Posted by: ladybughugs | October 24, 2008

They Must’ve Missed the Memos

Lately, it seems to me, parents are taking more risks with the safety of their children. Kids don’t come with manuals, but there are some basic guidelines that all parents should know. Basic common sense.

Recently, in the news here, there was a story about a mom, a wife of a NYC police officer, who left her toddler in her car while she ran into a convenience store to get cash from the ATM. The child was asleep, she drove past several other stores in favor of the one that was more out of the way, figuring it would be safer. While she was inside, the car was stolen, with her toddler strapped into his car seat. They found the vehicle a short while later with the child still inside. He had slept through most of the ordeal. They figured the thief abandoned the vehicle when he realized the child was there.

There is a parent at Lil’bug’s daycare who leaves his (approximately) 5-year-old son in his vehicle while he takes his infant daughter into the building. I want to smack him. I do not allow Scout (10) to stay outside while I go inside! The only classroom that looks out into the parking lot is for an older age group. He can’t see his car or his son. He can’t know that his child is safe.

MEMO: Do not leave your child unattended in a vehicle!

The law in this state is that all children must be in a child safety seat or booster seat until they are eight years old or 80 pounds. Scout, at the upper end of the weight scale for his age, is not 80 pounds. (For the record, he’s so skinny his coach has mentioned that we should feed him more. I digress.) Nevertheless, I see young kids obviously not strapped into their seats, heads bobbing around in the back seats of their parents’ vehicles ALL. THE. TIME!

MEMO: Your child must be strapped into a seat that is appropriate for their age/weight. If you don’t know what is appropriate ask at your local police station/fire house.

General rule of thumb: kids are safest in the back seat. Whenever possible, kids under the age of 12 should be in the back seat. There are parents at Scout’s school that allow their children (Scout’s classmates) to sit in the front seat. Do you know how hard it will be to enforce the rule when Scout realizes this? I will get an argument every time we go out.

MEMO: You are the parent, it is your job to enforce the rules for the safety of your child.

Another story in the news this week was of a mom who left her 3-yo daughter in the toy section of a thrift store while she browsed a few aisles over. A woman was seen on a surveillance tape leading the child, by the hand, out of the store. Fortunately, the child was recovered 5 HOURS LATER. I can’t imagine thinking it would be okay to let my toddler play, unattended, in one aisle while I was shopping in another.

MEMO: You should be able to (at least) see your child at all times when out in public! Merely being able to see your child will not avert an accident. The closer you are to your child, the greater the chance you’ll be able to protect them.

Why do people think their keys are a suitable toy for their infant/toddler? Keys are not made to the same standards as childrens’ toys. Did you know some keys are made with lead? Lead is a soft metal, it’s easy to cut to make the notches. Parents who go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that their children’s toys and environment are lead-free will turn around and give their keys to their infant to chew on.

MEMO: Your keys are not appropriate teething toys!

What did I miss? Is there something you’d like to add to this list? What are some of the ridiculous mistakes you’ve seen parents make that make you shake your head in disbelief?



  1. I once saw a young couple in a sports car, holding their toddler (looked to be less than a year) STANDING UP in the front seat between them stopped at a traffic light! No seat belt, no car seat, nothing! And they got mad at me when I said something to them!

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