Monday, March 8, 2010

Keeping the World Safe

Posted by Terry McNichols

I now have 5 grandchildren.  The oldest is 5 and the youngest is just turning one this week.  They are a pure delight!  When we were first "expecting" grandchildren, about 6 years ago, I went into a Babys R Us store for the first time in many years.  As I think about it, maybe I hadn't ever been in one since I think they came around after we were the parents of young kids.  I wandered the aisles with a dropped jaw, taking in all of the choices available to young parents; so many versions of strollers, high chairs, cribs, wall decor!  But the section that amazed me -- and still does -- was the safety section.  How did our children ever reach adulthood without the many cupboard locks, stove guards, baby monitors, bath care "centers," fridge latches, outlet covers, fireplace guards, window blind cord wind-ups, washer-dryer locks -- the list goes on and on.

Please don't misunderstand me.  My son and his wife have an entire blog specializing in the very real threats that are out there for kids, from BPA to shoddily-made products!  We have made a lot of progress on demanding accountability in baby products.  And I realize that most of these precautions came about because of a safety issue. But those safety issues have spawned an industry and a "need" that puts young parents in a bind.  It is essential to worry about every possible scenario and take the precautions necessary to prevent it!  The media plays up every possible angle on stories of catastrophes, causing us to believe that the world is a much scarier place than it actually is.  (Read this story on the blog Free Range Kids by the author of the book by the same name.)

But here are two pictures from my recent trip to El Salvador that has gotten me thinking about these safety issues.  Many of us in the United States have the luxury of paying attention to the finer safety issues.   Poverty nullifies that luxury. 

1 comment:

jen said...

Terry, these pictures say it all. We have such luxury in this nation. I'm humbled!