Read an Excerpt
introduction: when bad things happen to good babies
When I began writing this book I asked every parent I knew if they had experienced an emergency when their children were infants. Over 80 percent said yes.
For a friend it was a car accident when her daughter was just three months old. For a colleague it was a fall off the kitchen counter when her infant was just five months old. Another friend told me about her son choking on a piece of hot dog at his first birthday party. I heard stories about food allergies, burns, bee stings, and much more. Fortunately, not one of these children had a permanent injury as a result of the emergency situation.
We have written this book to make sure that, if you are confronted by an emergency with your young child, you will know what to do, and, like in the vast majority of situations, your baby’s emergency will soon be just a bad memory. The Baby Emergency Handbook was designed so you can always have it with you. Keep it in your diaper bag so wherever your baby goes, the book will go too. In the back of this book you will find important information that you and the other adults who care for your infant need to know, including:
But don’t wait until there is an emergency to read the book! Each section of this book begins with information on how to prevent the problem. Read these sections carefully and have other people who care for your child do the same.
As part of your prevention program, we urge you to also take a course on baby first aid, and in particular infant CPR. These are offered by your local hospital or American Heart Association or Red Cross chapter. There is no substitute for hands-on training when your baby’s health and safety are involved.
At the end of each section in this book you will also find suggested issues to think about as your child grows. Unfortunately, emergencies do not end when your baby becomes a more resourceful and independent child, nor even when your child becomes a sturdy, nearly grown-up teen. Your baby will change in many ways over these years, but dangers will persist, as will your concern for your child’s safety. And, at every stage, you will find that being prepared and informed is the best way to protect your child.