Friday, 17 August 2012

I'm a parent, please give me pointless safety advice

Apparently, when I gave birth to my children, not only did I lose, each time, my huge baby bump, the ability to drink coffee while it's hot, and the capacity to arrive anywhere on time, but I also lost any shred of common sense I'd ever had. Or so Bumbo (or whoever has pressured for this recall) would have me believe.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

In a February letter to the federal safety commission, consumer groups said efforts by the company and the government to warn parents not to use Bumbo seats on countertops and tables were ineffective.

Now, as a parent who as a matter of course pops my baby on the bookshelf while I wander down to the pub for an hour or two, you can imagine my relief that my parenting skills are up to scratch, as neither Ikea, the pub landlady, nor our esteemed government has warned me against this, but I digress.

Moppet is coming up to the age where we'll be starting baby led weaning, and no doubt the Bumbo will make an appearance at some point if she's anything like her brothers, who both liked to sit in their Bumbo, on the floor, in the middle of all the action while they had a snack. So I'm delighted to learn that I can send off for a repair kit for our Bumbo. It will include a restraint belt, to hold her down while she dangles precariously six inches from the carpet sits happily beside me on the floor eating a banana. It will also, and I can barely contain my excitement at this, contain a new warning sticker! To be placed over the old warning sticker! By me! To remind myself to re-emphasise to myself not to balance my baby on the dinner table/on top of the fridge/atop the roof of our house. Phew.

Now obviously I've seen, over the past few years, consumer groups calling for bans on baby slings, cot bumpers, baby sleep positioners, and baby walkers. And, like a good, passive citizen, I've waited patiently and eagerly to hear from the experts what I need to stop using next. But I have today decided to become proactive, and rid my house of anything that they could in the future consider a danger to my children. The list is as follows:

  1. Bedsheets (Could be used as baby slings)
  2. Toys (May trip me over while carrying the baby)
  3. Draught excluders (Could be repurposed as a sleep positioner)
  4. Books (Possibility of them dropping off the shelf and knocking out the children. Especially when the baby's balanced on there too.)
  5. DVDs (Potential to be sharpened and used as ninja frisbees)
  6. Pans (Could get stuck on child's head)
  7. Furniture (Risk of falling off it)
  8. Food (Choking hazard. All of it.)
  9. Cutlery (It's just legalised weaponry, no?)
  10. Soap ( Might block the plughole, before someone leaves the tap on, filling the house rapidly with a swirling maelstrom of water, and leaving us in danger of drowning in our own hallway)
  11. Coolboxes (Have been known to be used as Bumbos, without warning stickers!!!)

I'm gonna get right on it today, then later next week I'll be able to sit happily in my empty (but safe) house, with Moppet in her Bumbo (complete with new warning sticker), secure in the knowledge that I've listened to the experts on this one and completely absolved myself of any requirement to think for myself when it comes to the safety of the most important people in my life. Win!

And the farce continues here...


  1. I did once smack myself in the face with a really heavy book when I dropped off while reading in bed. It made a classic 'thunk' noise on my face. That could be dangerous as it might have rendered me unconscious, before I fell asleep, leaving my poor 15 year alone in charge of a fridge.

    1. Ouch! Seriously though, I'll get a warning sticker designed immediately and sent out to you post haste. How many heavy books do you require labels for that you might potentially read while tired, in bed, and sharing the house with a fifteen year old and a fridge? :)

  2. I think it might be dangerous to send me that many stickers. The postman might get a hernia and I don't want to be sued.

  3. Ha :D Different warning stickers for him perhaps? Ahh, so much potential to be needlessly interfering...

  4. Fantastic post!

  5. I hope these warning stickers are made of thick rounded foam with hypoallergenic glue or come with a separate sticker to stick ON the warning stickers, itself warning of the risks of paper cuts and glue allergy.

    Is someone designing a (child safe of course) applicator to apply the warning stickers, to reduce the risk of getting RSI and dropping your baby due to wrist strain?

    1. All good points. Are you by any chance a safety officer? :)

  6. Nooooooo, but I've had the (dis)pleasure of being acquainted with far too many in various roles and haven't found one I like yet :P