The Most Important Article You’ll Ever Read on Child Safety

Untitled presentation (9)

Sorry about that title.

This article probably won’t help you much when it comes to child safety.

Because, frankly, for the past seven years, I have learned one important lesson from the internet and the news: children die out there.

There are the obvious fears that we face as parents: cancer, drowning, strangulation, suffocation, choking, car accidents, being ran over, accidental shootings, targeted shootings…

but in case we weren’t scared enough already, there’s also all of the obscure stuff out there that makes the rounds on Facebook and 24-hour news channels like wildfire: secondary drowning, sandhole collapsesbrain-eating amoebas in pond water, etc., etc., etc.

Every possible way in which a child was harmed or has died is cataloged and published and shared and you’re sitting there zoned out in front of your computer reading about it like a slumped-over toad (because isn’t that what we all look like while we’re on the computer?), but on the inside this scream of hysteria is building in your throatal regions because your greatest fear – losing this little piece of you that you love so fiercely – is being described in another harrowing tale, and even worse, in a new horrible way that you never even dreamed of!!!

Seriously?

A sandhole collapse on the beach?

The water and the sharks weren’t scary enough?

Or the pedophiles?

Now we’re dealing with sand, too?!

Please, please, PLEASE don’t get me wrong: I love the idea of being prepared, and I am so grateful to the brave mothers who shared their stories to inform us of potential dangers that might threaten our children.

But you know what I don’t love?

Adding fear to my fear.

Adding worry to my worry.

Adding terrifying tableaux to my suitcase of worst-case scenarios.

I had so many of those already.

And now, I’m not only a wreck as I watch my kids swim, paranoid that I won’t see the nearly undetectable signs of drowning

now I’m watching them for hours afterward to make sure they are not secondarily drowning… 

and my mama-sized panic is compounding and I’m thinking crazy little somethings like this...

You know, Rebekah got some water in her nose and choked for a while. I read that the symptoms of secondary drowning are lethargy and sluggishness. But…my kids just swam for seven hours and now they’re all sacked out like corpses in the living room…what if she is drowning right now??? Should I wake her up? I know I’m being crazy. But…what if I’m wrong and its too late?!..

Sometimes, when I’m not panicking in the midst of all these potential dangers, toils and snares, I can’t help but reminisce about my carefree childhood in Oklahoma where my best friend and I could go meandering down our remote gravel road, sticking our feet in the creek, playing alone in the barn, going swimming in the pond…

you know what?

My kids don’t know that life.

Because, six years ago, two girls were shot and killed while meandering down an Oklahoma country road very similar to the one that I used to frequent.

Gravel roads haven’t looked safe since.

And there are snakes in the creek.

And there could be deadly amoebas in the pond.

And there could be sex offenders near the barn.

And that’s just the beginning.

They can’t drink out of the waterhose. That’s toxic.

If the baby falls asleep in his carseat, we should wake him up after we bring him inside because nine babies died from sleeping in carseats this year (by the way, why is this article all over Facebook right now when it was written in 2006?!).

Oh! And speaking of Baby Shepherd, OH MY GOSH, there is a balloon next to him and it must be popped and discarded of because if a baby even touches a balloon, they could inhale it and choke to death!!!

And sorry, this is off the subject a bit, but did you know that having a child blow out the candles on a birthday cake is a great carrier for germs?

(not to mention their hair could catch on fire).

God?

I’m freaking out here.

Again, I sincerely don’t want to be misunderstood: my point is not that it is bad to be informed.

Information is good.

Warnings are great.

Education is a gift.

And you’d better believe that if something tragic happened to my child that I could help others to avoid, I would do everything I could to get the word out.

My point has nothing to do with the information, really…

and everything to do with what we DO with the information.

How do we respond when we read these warnings?

Do they make us paranoid?

Do they chew up our bellies with fear?

Do they cause us to imagine the worst?

Do they make us feel helpless?

