If you have kids, you need to know about the websites that help parents keep their children safe. We all know that the world is not always the safest place—especially for our most vulnerable—our children. But the good thing is that as parents we can educate ourselves—gather some basic tools and information that can make a big difference in our ability to protect our children. And even better, many of these answers are readily available: they’re on the Internet. So here goes: let’s take a look at some websites that help parents keep their children safe.
1. Safe Medications for Breastfeeding or Pregnant Moms
When pregnant or breastfeeding, Mom may wonder if the medications she is using are safe for her unborn or breastfeeding child. For example, let’s say Mom has a cold. Could the cough medicine she’s taking be harmful to her unborn child? Or she has acne and uses a topical acne cream? Or what about after pregnancy while she’s breastfeeding. Is it ok for her to take an antibiotic? Will it be passed on to the baby in her breast milk?
Even over-the-counter medications such as aspirin can be dangerous.
Mom should always discuss the medications she is using with her doctor.
But there’s also a website that can give Mom more information about the risks or safety profile of the medications she is using: mothertobaby.org
It’s a great website, and it even has a telephone number to call! This is one of the best websites that help parents keep their children safe.
2. Recalled Dangerous Toys
One recurring nightmare for parents is the prospect of a dangerous toy. Now some toys are just annoying—like the toy drum set that has all the charm of a migraine and makes a sound like garbage can lids banging together. And some toys are obviously dangerous—like the toy car with removable parts—just perfect for swallowing and blocking an airway.
But what about the toys that aren’t so obviously dangerous? Like the toy oven that for some reason actually heats up? Or the glitter paint with a rash-inducing ingredient?
Luckily, there is a place for such toys. The recall list!
To see a list of recalled toys, see the Consumer Safety Product Division’s website at: cpsc.gov
You may be glad you did!
3. Safe Skin Products
Another worrisome issue for parents is what skin products are safe for use on their children. Granted, at this point in our modern society, most products are vetted and are safe. Still, some are safer than others. Also, some children are sensitive. Why introduce harsh or irritating ingredients when you don’t have to?
But don’t worry, there is a website that can help you make decisions about the ingredients in the products you might be applying to your child’s skin. It’s hosted by the Environmental Working Group at ewg.org
Examples of products that might be useful to examine are baby wipes, diaper cream, and sunscreen.
And even better, it’s not just useful for baby products. It has information on the ingredients for Moms too—items like makeup, nail polish, and hair dye.
4. Avoiding Allergies
Is your child constantly bothered by itchy irritated eyes, unexplained welts or hives, or the most alarming—sudden difficulty breathing?
Your child may have allergies. Some allergies may be merely bothersome to your child. But children with severe allergies may suffer life-threatening consequences.
(Parents who have their child suffering from difficulty breathing should, of course, call 911 at the time of the child’s distress. After seeing a doctor, the child may be prescribed medication for emergency use, such as an epi-pen.)
In any case, parents who suspect their child may have allergies or have a family history of such may want to have allergy testing performed on their child.
Additionally, the parents may want to keep a close eye on possible triggers that may affect their child. Common triggers include pollen or peanuts.
Luckily for concerned parents, there is a great online resource. For a longer list of triggers, more resources on allergies, and even a search tool for nearby allergists see: acaai.org
5. Stranger Danger
Though it’s very rare occurrence, there is probably nothing as terrifying to a parent as the possibility of a child abduction. Fortunately, not only is this occurrence rare, there are also tools a parent can teach a child that can help reduce the risk of such a horrifying event.
First of all, experts are criticizing the concept of “stranger danger” as somewhat antiquated. Parents are encouraged to help their child recognize signs of dangerous adult behavior instead. Signs could include a grownup that is making the child uncomfortable by moving in too close. Or perhaps the adult is trying to get the child to enter a car.
Most importantly, the child is made to understand that the suspicious adult in question need not be a stranger. If Saturday’s martial arts teacher suddenly shows up on the playground on a weekday, asking the child to help “find his lost dog,” the child should say no and move away. Though the person isn’t technically a stranger, why is he asking the child for help? Adults are supposed to ask other adults for assistance, not children.
Fortunately, there’s a great website kidsmartz.org that provides helpful hints, videos, and other resources to help parents keep their children safer.
Of course, at the end of the day, we know we can't protect our child from everything. We can’t save our children from every scraped knee or defuse every schoolyard bully. But it’s good to know we can create some safeguards for our children—and maybe in the process gain a little peace of mind for ourselves.