Posts Tagged ‘safety’

Riding In Cars With Friends

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

seat beltJust about the number one job of any parent is to keep our kids safe.  We teach them not to take candy from strangers, we tell them to stay away from drugs and cigarettes, and we make sure they wear a helmet when riding a bicycle and a seat belt when riding in the car.

But we can’t be with them every moment of every day — sometimes we just have to let go and trust in what we’ve taught them and in the competence and responsibility of those to whom we entrust them.  Whether they’re in the watchful care of a teacher, a fellow parent, or a family member, we have to believe that that person will work as hard as you do to keep them safe — or at least as hard as they do for their own kids.  But what if that’s not enough?


It’s a 3-way Street

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

It’s an old joke — A nice old lady encounters a little boy standing on a street corner holding a bundle tied to the end of a stick.  She asks where he’s going and he tells her that he’s running away from home.  Concerned, she asks where “home” is and he points to a house just a couple of doors from the corner where he’s standing.  Less worried, she asks if this is as far as he’s going and the boy sighs and tells her “I guess so.  I’m not allowed to cross the street by myself.”

But in the real world, is there really reason to worry about kids a crossing the street?  Certainly, when they’re four or five years old, they shouldn’t be going anywhere by themselves but what about at, say, age ten or twelve?  Is a middle-school student old enough to cross the street by himself?  You might think so, but watch this video and you may very well change your mind.


Click It or Ticket — For Kids Too

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

When I was growing up, my siblings and I were absolutely required to wear seatbelts at all times when traveling in a car.  Considering the way my mother drove, that’s a very good thing.  Back then, it was a matter of personal choice; today it’s the law.  Electronic signs along the freeways I drive to work proclaim “click it or ticket”, the slogan law enforcement agencies are using to remind people to wear their seatbelts and officers are indeed handing out tickets for failing to comply.  As one Texas ten-year-old found out, that applies to kids as well as adults.


Getting Kids to Stand Up

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Even one would be too many.  Sadly, there were a dozen in one month last September and thousands more attempted.  If those numbers were kids injured by a faulty toy, there would have been a nationwide recall by now.  If those were kids who got pregnant before they were teens, there would by television specials and public outcry.  What those numbers represent, however, is something far worse: teenagers committing or attempting suicide because of anti-LGBT bullying.  These are kids who either are gay or are perceived to be and who are so tormented and alone that death seems their only option.  Luckily, however, there are those working to put an end to this tragedy and some of those folks are kids themselves.


A Parent’s New Year’s Resolutions For 2011

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

At the start of the New Year, it’s traditional for people to make sweeping statements about how they plan to improve themselves or their situation in the coming year.  I could certainly do that — I definitely need to lose weight, I’d like to yell at the kids a little less, I really ought to work more on getting my book published — but that would only benefit me or, at most, my family.  So I thought I’d take a look at the big picture and come up with some resolutions that will help kids all over.

So with that in mind, here is A Parent’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2011:


The Video A Mother Should Never Have To Make

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Imagine losing a child — a teenager who is an intelligent, beautiful person with a great future ahead of them.  Imagine losing that child not because of some accident of nature or incurable disease but because of something easily preventable.  Imagine losing your child because of the thoughtlessness of their peers and the indifference of their teachers.  Wendy Walsh doesn’t have to imagine it; she lives it every day.


Kids’ Best Friend — Or Not?

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Growing up, we had a number of dogs over the years, from dachshunds to a loveable schipperke to a couple of dumb-as-doorknob borzois and never had any problems with them.  When she was an adult, however, my sister adopted an Australian shepherd and the dog bit a number of people.  That was an expensive lesson.  Luckily, no one was seriously hurt, but that’s not always the case.


Beware the Juice

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Soda, it’s pretty well agreed, isn’t good for kids, especially the younger ones.  It rots teeth and, generally, contains caffeine, not to mention being a huge source of empty calories.  Milk, well, it does a body good, but it too can be fattening — something, sadly, I know from personal experience.  Of course, no one would recommend coffee for kids and, in the US at least, beer, wine, and other “adult” beverages are right out.  So what’s left, if your kids want something other than water?  Juice is one option — except that even that has problems now.


Toddlers Versus The TSA

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

By now, I’m sure just about everyone has heard about the three-year-old that was “hand-searched” by TSA agents after she got upset about having her teddy bear taken away.  It turned out that the girl’s father was a TV reporter; he pulled out his cellphone and recorded the search.  (The video has since been removed from YouTube due to copyright infringement.)

As you might expect, the opinions on this are all over the place, ranging from “this is sexual molestation of children!” to “if we don’t search children, the terrorists will put bombs in their diapers!”  I think reality is somewhere in the middle — I suspect the parents could have done better job of preparing their child for the process but I also think the TSA is probably ill-prepared and poorly-trained to handle such situations.


Beer Cans Bad For Babies

Friday, October 29th, 2010

I’ve long been one of those snobs who simply won’t drink beer that comes in a can.  Heck, in many cases, I won’t even call it beer.  It turns out, now, that quality and taste of the beer is just one reason to avoid beer in cans.  According to a study of Chinese factory workers, drinking beer (or, for that matter, soda) from cans will do more than reduce your chances of getting laid — it affects your ability to make anything happen if you do.