Why You Always Need to be Prepared . . .

I can tell you the exact moment that I realized what an enormous responsibility it is to be a new parent. We were still in the hospital after the birth of my daughter and my wife handed me our new baby to hold for the first time. She was so small, so fragile, so totally dependent on me for survival, that I was literally scared to move. I was worried I’d slip or trip or just shift her from one arm to the other in the wrong way and that would be that. It seemed an impossible task to keep something so delicate safe from harm. Truth is, I was right. You can’t protect your new child from everything as they grow up, no matter how hard you try. And if you don’t believe me, ask any parent with a few years of experience under their belt what’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to their kid, then wait for the flood gates to open. Our daughter choked on a quarter (yes, the baby Heimlich really works), tipped a dresser over on herself, broke her leg jumping off a rock, and knocked out a tooth in a fall down our front porch steps, all before she turned 4. If you include false alarms, colds & fevers, and other more routine visits to urgent care and the pediatrician’s office, you can easily triple that number of “emergencies” and add a few more on top for good measure.

While you can’t protect your child from the inevitable bumps and bruises of life, what you can do is to make sure you’re prepared for those situations when they arise. Taking the simple precaution of throwing together a list of emergency contacts, and posting it in a prominent place in your home (ours is on the fridge, and we have a second copy in the diaper bag for when we’re out and about), can be a game changer when emergencies happen.

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