These kinds of responses are red flags, and they are scarier than pond water, because they belie a problem that is deeply rooted within us, a problem that is as old as time and feels impossible to shake…

We don’t trust God.

We want to BE God.

And, deep down, we hope that if we do this and avoid that and plan for this that nothing bad will happen to our children, ever.

All of which point to a most unbiblical conclusion…

we think that the only hope for our children is us.

And that is how the simple act of reading internet articles can be a diving board that catapults us into very dangerous waters; cataloging every possible death trap and fearing every single worst-case scenario, we subconsciously trample upon every word the Bible says about God’s sovereignty, about His goodness, about His will, and about His calling.

Through our fear and helplessness, we discard the scriptures that we so vocally uphold, saying aloud “Yes, Lord! You are so good and ‘I surrender all’ and ‘have thine own way’ and all those Christiany things I’m supposed to say” while our hearts are kind of screaming “YOU AREN’T BIG ENOUGH, GOD, AND YOU DON’T CARE ENOUGH”.

If you think that sounds like an exaggeration, consider how the article about secondary drowning receives our rapt attention while God-breathed texts like Romans 8 gather dust on our bedside table…

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. 

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Did you hear that?

This is just one tiny excerpt from a book that is TEEMING with hope.

Hope for me.

Hope for my kids.

And while those ancient words may not contain step-by-step instructions for keeping my kids alive, they provide so much more, a bountiful feast of peace and truth for my fearful soul…

a wellspring of beautiful principles that my starving and terrified heart devours.

God is in control.

God is good.

God does everything for my good.

God created my kids.

God loves my kids more than I do.

God has a plan for me that will bring Him glory.

Nothing can separate me from the love of God.

I am in Christ, and my children can be trusted to Him.

There are greater things to fear than death.

Granted, the Bible makes no promise that all of my safety- and wellness-centered prayers for my children will be answered; in fact, most passages of comfort in the Word were written to a people who were enduring suffering like many of us have never seen.

It is inevitable: every person dies and no one is exempt from pain and sadness.

But when I read the Word, it helps me to breathe.

It realigns my heart with a truth that I cannot inwardly deny.

It stamps a purpose and a hope upon even my worst-case scenarios.

And it reminds me that this life isn’t even the one I’m supposed to be living for, anyway, and that, if God would be so gracious, I have eternity to spend with each of my most-beloved children.

Eternity!

So yes, let’s read and share all the articles and take the precautions as we slather on the suncreen and zip up the sleepsacks and fasten the safety helmets and cut up the grapes and mince the hot dogs and AVOID ALL WATER, PERIOD…

but let’s also stop living as if there is no God.

After all, there is really nothing more toxic, hazardous, poisonous or dangerous than that.

 ~

Want to keep up with Mrs. Gore’s Diary? Find us on facebook! I promise not to share scary articles there. :)

40 thoughts on “The Most Important Article You’ll Ever Read on Child Safety

  1. Thank you for speaking truth into the abyss of Mommy-worry. Anxiety is something I struggle with in general. It’s grown since I became a Mom, but, by God’s grace, so has my faith as I’m challenged by words like those you wrote here.

    • CAN I just say I scrolled to the ‘good’ part. Having walked in the place of living in one of those night mares and looking out the other side! I KNOW what its like to feel the smack of that fear come crashing from a dull dread to a monstrous reality. And I won!
      Its a war for peace, a sense of safety, to let our kids be kids in the face of intense information availability.
      But I refuse to live in that tiny space where every fear mentioned above has squeezed me into a space smaller than a rubic cube!
      So I wear my armor and pray and seek the solace of Gods word and comfort of those who have gone before.
      I ask Papa God and expect Him to direct me and my kids. Its actually an added difficulty for me to now I have grown children.
      They are not sitting at my table, hearing my constant litany of caution. I can’t run to their aide as easily. So my knees bear the burden and my heart is expanded until I’m certain it won’t fit in my chest many days.
      What in the world was God doing when he made us mother’s?
      Having 4 beautiful, bright copies of my husband and myself. I thank Him for His goodness to us. Its quite amazing to have them and keep them and see them grown and living confident lives in such a difficult world. Quite a miracle, I think!
      To my last breath!

