Oh baby baby… One of life’s greatest joys is that of a newborn baby. Of course we can’t wait to share our much anticipated and exciting news with the world. Wait, the world? That seems like an exaggeration. But is it? Who and how we announce the arrival of this little blessing does matter. Are we calling or texting our closest friends, sharing on Facebook and Twitter, mailing darling announcements, or even putting in the small town newspaper? Do they even still do the newspaper announcements? Let’s hope not, because that is just as bad as those giant storks we place in the new parents’ yard! There should be a difference between announcing the arrival of baby and advertising ‘we have a new baby, want to come kidnap it!’
The extent that hospitals take to protect against kidnapping of newborn babies is quite extreme. Mom, Dad & baby all have matching wrist bands, there are alarms if a bassinet leaves the nursery, doors are locked and visitors must request access, code words are given to parents for a nurse to be allowed to take baby out of Mom’s room. These are just a few of the procedures in place at most maternity hospitals today. In other words, they are guarding against anything happening to those new bundles of joy, and they should.
And then there is the well meaning family and friends that place a giant stork in the new parents’ yard announcing the arrival of a boy or girl. Yes, they are adorable signs and who doesn’t want to help the new family celebrate? What starts as an act of love and excitement could quickly turn tragic. Sadly, the same stork announcing the arrival of a new baby is also “advertising” to potential kidnappers! Look look, you want a newborn baby? Drive around, read the sign. Do you want a girl or a boy? Sometimes we go as far as to add details of birth date, weight and length. Sadly to a kidnapper this is really a neon sign that could prove to be irresistible. If you are guilty of loving those signs in the yard, please think twice next time.
As family and friends, we do everything we can to keep those little ones safe. It is our job; we do it because we love them. Please help welcome those new bundles of joys home in other ways. After all, I doubt parents will spend any time looking out the front window into their yard at their giant announcement. Greater acts of love might be bringing them warm dinner, doing a load of laundry, or offering to pick up the house. I’m willing to bet new parents would much rather you help with chores or errands than stick a big sign in their yard announcing to strangers that inside this house is two exhausted parents and a newborn baby.
It is our responsibly to keep our loved ones safe, together we can. The Sue Weaver C.A.U.S.E. is the only nonprofit organization that promotes criminal background checks to better protect you and your family.