When I was little, I remember days of running from one yard to the next in my neighborhood, playing. I’d climb the fence to get to the house of my best friend, whose lawn was adjacent to mine. We’d work on the tunnel we were digging to connect our houses, or we’d have water balloon fights with the other kids in the neighborhood. We’d play tag in the streets, with cars slowing down and waiting for us to run into driveways as they came down the road.
I even walked to school starting in first grade. That seems unfathomable to me, now.
Increases in car accidents, abductions and other dangers have taken these idylic childhoods away from our own children and turned parents into vigilant soldiers, safeguarding their offsprings’ well-being every moment. But we’ve moved beyond these more common place, every day dangers. Now, even toddlers need to be under constant surveillance during even the most every day activities, because no place, either inside or outside our homes, is completely safe.
The following are just three things that apparently are no longer safe for toddlers in today’s world:
1) The monkey bars at the park may be booby trapped. Growing up, we used to hear rumors of needles in ball pits at play areas, and originally “razor blades on the part equipment” seemed like the same sort of Snopes story. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Someone actually took glue, putty and razor blades to playground equipment in Illinois this spring, turning the monkey bars into a dangerous weapon and harming one 2-year-old in the process. Ty Langley of East Moline, told KWQC: “You don’t really think about razor blades…We just kind of think about them swinging on the swing set or, you know, climbing the monkey bars. It’s something I can look out for now.”
Yes, being a parent now means checking playground equipment to see if it is booby trapped or not.
2) Being shot at while playing with water guns. It’s true that current water guns aren’t like the pink and blue see through plastic squirt guns of our childhood. Still, when you see them being brandished by two and three year old children, you know you aren’t really under attack. That didn’t stop one woman in Pennsylvania from shooting at the sidewalk by the children with her own real gun. “After grabbing her gun, [Billie Jo] George allegedly went outside, loaded it, and waved it around,” reports Raw Story. “‘She pointed it at my daughter’s face..God was with my daughter that day,’” said the mother. After the children were hustled inside, George allegedly fired once across the street. Luckily, there were no injuries were reported.
3) A grenade in the crib. Yes, a child’s crib. According to a parent’s account in Salon, a SWAT team entering a building on a drug arrest tossed a flashbang (a small grenade meant to blind and deafen a crowd) into a toddler’s crib. There were no drugs, and the person that they were attempting to arrest wasn’t even in the building and didn’t live there. Police claimed they had no way of knowing there could be a child in the building, despite a car with decals in the driveway and toys strewn all over the floor. But even once they did realize, they did nothing to allow his mother to help him, according to her account. “I heard my baby wailing and asked one of the officers to let me hold him. He screamed at me to sit down and shut up and blocked my view, so I couldn’t see my son. I could see a singed crib. And I could see a pool of blood. The officers yelled at me to calm down and told me my son was fine, that he’d just lost a tooth. It was only hours later when they finally let us drive to the hospital that we found out Bou Bou was in the intensive burn unit and that he’d been placed into a medically induced coma.”
Bou Bou is finally being transferred for rehabilitation now that the hole in his chest has closed, but may still suffer long term brain damage.
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