Thursday, September 17, 2015

Danger in the Home



Thanks to unused diaper points, my wife has as subscription to Parents magazine. Like most issues, this one featured a special section on seasonal gatherings and an ambitious article concerning 30 ways to "love your kids better." However, the article that caught my eye was titled 10 Home Hazards Hiding in Plain Sight

Anxious to unmask the deathtrap we call a house, I quickly thumbed to the section started reading. It turns out that my children may have been safer being raised inside a Russian smelting factory. One of the most egregious offenders are those adorable canvas clothes hampers. They are a fun and stylish way to hide your soiled linens….that is until the structural metal wire tears away and rips open Suzy’s defenseless cornea leaving her with permanent vision loss. But the imminent danger to my children didn’t stop there:

Decided those detergent pods were an economical way to operate your dishwasher? Well I hope your little one enjoys being monitored for intestinal bleeding.

Excited to utilize that new immersion blender to make the potato soup recipe you found online? I am sure your toddler will compliment your culinary skills once they are adept enough at manipulating their new bionic hand to actually taste it.

Thought that a bowl of Werther’s Originals made your home more inviting? I am sure the paramedics will feel right at home once they finish reviving Timmy after one blocks his fragile windpipe.
Death Lozanges

Figured that replacing that old tube television with an ultra-thin HD model would enhance the den? I hope your den also needed a hint of parental guilt, because it turns out that the reduced weight just makes it easier for your offspring to bring it down on their yet-to-be-fully-calcified cranium.

Finally taken your doctor’s advice and begun to seriously treat your hypertension with pharmaceuticals? I hope that your newly-reduced blood pressure readings survive the DCS inquiry.

I have no problem with taking steps to reduce childhood injury, but sometimes I worry that these lists are generating statistically-unwarranted fear. You know what we should be afraid of? Type 2 diabetes and improperly installed car-seats. Unattended firearms and congenital abnormalities. These all cause more injury and death among children under five than fabric hampers, but they would not sell many magazines and are not as easily addressed.

Not to single out magazines, teasers for television news programs have been using this strategy for decades. We can all remember the seeing the grave look on the anchor’s face when he stares into the camera and says, “Your child is in immediate physical danger from a common item in your home….. details at 10!”

In the spirit of public safety, I have decided to pen my own list of 10 Obvious Hazards:

1.      Sheet metal slip-n-slides
2.      Do-it-yourself KGB double-agent interrogation kit
3.      Indoor radium darts
4.      Laparoscopic hide and seek game
5.      Bubble-gum flavored table saw blades
6.      Anti-freeze popsicles
7.      Salmonella roulette
8.      Open-face push mowers
9.      Smallpox
10.  Musket freeze-tag

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