Amber Boone was having a completely normal day when she decided to put her three-year-old daughter, Aubrey, down for a nap.
She didn't do anything differently than she normally did, and she assumed her daughter was sound asleep in her bedroom. But Amber quickly realized she hadn't taken account of one of the most important safety features in her home.
Amber's daughter was in her bedroom on the second floor while Amber went downstairs to work in the house. According to KTVB, a few minutes later, she heard a loud banging on her door.
She said, "Next thing I knew my neighbor was banging on my door, and I started to get a little frustrated … I was like 'who is banging on my door that hard,' but by the time I even got halfway there, because I was in the kitchen, she stormed in and she said, 'I think your daughter fell, I think she fell.'"
It was every parent's worst nightmare. Aubrey told KTVB, I saw her laying on top of the screen in the driveway … My first thing was like running to her and making sure she doesn't fall asleep, seeing if there's anything else, making sure she doesn't move.
Little Aubrey was rushed to the hospital where the doctors discovered she had a fractured skull, lacerated spleen and a swollen-shut bowel. She has mostly recovered from the fall, but Amber said, "Everything has healed other than the skull, that's going to take time. It's a bone. They said four to six months that it will heal."
Aubrey, like any other child at that age, loves to climb and explore, so it makes sense that she wanted to open the window and look out to see more. Plus, little kids don't have great balance at that age, so it's easy for them to fall.
I was visiting a friend recently who has many children and when we were standing outside the house, I saw one of her kids lean out of a second-floor window -- even his torso was out.
Once children learn to walk, it takes time to perfect their skills and they eventually learn to climb, kick, jump and run. These abilities make the little munchkins perfect explorers.
When children learn these skills, they often like to feel independent. They like to do things all by themselves -- without help from mom and dad. Because of this, these children need constant supervision by a responsible adult.
It's important to make sure your home is a safe space for your children to explore. Put locks on the cleaning cabinets, cover plugs, put up stair barriers and lock your windows. You can never be too careful when it comes to making your house safe. Accidents always happen when things are overlooked.
Just as their motor skills have to develop, their cognitive skills have to go through that process as well.
Small children's brains take a while to develop, and babies and some toddlers don't have the concept of danger. This is why they often have accidents, so it's important to keep them safe.
Helping your child have a concept of the word "no" will help you prevent accidents. It takes time, patience and intervention, but it's so worth it. Sometimes, you have to say it over and over until your children understand.
As a Psychopedagogy professional, I have learned some practical techniques that may help you make an intervention:
Visual contact: When talking to the child, crouch down to their height and make eye contact.
Don't shout: When your children are in danger or doing something they're not supposed to, your first reaction is to shout. This will only frighten them.
Baby-proof your house: We already talked about this earlier, but make sure all accessible areas in your home are safe for children to explore.
Use your words: You might want to hit your child, but refrain from the temptation. Just take a deep breath and say "NO."
Your kids will have accidents -- it's inevitable. Make sure you follow these guidelines to teach your kids and lower the risk of something terrible happening.