Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category
Judi Conaghan assumed she’d done everything possible to keep her five children safe. She’d covered the electric outlets, installed cabinet latches, and put all household chemicals out of reach. It’s a health thing, after all. But there was one hazard the Wilmette, Illinois, math teacher had overlooked: window screens.
On a warm October day last year, her two-year-old son, Brian, was happily bouncing on the bed next to an open window when he tripped and fell against the window screen. The weight of his body knocked the screen out of the window, and the little boy tumbled to a concrete driveway 15 feet below. “I ran out the front door, expecting the worst,” says the 36-year-old mom.
To Conaghan’s enormous relief, her toddler was conscious when she found him. But he was crying hard–and covered with blood. Doctors at Children’s Memorial Hospital, in Chicago, discovered that he’d suffered a broken leg as well as facial fractures. After a five-day hospital stay and two months in a leg cast, Brian made a full recovery. Conaghan, however, was horrified when she was told that the accident could have been avoided. “The doctor said window screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to keep kids in,” she says.
Conaghan did …
There ought to be a law.
When it comes to protecting kids, there are all kinds of laws, from federal regulations to local ordinances. But the states play a key role in making life safer for our smallest citizens. Some states have been aggressive in creating new legislation covering children–and others haven’t.
To see which states are doing the best job, we analyzed data compiled by the National Safe Kids Campaign, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the National Conference of State Legislators, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, and the National Program for Playground Safety. And we focused on laws that are actually saving kids’ lives–laws, for example, that mandate the use of car and booster seats in automobiles and ensure that cyclists wear bicycle helmets.
Here are the five states that are doing the most to make child safety a priority:
No. 1 California From requiring pool enclosures to setting standards for playground equipment, California has the most laws on the books to protect kids. And it was out in front early on–California was the first state to make helmets mandatory for cyclists, in-line skaters, skateboarders, and …
I had two choices. The first – let’s call it the honesty option – would have had me citing a few articles I’d seen recently. “Mister,” I could have said emphatically, “there’s no link between sugar and increased activity. As I recently read in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists have learned, and I quote, ‘even when intake exceeds typical dietary levels, neither dietary sucrose nor aspartame affects children’s behaviour or cognitive function.'” I could have told him that. I might have strengthened the argument by citing a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association that stated if parents do perceive an increase in their child’s activity after she takes on a load of sugary treats, it’s got to do with either her parents’ expectations or the fact that the high energy is the result of a party or other exciting event. I know my children are more excitable in the days leading up to Halloween than on the candy-filled few days following.
I didn’t say any of this though. I’ll go a long way out of my way to avoid confrontation. Plus, if the man is like me, he’ll go on believing whatever he wants.
For instance, I happen to know that sitting too close …