How do I keep my child safe? This is a question I get asked a lot, and it annoys me a bit. Isn’t it just common sense?
I don’t think I am doing anything differently than what I would be if I was a mother with full vision. It also helps that I have a fully sighted husband. We do all the things we should be doing. Here are some examples:
- Picking up my bobby pins from the floor if they drop.
- Making sure there isn’t anything on the floors which he can swallow.
- Making sure power cords and leads are out of the way.
- Ensuring exposed power-points have a safety plug.
- Putting child locks on cupboards.
If I need to be out of the room, I put Archer in his playpen where he is usually happy to play, or in his cot. If I am outside to peg out the washing, I try and do this when Archer is asleep or I take him out with me and sit him in his bumbo. If I am cooking, he sits in his high chair and watches me cook and I might give him some finger food at the same time to keep him occupied or he might be in his safari rotating thing or jolly jumper. It really is just common-sense. I know how to keep my child safe and always know where he is. I can see him across the room and what he’s doing. I am very lucky to have enough vision to do that.
Vision Australia provides access to quality living groups over the phone where people in similar circumstances talk to each other for a bit of an outlet. I was part of a blind parent group at the end of last year for eight weeks where I spoke to the people who had all different levels of blindness. This group was so liberating for me, as I no longer felt alone. We all had the same feelings and I really felt understood. It was great because we could give each other hints about things like child safety, getting out and about as well as hints and tips for things like how to give our children medicine and ideas for different games we could play with them.
For me I am lucky because I do have that little bit of vision and that little bit of colour vision. So I can see a UNO card and a scrabble letter if I hold it up close to me. One lady who was completely black blind used to put bells on her child so that she could hear where her child was. Another parent had a child that used to run off. She used to get the child to wear an animal backpack with a leash on it to give that child independence but also keep them safe.
As Archer gets older, I am sure there are many challenges that I will be facing. At the end of the day he still needs to just be a kid and get out in the dirt and play. However knowing that these groups are available is a big help for me..
This post is related to my vision of accounts only. There are many people with varying degrees of vision impairment that may need extra help or assistance and Vision Australia is there to help us all!