Can we talk? Seriously, person of average intelligence to person of average intelligence? (That may rule some people out but let’s continue…) Still there? Good. OK. So, here’s the thing. Can we all stop being so f*cking stupid? OK? Thanks.
It seems to me that the future of our society is getting dimmer because our population is getting dumber. Mike Judge’s Idiocracy is not only a hysterical movie about the future of our society, it is also a scarily accurate prediction. Case in point:
This morning, I see a headline on msnbc.com, admittedly my main source of news these days. In the Health section, the headline reads: Bottles, binkies and sippy cups can hurt kids, study finds. OK… This should be interesting. I expect to hear something about BPA leakages, dental issues, perhaps speech impediments caused by over-sucking. I don’t know, something. I read the article. Turns out, the study discusses actual physical injuries from bottles, binkies, and sippies. Um… OK… how are these headline-worthy injuries happening? “In most of the cases, 86 percent, the kids were injured when they fell with the object.” Am I reading that correctly? We needed a study conducted to realize that if my kid took a header with a bottle in his mouth that he might get a boo boo? Or that running into a wall with a plastic sippy cup in his mouth might split his lip a bit?
There were some parents whose kids were injured in a fall with a bottle or sippy in their mouth. For one parent, the incident (of the bottle splitting her kid’s lip and chipping a tooth after the kid fell with bottle in mouth) was “shocking.” Now… If you fell on your face with something in your mouth and hit at the right angle, would your lip splitting REALLY be a shocking experience? NO, dumb@ss, if your face makes contact with a hard object, injuries occur.
So, because there is now a study and news article that children are being injured when they fall (as children do) with a sippy or bottle in mouth (which is where those objects belong), suddenly we are blaming the sippy or bottle for the injury? Really folks? Is this where society is heading? Oh, that’s right, I forgot, it is.
I just wonder, when do we stop and think that maybe it isn’t inanimate objects that are the evil behind our children’s boo boos? Maybe it’s OK that they get a few bumps and bruises along the way. Maybe accidents happen. And maybe, just maybe, this current generation of parents survived their own childhood of limited car seat restraint, virtually no baby-proofing, and a lack of helmets because their parents simply just… paid attention, took responsibility, and didn’t blame everyone and everything else for what happens to their children.
So, I’d like to make a few declarations:
- If your child falls with something in his mouth, he or she may sustain an injury. The object in his or her mouth is not the hazard, the fall itself is the hazard. And, no, you can’t fully prevent a child from falling and you can’t sue anyone because your child fell.
- If your child chokes on a hot dog or a grape, it is not the hot dog manufacturer or the grape grower that is to blame. If you did not first cut the food item down to a size appropriate for the size of your child’s windpipe, that is on you. If you did cut it down and your child still choked, that is called an accident. It happens. It can be tragic, yes, but not necessarily lawsuit-worthy.
- Yes, there are times when a product legitimately is responsible for an injury, but that is when it MALFUNCTIONS. A sippy cup doesn’t malfunction when it comes between your kid’s face and the floor. A drop-side crib malfunctions when he side drops unexpectedly because the plastic hardware breaks. See the difference?
While most of these apply to headlines or recalls for children’s safety, the same logic applies to adult safety. Can we all just take responsibility for our own health, safety, and wellness and stop blaming everything and everyone else? Please? OK? Good. Thanks. I’ll step down from my soap box now. I have to go give my child one of those DEADLY sippy cups.