Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Dangers for kids 

My favorite toys as a kid included a Huffy dirt bike, indestructible metal Tonka pick-up truck, slot cars tracks, whiffle ball, lawn jarts, and WWF wrestling with the guys on the block. Today’s toys are more likely to be made of an unbreakable plastic with no sharp edges! I always felt a little bit smarter….ok, not smarter but cooler, when I got myself hurt and wound up bloody hoping desperately for a scar. Apparently is out of vogue. There is now a lawyer (surprise surprise) who has established a nonprofit group called WATCH (World Against Toys Causing Harm). The purpose of this group is to warn against toys potentially dangerous to children.

After reviewing the article and thelist of this year’s top ten most dangerous toys, I thank my lucky stars that this group did not exist when I was young and that my parents’ paranoia did not approach the level of this group’s members. From the toys listed, I wonder if those making the list are not so much worried about child safety but bitter at their lack of a childhood. Some examples from the list include: a slingshot (danger-eye injuries), a soda fountain with realistic smelling “sodas” (danger-ingestion, allergic reaction), and nunchukus based on a popular terrapin based cartoon (danger-blunt impact). Are they serious? My reaction to these toys is this-did these folks never have a slingshot or play with baseballs? Did they never eat dirt/glue/paste/crayons or stick any non-food items in their mouth? Did they ever play with bats? Or sticks? I’m just glad I didn’t see the big fat red whiffle ball bat on there. Surprising, because based on my childhood I’m pretty sure it causes blunt impact.

To me, this reeks of our recent trend towards a society that is afraid to do anything for fear of litigation, and also one that will never take responsibility for its own actions. For cripe’s sake, my mom kept a close (too close?) eye on us all the time to make sure we didn’t get hurt. When we did get hurt, she bandaged us up, and we’d be off again. Seems these days all efforts are made to eliminate any opportunity for injury, in my mind depriving kids of any fun. Kids can get hurt anywhere, whether or not they have these “dangerous” toys. I’d be more afraid to be a manufacturer than a parent. Litigation is way too easy and too prevalent.

I say let the kids get hurt a little. As long as it doesn’t kill you, why worry? Besides, chicks dig scars.

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Name: Corey
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I'm on a journey with no destination. The path is constantly changing direction but there are always adventures to be had. "Never" and "always" have left my lexicon.

WWW http:/www.jimspeak.blogspot.com