Skip to main content

Should we save people from themselves?

Today's question is brought to you by some (of whom I consider) stupid parents. Maybe I am just being overprotective, but these things, in general, seem like a bad idea. Agree or disagree?

Letting kids ride a bike without a helmet
A couple of kids in my neighborhood regularly ride their bikes helmet-less. I know "when we were kids" we did not do this, but the law states if you are under 12, you must wear a helmet when riding a bike. I don't know if it is parents (or kids) being lazy, feeling goofy, or not wanting to spend the money,  but when you consider the statistics and how much more expensive it will be to pay for a hospital visit, why not just do it?

What is worse is for a week I watched a dad let his two kids, a girl who looked about 10 and a boy who was probably between 12 and 15, ride a motorbike without a helmet. Not only is it extremely dangerous, especially considering the boy was popping wheelies(!), but it is also illegal for an unlicensed motorbike to be on a residential street. I drew the line in this instance and called the police, though to be honest safety was not the only factor; the noise from this bike would regularly assault our ears for an hour or two at a time. I like to think I might have helped save a life (and my ears).

Keeping kids away from fireworks
Not surprisingly, this past fourth of July weekend, I watched a group of people, including kids who probably ranged in age from 6 to upper teens, set off roman candles and play with sparklers. I could picture the littlest kids getting burnt considering how close they were standing to the fireworks. As a kid, I witnessed a firework tipping over and heading straight towards the porch filled with relatives. Scary. And although sparklers are cool looking, those babies can reach temps of up to 2000 degrees. Perhaps under the watchful eye of a parent, it may be okay for a kid (not a little one) to have a sparkler, but that's probably about it.

Not watching your kids/charges when they swim
This is my biggest gripe, especially considering the number of drownings (and near drownings) that have been reported in just over a month. I just don't understand why parents (or those in charge) are not constantly watching their kids. You cannot assume someone else is doing it, and it is silly to think that because your kid is in floaties or an inner tube, that he or she is safe.

The city pools allow kids who are six and older to swim without adult supervision. I don't care how good of a swimmer a six- or seven- (or eight-, nine-, or ten-, for that matter) year old is; that is too young to drop off a kid for a few hours You simple cannot rely on the lifeguards to keep track of everyone. I don't think I am being overly cautious here.

At our pool, where there are no lifeguards on duty, the rules clearly state that children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Considering you can be a lifeguard once you are 16 (younger in some places), that rule seems a bit stringent. But I have seen plenty of 9- and 10 year-old kids swim without a parent, and it concerns me.

My kid is a good swimmer (she moved up three swimming groups this summer!). But I don't take my eyes off her for more than about 15 to 20 seconds at a time, while swimming laps. Even then, I do the backstroke away from her and a front stroke towards her so I am watching her pretty constantly. But to just let your kid swim alone, or to talk on the phone while your three year old floats in an inner tube seems like an unnecessary risk.

Leaving your kids home alone when they are too young
I could write a separate post on this one and may some day. But it appears that once again, a Pittsburgh mom has left her young kids (in this case 7 and 4) home alone while she was at work or someplace else. Very tragically, these two boys died in a fire. I have no idea how old Jordan will be when I let her stay home alone, probably older than most would be since she is an only child, but 7 and 4 is beyond ridiculous. I think 10 and 7 would have been too young.

I am not sure what the answer is, but perhaps I will try to watch out for others and educate people, even at the risk of making some of them angry. You?

Comments

LaLa said…
It is absolutely *CRIMINAL* to leave kids that young alone. The age you leave your children unsupervised depends largely on the child, but 7 is inexcusable. I also agree you are asking for trouble with young kids coming to the pool alone. But how many parents ignore their kids anyway...

If the other things are what experts and the law tells us, I guess I can abide by it.
Facie said…
LaLa:, Yes, criminal. I was actually just talking to a friend yesterday who is an occupational therapist who says that people leaving their young kids alone is way more common than people think. So sad.

And I am definitely about following the law. Not sure that the pool rules fall into that category, however. If Jordan were much older (say 15 or 16) and we still went to our pool, I would probably let her swim alone.

Thanks for the comment.

Popular posts from this blog

Worry

Lately, I have had some anxiety. I have been waking up within an hour of when I fall asleep (partially because my bladder has its own timetable). And then I lie awake, worrying about various things. Mostly I worry that I am failing as a parent. I worry that I allow my child to be disrespectful to me more than she should. I worry that I am not forcing my shy child to do more things. And I worry that the few things I am pushing her to do will make her resent me. I worry that she gets stressed about school. I worry that she is bothered because she does not have a lot of friends. I worry because I don't know why that is.

I worry that we will be stuck in our house in our bad school district, a place where we would not send our child to high school when she graduates in two years (two years!). Then I worry that our somewhat introverted child will have to go to cyber school. Because there is just no way that we could afford to send her to Catholic high school, for which tuition is curren…

Why I am an "Other"

Last month while I was getting my driver's license picture taken, I tried to change my political party affiliation. For whatever reason, my choices were Democrat, Republican, Other, and None. But first, how I got there.

I registered as a Democrat when I first registered to vote, just before the '92 election. At that time, I was "kind of" liberal (for growing up in a somewhat rural area in western PA), and pretty much all of my relatives were registered that way, so it made sense. I was not really into politics at that young age, however.

As I got into my late 20s, I started to realize I was becoming more conservative, so a few years later, when it was time to renew my driver's license, I changed to Republican. I still remember the day at work when I told my coworker Anne that I was really a Republican. She told me she had known it for years. During the 2008 election, I was on board with John McCain running for president, mostly because I thought he was a good pe…

My first and hopefully my last biposy (or I would rather be at the beach)

This past Monday afternoon I had my biopsy. Up until Sunday night, I was not worried. In fact, I was never really concerned about having cancer; it was the needle part that bothered me. As it turns out, there is more than a needle; there is an actual incision. So it was not surprising that I only got a few hours of sleep. But on a positive note, I cruised right down the Parkway that morning, being the Monday before the 4th, so there was that.

I got there at the prescribed 30 minutes ahead of time; in fact, it was probably close to 35 minutes! I had to wait about 10 minutes, during which I could feel my seat vibrate (still not sure about that; I was tired but I don't think I was imaging it). Then I went back, changed, and waited in the "gowned waiting area" for no more than 5 minutes. Not even enough time to find out whose twins Jennifer Garner was pregnant with! WARNING: What follows will be detailed, though not too graphic.

Then I went back to a room, where someone as…