As some of you know who follow me, I became The Safety Mom after I lost my first child to SIDS, something most parents never dream will happen to their child. I wanted to educate parents about dangers and also help them get information about products and services that could help save their kid’s lives. I belong to a club that no parent wants to be a member of. Sadly, over the years I have come into contact with many fellow members. Most recently I had the incredible honor of speaking with Marc Klaas on my weekly radio show, Keeping It Together With Alison The Safety Mom. Some of you may recall that Marc is the father of Polly Klaas who was abducted and brutally raped and murdered in 1993. Like me, Marc has taken his tragedy and gone on to try and help other parents who are dealing with the loss of a child who has been abducted. I’ve also spoken with many parents whose children have died from some other injury or accident. All of us had always thought the same thing – “it could never happen to my child.”
Sadly, tragedies happen to all of us in every community. No one is immune. I sometimes see parents who are complacent about their child’s safety or health and I want to scream, “Don’t you realize what could happen?!” But we all tend to live in our happy little bubble and not consider the “what if?”
I’m not trying to scare anyone or make parents paranoid but what I am saying is that we need to take every realistic precaution to keep our children – and ourselves – as safe and healthy as we can. And that is why, when I come across a product or service that I believe can help in this mission, I choose to support them. Most recently, I was introduced to iSafeBags. This is seemingly a traditional backpack, slingbag or computer bag. But, hidden under the flap on the right strap is a rip cord. If the user feels at risk of being assaulted she can pull the cord and instantly a built-in alarm will sound and a strobe light is activated. I was sent one to try out by the inventor who warned me it was loud but I had no idea! This thing would scare off any potential attacker and alert a passersby that there is trouble. The inventor created it after he saw a news report of a woman who had been raped by four men while she was walking home from work one evening. Since then he’s been on a mission to tell everyone about his product that can help protect anyone from attackers and bullies, especially women and kids. What’s even better is that it costs less than most traditional school backpacks!
I had dinner with a good friend last night whose daughter is heading off for her freshman year at college in two weeks. I told her that this would be my graduation present to her as I’m already worried about her walking to her dorm at night. Did you know that one 1 out of 5 college kids is assaulted every year?
I want to scream this from the rooftops – abductions and attacks happen to our kids in every community! People like Marc Klaas try to tell people this every day. He said the greatest challenge to keeping our kids safe is that parents are in denial that this happens.
The iSafeBag is one small thing that we can do to help keep our kids safe. It’s my hope and prayer that you or your child will never need to activate it but isn’t the peace of mind worth it?
Alison Rhodes is the founder of Safety Mom Enterprises and Safety Mom Solutions, the premier baby proofing and child safety company in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area. Alison is a family safety expert, TV personality and consultant.