It seems that every day there’s a new warning out. Whether it’s baby bottles leeching BPA into little systems; or the phthalates we are told are contained in baby lotions, shampoos, and baby powders (but we’re not told which ones exactly so I guess when my baby comes next month, it will have to remain dirty and stinky or full of phthalates); or lead-tainted paint in toys from China, the list keeps getting longer and it makes me wonder do we know too much? I mean I’m sure that keeping these things from babies is a good thing and now that we know, let’s fix it, but have they been there all along and we’ve been okay with it or are we (and by “we” I mean the scientists looking for research dollars which certainly does not actually include “me”) just stretching around trying to find something to look for and scare us? If they continue to study every possible problem with this kind of intensity and keep finding stuff to scare the beejeezus out of me, I’m going to have to hide out somewhere safe like….hmmm, are there phthalates on the moon?
When I did a parenting class before my son was born, the nurse teaching it said something like everything I am going to tell you means that my children should be dead. Meaning that all the stuff she told us we should not do, were the very things she did with her children. Babies slept happily on their bellies, drank Carnation milk, ate solid food earlier, and had decorative bumper pads around their cribs. Yet, we didn’t seem to have the all the allergies and asthma that are around now. In the six years between the birth of my nephew and the birth of my son, the authorities changed things like the way the baby should sleep. My nephew was supposed to sleep on his side to prevent SIDS. My son had to sleep on his back. In the four years between babies even, I am now told to forgo using alcohol to clean the remnants of the umbilical cord on the newborn and that I should only use water. I forget the reasoning behind that but I have heard word of mouth reports of increased infections in said umbilical cords since this new policy came into being. Stay tuned. Any of these things may change before baby comes.
And if those warnings are not enough, there’s the ones that people want in place because other people can’t be trusted to use things safely. Like the latest push to have special warnings on cotton swabs. A man recently died after perforating his eardrum with a cotton swab then an infection he already had in his ear spread and caused meningitis. Suggestions for warnings include a small ear with a red x over it on cotton swab packaging. I thought everyone knew that you’re not supposed to put anything smaller than your elbow inside your ear. Admittedly, I didn’t know that you could die from such a thing but I did know it could pierce your eardrum and I figure I’d go see the doctor if I did such a thing. Then there’s the even more infuriating situation where cough and cold medicines for very young children were completely pulled from the shelves because people had been making mistakes and doing things like giving too much to their children or mixing more than one dose of differing cold medications together. Do we have to pull things away from people who are quite capable of reading instructions and administering medicine to their children safely because other people cannot? Where do we draw the line? No more toasters because people may stick forks in them to remove their toast, no more sharp knives for fear parents will give them to children as playthings? Warnings have to be uber-stupid sometimes because companies can and will be sued if something happens and they did not warn you (like that if you eat too much junk food, you could get fat or if you go to a haunted house you’ll be scared). But when they take things away from people who use these things responsibly, what is next?
Anyone know where I can buy a phthalate-free, BPA-free gigantic protective plastic bubble my family and I can live in?