A Scary Moment in Child Safety

by Heligirl on October 17, 2011

in Mom Tip Monday,Parenting Articles

I’m a real neurotic micromanager when it comes to my kids’ safety.

My daughter’s friend jumped off the couch and broke her leg. I never let the kids stand on the couch now. I live on a busy street. My kids are scared to death to get close to it lest mom start screaming like a wild banshee. There are still covers on all of our plugs.

But never once did it occur to me that my daughter’s new reading lamp just might pose a life-threatening risk.

Sweetness got her lamp, queen mattress set and matching bedding for her fourth birthday. She loves to sit up and read so the lamp was a must have for her set.

Last night I heard her shuffling around in her room and saw that her lamp was on. After a little while of silence Hubby went in to turn off her light (as she usually falls asleep with it on). He came out and asked me to go into her room because there is a funny smell in there.

I went in and at first I thought something was burning, then I realized it smelled more like a port-o-potty. Why would she have that smell?

I checked her laundry, sniffed at her LED nightlight, then turned to her lamp. There, showing out of the bottom of the lampshade, was the base of her “magic wand” she’d gotten for her birthday.

This wand had a fabric rose, netting and a ribbon at the top.

Hubby and I got to the lamp at the same time and looked down.

There, melted completely to the 25 watt lightbulb was her wand. The rose part of the wand was completely burned and melted. So was most of the pink netting.

I looked over at my sleeping princess, her head a little more than a foot from the lamp, and my heart skipped a beat.

What if it actually burst into flame? It wouldn’t take much for those flames to reach her bed, hair and body. Yes, there is a smoke alarm in the room, and it hadn’t gone off. But still.

I quickly started shaking her to wake her up, making sure the toxic fumes hadn’t been the thing to make her pass out.

She responded and wasn’t happy about being woken up. I showed her the wand and told her nothing goes in the lamp or I take it away. Look, it melted and now it’s all gone.

I really don’t think she got it.

I opened the windows in her room tucked her in with another blanket and told her it was going to get cold because we needed to air the room out.

Hubby went in and closed her windows before coming to bed two hours later.

Hubby tells me there’s not a chance a 25 watt bulb is going to set anything on fire, but I don’t trust it. I’m keeping a really close eye on her and what she’s doing with her lamp from now on.

It could have been worse. Or maybe I’m just a neurotic control mom when it comes to safety. But it never hurts to keep an eye on things that can get hot, like light bulbs, in a child’s room.

My mom tip today is to always be vigilant, and keep your eyes open to potential risks. I’m not suggesting our little darlings need to be smothered in bubble wrap, but giving their environments a fresh look for safety’s sake could go a long way toward avoiding something unthinkable.


SharleneT October 17, 2011 at 8:33 am

Those 25-watt bulbs can be VERY bad. We had a carousel night light in my daughters’ room. The oldest was 2-1/2 and the baby, six months. The oldest decided to show it to her baby sister. Baby sister grabbed the lamp and, by the time she was able to let go, had third-degree burns on her neck and arm, and little second-degree burns leading up to the arm burn. Rather than push away, her hand and arm had pulled it to her. We heard her screams, but the damage had been done. That was followed by daily visits to the doctor for a month and a half while the burns were scraped, allowed to heal, scraped, allowed to heal…. until fully healed and little scarring showed. Suffice to say, the attractive lamp was removed from their room. Scary things, indeed.
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October 17, 2011 at 10:18 am

Yikes, that is scary Sharlene. Thanks for sharing. Sweetness and I have since attended a fire safety story reading with firefighters at the library and have been talking a lot about how the lamp can cause a fire and we don’t touch it with anything except to turn it on and off.
Heligirl recently posted: A Scary Moment in Child Safety

Christina October 17, 2011 at 11:12 am

We bought my daughter a princess lamp in the shape of the crown that does not get hot at all. I kept it in my room and the living room the first week or so to make sure it wouldn’t get hot or melt if something touches it and it doesn’t! Good luck, maybe you could find one that doesn’t get hot and is more kid friendly. I actually looked at the same lamp you got because it matches my daughter’s room perfectly, but I did the same thing your daughter did at least 3 times as a kid, and I was super nervous about that! Glad your daughter is ok and you guys were able to check it early!

Susan October 18, 2011 at 12:34 pm

You did the best thing you could do- you smelled something wrong and investigated until you found out what it was. You use your sense of smell for so many more things than you realize. How many times have you been cooking a grilled cheese sandwich and smelled the bread toasting in the pan, realizing that you’d better flip it right away or it’s going to be burned? Yes, you averted a potential fire, and learned more about fire safety. Kudos. When my little man was really little, most of the time, if I had to say no to him about something, it was because it was a safety consideration. I would tell him, “This isn’t safe; you could be hurt.” He understood that.

Good going mom!!
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sammet October 15, 2014 at 12:26 am

Wow! Thank you! I permanently needed to write on my blog something like that. Can I take a part of your post to my site?

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