Sunday, October 30, 2005

Now I've seen everything...


There's an article in today's newspaper about the latest baby accessory: the "Thudguard". It says:

Toddlers can be a handful to keep safe, especially between the ages of seven and 20 months when their tender heads are egg-soft but their knack for finding peril is at an all-time high.


Hmmmm: seven-month-olds bungee jumping off change tables. When Wonder Boy was seven months old he was anchored to the ground by a couple of kilos of plaster of Paris, but even so, I doubt many properly supervised babies of that age can do more than roll over a few times.

I note this warning on the Thudguard website:

WARNING: THUDGUARD IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR GOOD PARENT OR CARER SUPERVISION. CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE LEFT ALONE. CLIMBING CAN CAUSE CHIN STRAP SNAGGING. HEADGEAR VENTILATION SLITS LEAVE SOME AREA OF THE HEAD EXPOSED. THUDGUARD IS NOT SUITABLE FOR PEDAL CYCLISTS, SKATEBOARDERS AND ROLLERSKATERS.


Well, I don't know any 20-month-olds who can cycle, skate or rollerblade, so that's that danger out of the way. And the dire warnings about the chin strap, ventilation slits and (elsewhere) the danger of overheating if they wear the thing too long make me think the helmet itself may be more dangerous than the odd bump on the head that comes in the normal course of a toddler's exploring.

Babies have long survived the normal trials and tribulations of toddlerhood without the protection of a helmet for their egg-like crania. My own mother recently confessed to having dropped a tin of jam on my head in the supermarket when I was a baby... which might, come to think of it, explain a few things.

And as if a baby helmet is not a ridiculous enough concept on its own, they put EARS on it. WTF?

If I ever see a baby actually wearing one of these things I'm going to report the parents to DOCS for endangering their child's sanity by making them the laughing stock of the neighbourhood.

1 comment:

Thomas Siefert said...

Reminds me of a story from Sweden about 10-12 years ago, where parents had begun to give their children bicycle helmet on when they went to the playground. At least two children had been chocked to death because the helmet had caught on the playground equipment and many others had close shaves with death. The bicycle helmet idea was never recommended by authorities but was something that over-zealous parents came up with themselves, probably inspired by the very strict laws for toys in retail sale in Sweden.

Sweden have always been on the cutting edge of safety for children, most of the safety tests for childrens toys have been developed in Sweden. Also I think it was the first country in the world to not only make child seats in cars mandatory, but also to perform tests on the seats to make sure they where safe. In Denmark we adopted the swedish laws for child seat without any changes. For many years you where only allowed to sell those seats in Denmark if they had the Swedish stamp of approval on them.