  2. You’re kind of awesome! I thought I had experienced fear…and then I had kids, and you are absolutely right about the worries increasing 10-fold. But thank you for once again reminding us what should matter most and turning our hearts and minds back to the Word of God…after all…
    “All flesh is like grass,
    And all its glory like the flower of grass.
    The grass withers,
    And the flower falls off,
    But the word of the Lord endures forever.
    1 Peter 1:24-25

  3. Thank you. I try not to read news or click on all the links that people share on Facebook, because I know how I will worry. I did read the secondary drowning post though, and after swimming on Monday (when my three year old went under the water briefly and came up coughing and sputtering) I watched him like a hawk and still yesterday was having thoughts like “he’s been extra tired this week” and “wonder if he’s drowning?” It is sometimes easy to think we are the ones in control, since we see ourselves and know we’re there. Much more difficult to trust someone we can’t see. But I know that’s what I must do! Thanks again for the wonderful reminder. Love your blog!

  4. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I came across this as I was going through my facebook subscriptions and removing all nnotifications from news channels and mommy sites. I’ll keep the household cleaning one but I can’t let these things keep mmaking me paranoid.

  5. Thanks so much for the wonderful reminder about our awesome God! We grandmas have this problem, too! The world today is much different than when my kids were little, not to mention from when I was a child. But Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and forever!

  6. Yes, yes, yes!!!! I’m so often asked by my mother in law, “Don’t you worry about –?” She’s actually given up and decided I don’t worry. She’s right. I do think about these things, but worry is a sin. I choose to live and teach my children about God even more than I remind them about safety.

  7. Thank you so much for this reminder. I was actually JUST thinking about secondary drowning as I was getting ready to take my two year-old son to the local water park. I’ve been living in anxiety over what COULD happen to him… and that’s no way to live! It’s time to put my faith back where it belongs and just trust God and his plan for us.

  8. I never comment on blogs but this one is worthy of me doing so. Thank you for convicting my heart and pointing me toward the truth of our big, loving, gracious, mighty God.

  9. Hi. Will you pray over me that The Lord will help me submit to Him as God? Like, pray until it happens? that he will give me a new heart to fear him as help me not suppress truth? Thank you.

    • Kathryn, I don’t know you, but that must’ve been humbling to ask. I prayed for you. God will do wonders through you.

  10. Very well said! I had that very conversation with my husband about secondary drowning yesterday when my 3 year old daughter fell asleep on the couch after swimming. He just looked at me & said she didn’t nap today & she just swam. Maybe she’s just tired. My pastor always says that worry is temporary atheism & I have to constantly remind myself that God is in control.

  11. Well said. Most Excellent. Having buried a child and have two adopted children.. Now as young adults they deal with difficult diagnoses – one is degenerative and considered terminal, the other is bipolar…. The fear is real and complex and compounding. I have lived through more than one dark night of my soul. Currently, at least once a week, I choose peace. I cannot watch or read much national news. I choose articles carefully. I choose movies and tv and consider if it will increase anxiety or feed my soul. I refuse to take in what is being made readily available. I don’t care if I am not up on every world event or latest show or movie.. I do care I have the strength to cope with my smaller world. I do care my soul can still sing praises. I do care that I feel God listening.. I have lived through what I thought would kill me and though my soul took a beating, I found He is faithful no matter our condition. And I found I can make choices that add, not take away. Again, well said!

    • Having lost our only son I can only say it was a test of faith. I never cursed my Heavanly Father nor have I wondered what would he be doing today if… He isn’t here today with us because he was called home to do something more important. We will see him again. We were given 17 grandchildren many of them remind us of him. Even his four sisters remind us of our Todd. What a test of faith loosing him was. I miss him every day. I look forward to seeing him again when the time is right. I share this in the name of our brother, Bmjesus Christ. Amen.

