Monday, January 25, 2010

More On Excessive Safety

My wife & I are the proud parents of, among others, a 10 month old. Naturally he's curious about seemingly everything, such is the way of such small children. It's typical.

As part of that, we have to exercise caution. Cleaning fluids are not close-by. The floor has to be vacuumed very often because he is prone to putting every last crumb and bit of paper into his mouth. It's actually kind of annoying at times, but it's typical--and our place to protect him from such hazards. No problem at all.

Sometimes, though, the "experts" forget--there are parents living in that home, too--and last time I checked, the parents were the ones with the weight of the world on their shoulders. Working, making the payments, making sure nothing is out-of-stock, having food, debating which product will entertain their children while also educating them, fixing a water leak, making sure all the lights are out, etc.

You would think, in the midst of all of this, a parent can get some relief when they need it. Especially when the parent is experiencing some back pain and needs a little ibuprofen to help ease the tension, it sounds like a reasonable-enough request to be accommodated.

But in today's over-sterilized/over-protected world, seemingly nothing is safe from safety.

I experienced this today, early this morning.

I awake with some pain in my back, it's killing me. I am remembering that, not even a week ago, we bought a 50-tablet packet of ibuprofen. Perfect, I thought--I'll take some of that, maybe I will feel better.

In the dark I stumbled, piddling around, trying to locate it. I turned on the lights, looked harder & harder.


No matter how much I looked, I couldn't find it. Relief from back pain was not to be experienced today.

And why was this relief not available to me?

You guessed it--the "safety" freaks were at it again.

You see, someone had advised us that all medications had to be out-of-sight. Not out-of-reach, mind you--which I totally understand & agree with--but out of SIGHT. Children are not supposed to be able to even SEE the medication. Apparently, I am to believe that--somehow--my 10 month old will climb to the top of our refrigerator (where the pills had been) and get their hands on them.

The requirement for safety-proof bottles was one thing. But apparently that wasn't enough. Then we had to put the bottles out-of-reach. Now, even that isn't enough. Now the bottles have to be out-of-sight.

What's next--are we going to have to store the bottles at Ft Knox and request permission from the armed guards?

It's bad enough we're trying to take all the fun out of being a child. I recall with glee, for instance, us riding in the back of my Aunt's pickup truck--camper-shell attached--on the way to lake vacations. It was great for the children & the adults. The 5 of us would be back there cutting up and having the absolute time of our lives just being kids. The adults were up-front, with a quiet cabin all to themselves, able to talk about adult-things without us hearing the details, and without them having to keep telling us to be quiet every 5 seconds.

As this post makes clear, though, the thinking has changed. (I posted a comment there.) Safety is everything now, to the point of killing all the fun of being a child--or adult. What's more, you as the parent aren't allowed to decide for yourself what balance between safety-fun you wish to set things. Society has decided it's all about safety 100%, and that includes your children too--not just their own. Under the guise of safety, they refuse to mind their own business. If we were to dare replicate that camper shell/pickup truck feat today, odds-are some busy-body would yank a cellular phone out and be on the phone with social services before we'd get 2 miles down the road.

It's disgusting, nauseating, and--dare I say it--downright socialist. This is the US of A, save the nanny states for China & North Korea. To heck with that here, and all of those that would just spread it even more.

Tomorrow, I think the ibuprofen is going to be brought back to the top of the refrigerator. Next time I have a headache or whatever, relief is going to be available for me. Period. Anyone that doesn't like it, doesn't have to come in. Anyone that does & complains, they're going to be shown the door--and don't let it hit them on the way out.