took care of all the stuff his father would have had he been here, so I could tend to and comfort the injured child. I am so proud of my son for taking all this on, on his own without being asked. He just knew what had to be done, and did it.

I want to warn all parents of young children about the serious potential dangers of large pieces of furniture not secured to walls. We had already had brackets on the other dresser, as we noticed he was climbing on it long ago. It is secure to the wall. Why we didn't have this dresser secured, I don't know. I don't know if we just thought because it was so tall, he wouldn't climb it, or we just overlooked it or what. But it wasn't secure.

Even if you don't have a climber, they can still pose a danger if you live in an area like we do that is prone to earthquakes. I just urge you, for the few dollars it will cost, and the few moments of time it will take, SECURE your large furniture to the walls!

I know last year there was a fellow blogger who lost a young child due to a similar accident. That was what was running through my mind when I saw my child under that dresser. I am SO thankful and know it is only by the grace of God, that he is okay.

In my sons case, it turns out he opened the drawers and climbed the drawers to get onto the dresser. So after reading articles about securing dressers I wasn't surprised to learn that it is also wise to put safety latches on the individual drawers as well.

Accidents happen, but many are preventable. No matter how hard we try to protect our children, there will be times we will overlook something, and we can't blame ourselves if the worse does happen. I am just beyond thankful that this time all turned out okay.

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