  12. Thank you! I just finished Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy. This goes right along side that. Read it cover to cover, you won’t be sorry.

  13. Mother of 13 blessings here…thank you, what a good article.
    I could go on and on, but I won’t.
    It’s just so nice to see some common sense (that isn’t so ‘common’ anymore!) :-)
    God bless you as you raise/train/love your precious darlings.
    I LOVE life!
    He’s so good to us.
    Just found your blog…looking forward to looking over it when I have time.

  14. I loved reading this article. I try not to over worry that my 2 year old daughter is going to get seriously injured or anything. Every morning when I wake up, before I go to work, I pray God will keep her safe. And, your article reminded me that, even though I was 39 when I had her, God has a reason for me having her and I raise her to the best of my ability. Being a single mother has taught me more about, and strengthened my faith, more than anyone could ever have imagined. I found your words to be very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  15. There is so much wisdom in this article–It should be handed to every new mother on the day their first-born comes into the world! When my son was four years old, due to my fear of strangers taking him, I had explained as carefully as I could (I thought) that he should stay near the house when playing outside and why. One morning, while he was playing with his little cars on the steps near the back door and next to the driveway, he suddenly started screaming and pounding on the back door.

    Since I was keeping an eye on him, I saw the car that had pulled up in our driveway to turn around. When I brought him in the house, he tearfully explained that he thought they had come to take him away. I was so angry at myself for instilling this kind of fear into him!! I sat him down and explained that God was always watching over him and that I should not have told him about bad people. As usual, God used that long ago day for our good.

    On that day, long ago, I apologized to God and determined that I would leave my children’s safety in His capable hands, while still training them in wisdom and thoughtful actions. Because of this, I know that all of my children grew up to be the smart, capable and successful Christians they are today. And, leaving my children in God’s tender care, ensured that there were no “awful teenage years”. I am so grateful for God’s leading–I know that the lack of stress and worry have been good for me, too! Faith is the key to everything with God–after all, His word says, without Faith, we cannot please Him!

  16. Perfect timing for me as my two “very” young adults left today for camp with my 10 year old. It’s actually comforting to watch them almost parent her and know they’ve learned a thing or two from you but also scary to relinquish control. I’ve lost two brothers as young adults and had a chronically ill child. I have to continually remind myself the scriptures you posted especially when it comes to my own kids. We all have a story to tell don’t we? I’m thankful for the peace He gives when things do happen and do believe He works whatever happens in life to our good. To personalize Psalm 56:3, when I’m afraid, I trust in Him. Now, to get that to be my default response. :)

  17. Oh! A million yesses to this. It has been a season of loss for our family and my anxiety about the little things is being handed over daily to the good and awesome God who is in control of it all. Thank you for the reminder. For the toughness of your words but the gentleness of their delivery. I needed this today.

  18. I only ever peeled the grapes and gave my 2 daughters whole oscar meyer hotdogs. Every time I cut or minced thier hotdogs, they choked…go figure.
    I absolutely loved reading this!

  19. mother instinct we love our children much more than our self so we always protect them not to be hurt but sometimes something happen we felt afraid. GOD is our protector in our daily lives so we should always to be Gods Fearing.

  20. Amen! I have written about overcoming the mother-fear myself, and how sometimes the only thing that helps is to meditate on scripture instead. To turn every thought of fear over to the Lord and battle it with every verse of hope. Thanks for sharing.

  21. You seem like a sister writer, thinking things I have thought and wished to write about. Love your Biblical outlook! I look forward to reading more of your posts, keep writing the real things from your heart.

  22. Wonderfully well put! Thank you! That is my very favorite passage of scripture. He gave us wisdom and we should certainly make use of it, but leave the outcome to God. It is Satan who wants to cripple and bind us with fear and make us doubt God’s goodness. But God’s perfect love casts out all fear! Our times are in His hands and we just need to trust Him with everything. We can’t control all contingencies and situations anyway. But He is in control! :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s