By Mark Wilhelmsson
Table of Contents
With September marking the observance of Baby Safety Month, the spotlight is on this Annual Awareness Campaign that serves as an important reminder for parents and caregivers to prioritize baby safety!
However, as a Pediatric CPR, AED and First Aid Instructor, I believe it’s also critical to acknowledge its limitations and consider how we can collectively work to bridge these gaps.
In this blog post, I want to delve into the concept of Baby Safety Month, explore its potential shortcomings, and discuss ways we can aspire for greater impact to better protect our little ones.
The Importance of Baby Safety Month
Baby Safety Month plays a critical role in raising awareness about the need for safe environments, practices, and products for babies. It aspires to serve as a reminder for parents, caregivers, and communities to reevaluate their surroundings and routines, ultimately promoting a culture of vigilance and responsibility.
By focusing on topics like safe sleep practices, proper car seat installation and usage, choking prevention and the importance of baby-proofing homes, this initiative strives to equip parents with numerous proactive measures we can take to safeguard babies from potential hazards.
The Practical Skills Gap: While baby safety awareness is undoubtedly important, in my opinion, it’s insufficient on its own. As someone who has been working with parents, and as a father of four (ages 6-21), and having worked with expectant parents as well as caregivers for many years, I believe there should also be an emphasis on turning that awareness and knowledge into practical, life-saving skills.
Temporary Impact: The nature of awareness months often leads to brief spikes in interest followed by gradual declines in engagement. Baby Safety Month, while important, can sometimes result in a momentarily focus on safety concerns before reverting to old habits.
Accessibility and Reach: While many families benefit from the resources andinformation provided during Baby Safety Month, there are segments of the population that might not have easy or affordable access to these resources. Socio-economic-factors and language barriers can limit the reach of awareness campaigns, leaving some families without the information they need to keep their babies safe.
Aspiring For Greater Impact
Awareness + Practical Skills: By combining awareness with parents and caregivers learning practical, life-saving skills, we can create a more comprehensive approach that not only prevents accidents but also empowers us to act quickly and confidently when seconds count.
Year-Round Advocacy and Engagement: Promoting baby safety should extend beyond a single month to counteract the short-lived enthusiasm often associated with awareness campaigns. Regular reminders, follow-ups, and providing practical tips can help parents and caregivers maintain their commitment to baby safety well beyond the designated safety month.
Inclusivity and Accessibility: To ensure that all families can benefit from baby safety initiatives, regardless of their financial circumstances, we must act quickly to bridge accessibility gaps. This could involve translating resources into multiple languages, providing information in various formats, and collaborating with community organizations to reach underserved populations.
Baby Safety Month brings much-needed attention to the safety of our little ones. However, as we reflect on its limitations, we recognize that there’s a clear opportunity for growth and improvement. I believe we can enhance the impact of this campaign and ultimately, it’s up to us—parents, caregivers, communities, and advocates—to turn this awareness into meaningful action and lasting change!
Mark Wilhelmsson is a Certified Pediatric CPR, AED and First Aid Instructor, BabysitterTrainer Instructor, and Water Safety Ambassador and he is the Founder of Our Child’sKeeper and Safe Kids CPR. He is also the author of “EMERGENCY – This Book Will Save Your Baby’s Life.”
Mark Wilhelmsson will be teaching a free Child Safety Workshop at BumoWork on Saturday, September 16, 2023. RSVP HERE!