Parents often focus on all of the good things that they’ll experience. While you’ll definitely enjoy some fun moments playing catch at the park, you also want to remember that you are your child’s lifeline in the face of an emergency. Planning ahead for how you want to handle these worst-case scenarios helps you make sure that your kid is always safe and has what they need to survive.
Choking incidents, severe cuts, and serious falls are all life-threatening situations that you need to know how to handle as a parent. Taking a first aid and CPR course helps you to be ready to handle a major emergency within seconds. Make sure to sign up for refresher courses every one to two years so that the information you learn stays at the forefront of your mind.
In addition to knowing how to respond to some common dangers, you should also make sure you have the right resources available to you in case of an emergency. For example, children might accidentally eat or drink something toxic. In this case, you would want to have the phone number for poison control easy to access. You don’t want to waste time looking up a phone number.
Additionally, you should have the phone numbers for your children’s doctors and even dentists save somewhere that is easy to access. While you might save these numbers in your phone’s contact list, you might also want to write them down and put them somewhere in the house. This is useful for babysitters or family members who might be with your kids. It’s also helpful in case your phone dies.
In a perfect world, no child would be left without their parents. Unfortunately, catastrophic accidents and major illnesses could take your life before your children reach adulthood. Working with a will attorney helps you to establish guardians who will take care of your child in your absence. They can also help you set up financial guidelines for everyone to follow to make sure that your kids have what they need as they go to school and begin their career.
Choosing a new guardian for your children is a big decision. However, keep in mind that you can always alter your will if you need to, so waiting to find the absolute best guardian is not a reason to put off making your will. In fact, putting it off could be more damaging in the future. If you need to, you can even add a backup choice if your first choice isn’t able to take on the responsibility for whatever reason.
When choosing a guardian, remember that elderly family members often aren’t the best choice. You may trust your parents most because of how they raised you, but their advancing age and consequential health issues could mean that they also pass away before your children are adults. Think of close family members or family friends who you trust to care for your children in the long term. If your child is old enough, you may even want to ask their opinion.
Fires, hurricanes, and floods are all frightening events that can rapidly change the course of your family’s life. While they’re not always predictable, you can still prepare your family for a natural disaster. You’ll first want to make sure that everyone knows what to do when disaster strikes. Teach your children about how to most quickly and safely exit the house from different rooms. Have drills to help your children practice these exit routes so that they have experience if it ever becomes necessary. It’s also important to have a plan in place for where to meet up if you get separated.
It’s a good idea to have some emergency supplies on hand. You might stash these in go-bags in your cars or near exits in the house. Your go-bags should be stocked with enough food and water to last each family member several days, a first aid kit, prescription medication, flashlights, clothes, shoes, a whistle, plastic sheeting, and batteries. You’ll want to change out clothes as your children outgrow them and prescription medications as they expire.
Finally, be prepared with a plan for beginning the process of repairing your home. Think about what you’ll need to do to ensure that your family is able to heal emotionally and physically after a natural disaster.
Losing Your Job
Supporting your family financially is another one of your prime responsibilities as a parent. If possible, try to make sure that you have at least three months of emergency funds available to help you get by until you can find another job.
You can also set up insurance policies that can help support you if you suffer an injury or illness that keeps you out of work for a significant period of time. Often, these can be set up through your job, but if your company doesn’t offer them, look at affordable policies that might be available elsewhere. This can help save you a lot of stress in the long run, even if it costs a little bit extra now.
The thought of something happening to you or your home might be frightening, but it is important to think ahead. You’ll find that having a plan in place helps you to feel more secure about the future, even as unpredictable as it is. Knowing that your kids are going to be provided for even if you are no longer there makes it easier to enjoy the more lighthearted parts of having a family.