Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Dangers of Safety

From cribs to strollers to highchairs to pacifiers, recalls on products designed for children happen all the time. In fact, calculations found at state that “about 42 percent of all recalls between 2006 and 2011 were for children's products.” This includes home child proofing equipment such as gates and latches. However, the real issue is not that the childproofing items fall apart or break. The real issue is that long before the item has a chance to fail many children simply take them apart. So is it safer to not childproof? Of course not. Just keep in mind that kids are pretty smart and will figure things out quick. A case that proves my point. I have a simple lock on my bedroom door with a sardine key that I had pinned at about 6 feet 6 inches high on the adjacent wall. My 3-year-old got the mobile off his sisters’ crib to reach high enough to knock the key off the wall. He then spent all of five minutes jimmying the lock as he has seen dad do so many times. So when it comes to plastic do-dads that are supposed to keep children out of potentially dangerous situations I’m a little weary. Especially since, “Kids make the perfect little scientists,” in science professor Karyn Alme’s opinion, because they are always so inquisitive and have no bias to stop them from experimentation.” And in that respect, one of the more common pieces of advice that you will find while perusing the internet, studying from the shelves at B&N/Starbucks or chatting with your neighborhood child psychologist/expert on infants on the subject matter is fairly simple. Don’t let your child… (fill in the blank here). I posed a question of this sentiment to Guardian Ad Litem, Ansleigh Ames-Clark of Florida and her response I think is rather worth mention as whimsical and classic. “Have you ever told your child ‘don’t go in the yard, there’s a snake out there? ’And what’s their immediate response? Bee Line for the backyard singing ‘A Snaaaake… where’s a snake I want to see the snake.’” The point is when childproofing your own home remember there is no such thing as “Child Proof,” kid resistant may actually be a bit more accurate… sort of.

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