Infant Safety Reminders

September 24th, 2015 | Posted by Wishing Well in Health | Safety - (0 Comments)

important baby safety tips every parent should know
As a home safety educator, I go out into the community and teach home safety workshops to expectant moms, new parents, grandmas and grandpas, daycare workers, and basically anyone who will lend me their ears so that I may impart my knowledge and wisdom about baby-proofing their homes. My knowledge comes from continuously educating myself on this subject. My wisdom comes from being a mom who didn’t know about a lot of safety recommendations at the time when my son was a baby, and am therefore quite thankful my child made it through those years (relatively) unscathed. September is Baby Safety Month so I am shouting from the rooftops my tips on best safety practices that will hopefully bring you both knowledge and wisdom about keeping babies safe.

Safe Sleep
Please follow the ABCs of safe sleep: ALONE, on the BACK, in the CRIB. All those stuffed animals, fluffy pillows, and fleecy blankets are so cute, but pose a great risk to infants in their cribs. Mattresses and fitted sheets need to be snug and never use bumper pads. Do not use cribs with drop down sides as they can be a suffocation hazard.

Falls cover a lot of territory and cause many trips to the emergency room. Anchor furniture like dressers, bookshelves, and tvs to the wall to prevent tip overs. Keep floors and stairs clear of items to prevent tripping. Never place infant car seat carriers on a table or countertop. Never place furniture near windows. Use window locks or wedges because windows are enticing and these can prevent a baby from falling out.

Car Seats
A car seat should be chosen based on the height and weight of the child. It should also be installed correctly according to manufacturer instructions. If you are unsure about the installation of your car seat drive to one of many fitting stations around middle Tennessee and certified car seat technicians will be glad to train you in proper installations.

Choking and Poisoning
Keep all soaps, cleaners, toiletries, and detergents stored in a high place or locked in a cabinet away from baby’s reach. Many items look like something to eat or drink; make sure your baby doesn’t ingest mouthwashes, soap pods, laxatives, or other attractive-looking items. Never leave any medications out including vitamins which can contribute to poisoning. Many foods have the potential for choking including grapes, nuts, popcorn, hot dogs, and hard candy; provide your baby with soft food that is easily chewed and swallowed.

Set your water heater at no higher than 120 degrees to prevent scalds and burns. Never leave your baby alone in the bathtub and make sure all water is drained after their bath. Empty buckets and secure the toilet lid with a latch- even the smallest amount of water can lead to drowning. Keep the bathroom door closed.

When my teenage son was a baby we had several visits to the emergency room because of a fall on some stairs, a berry he shoved up his nose, and a cheerio he stuck in his ear. I cried tears to the pediatrician because I knew these injuries could have been prevented through simple steps I could have taken as a parent. Instead of berating me for what felt like many mistakes, he used it as an opportunity for me to begin that long process of educating myself about safety in my home in order to learn what was predictable and preventable so that my little guy could remain injury-free. And through my mistakes you have the opportunity to learn more about home safety.

Happy Baby Safety Month! Let’s keep all those babies and small children safe! For more information about Baby Safety Month and baby-proofing your home, visit and our own safety page.

Written by GiGi Rose, a West Virginia native who has called Nashville home for 25 years. Her professional background is in program coordination and community outreach.

Guangzhou streets

We would have been two foreigners lost in the crowd in Guangzhou, China without John, our guide through the equally confusing maze of government paperwork and city streets.

Frustration, elation, paperwork, meltdowns, euphoria and questions of sanity—they’re all part of the adoption process. It’s a long and difficult journey made easier when you have someone to help carry the load. Every path to adoption is different, but these six people were our advocates and strong shoulders for an international adoption.

Your friends and family
Encouraging words about your adoption are always appreciated. It’s a real friend who volunteers to help you pack for your trip or make last-minute copies of your 300 pages of paperwork. We told our families and friends that it was best if we didn’t have an airport celebration when we arrived home from China. I’m grateful a few of our friends ignored our request. The low-key cheers and help with luggage after 34 hours of travel with a frightened toddler was the perfect welcome home.

Your social worker
It’s tempting to hurry through the pre-adoption process. Like most families, we wanted to knock out the paperwork and start seeing referrals for children. I said many times, “biological parents don’t have six months of home study, why should we?” I’ve come to appreciate the wisdom of our social worker only after completing our adoption. Our social worker’s home inspection seemed a bit intrusive until safety locks foiled our daughter’s infatuation with sharp knives and power tools.

Your adoption agency
I’ve had strangers approach me in the park to ask about how we started our adoption journey. Find an agency that matches your style and your goals are my first words of advice. Your agency counselor is your advocate, teacher and cheerleader. When you’re scrambling for answers at a service window in the county courthouse or the embassy, you’ll need your counselor on speed dial.

Your pediatrician
We knew very little about the health history of our child. Heck, we were first-time parents with no experience in the mysteries of runny noses, ear infections and unexplained rashes. You’ll have a lot of worries as a new parent. Choose a doctor early in the process to address health concerns before, during, and after your adoption.

Your in-country guide and translator
For international adoptions, you are at the mercy of a guide arranged by your adoption agency. You don’t choose your guide, but work with your agency to find someone who best fits your family. We shared many common interests with one of our guides in China. Adoptions can be stressful and manic. We broke the tension and shared laughs over meals of steamed chicken feet and pickled black fungus.

The kindness of a stranger
Thank you to the TSA worker who helped us bypass long boarding lines. We are grateful for the grandmother who helped us clean up after a lunchtime meltdown. Yes, it can be a dangerous world, but use your instincts and be bold about asking for a helping hand.

Rex Perry is a Strategic Marketing web producer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He and his wife Donna welcomed Kaitlyn Joy Xingji Perry into their family on April 7, 2015.


The Importance of a 5-Point Harness

September 17th, 2015 | Posted by Wishing Well in Health | Safety - (1 Comments)
The Importance of a 5-Point Harness

About five years ago, I saw a video made by a mother whose young son was killed in a car crash because he wasn’t properly restrained in a 5-point harness booster seat. She hadn’t known about safer options, and her lifelong mission has become educating others on the importance of using a 5-point harness for … Read more


The Best of Car Seat Safety

September 15th, 2015 | Posted by Wishing Well in Health | Safety - (0 Comments)
Car Seat Safety

From projectiles to best practices, the information regarding car seat safety can be overwhelming for parents. In honor of National Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Week, here is a round-up of some of our most popular car seat safety posts. 8 common car seat mistakes 4 things I learned from my recent car seat check How … Read more


Labor & Delivery Tour

September 10th, 2015 | Posted by Wishing Well in Health | Pregnancy - (0 Comments)

A lot of preparation is involved when you are expecting. From shopping for baby gear to picking a name, pregnancy is a big adventure. Preparing for your delivery is also important. If you are planning to deliver your baby at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, you might find this new video tour of our labor and … Read more

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