Eight awful childhood injuries and deaths Parents Magazine didn't warn you about!


Dear Parents, 

Our children's safety is of course our number one concern. None of us wants to look foolish in the ER. So here's an article I came across in Oh My God-My Baby! Monthly that I thought I should share with you. 

-Paul Rasmussen (room parent, Ms. M's third grade)

BugaBooBoo: Eight awful childhood injuries and deaths Parents Magazine didn't warn you about!

Childhood used to be a lot safer. We all made it through the 60's and 70's no problem. Seat belts and bike helmets simply weren't necessary. Loaded guns in the car? Whisky as a topical (and sometimes ingested) anesthetic for teething/cranky infants? Sure. These things simply didn't pose the danger they do now. The sad fact is that the world is changing, becoming more dangerous by the day.

Here are eight of the lesser known, yet no less hideous dangers lurking out there, ready to strike your child dead if you let your guard down. Knowledge is power and power is safety and safety is better than buying a child-size coffin. (Fortunately, we now have minivans, so at least you don't have to suffer the humiliation of carrying the thing home tied to the roof with clothesline rope.)

1. Literacy


Literacy is one of the so-called "hidden killers." Reading provides only 25% of the sensory information available from more convenient media sources (TV, YouTube, Play Station, etc.). As a result, the literate brain has to work much harder to keep itself occupied and entertained. Over time, the budding reader's brain becomes enlarged from the stress, ultimately exploding and sending small shards of skull flying in all directions. Not only is this bad for the child, it also endangers anyone within a ten feet radius.  If this sounds like something that's not right for your family, you need to start your child on preventative therapy as early as possible. Researchers in leading universities across the country recommend liberal doses of Sponge Bob and marijuana repeated daily. 

2. Safety Foam Asphyxiation


Chipped teeth and dented foreheads are terrible things. But they sure beat death! Few parents realize that the number one coffee table-related death is asphyxiation when a child falls face down and becomes trapped in the soft rubber padding. If you must pad your furniture, we recommend duct tape. 

3. Whitest Whites


What mother does not want her children looking their best? But we bet you didn't know that the glare from the hot summer sun hitting newly-bleached white shirts or socks can cause deadly third-degree burns, not to mention permanent blindness. If you must bleach, make sure that in your next load you include that lacy white infant funeral dress your great-grandmother kept on hand for the great polio scare of  1913!

4. Crazy-Big Ears


It's no one's fault. Mom did all the right things: ate well, didn't smoke or drink, went to pre-birth classes for 6 months. Dad came from fairly good genetic stock, and always maintained his sperm at the proper temperature. But sure enough, out pops this little monster. Of course he'll be teased mercilessly in school; but the real danger is his inability to regulate his body temperature. Elephants and jackrabbits use their large, highly vascularized ears to cool down on a hot day. But our babies are slow, stupid creatures with lousy environmental response function. So imagine it's 39 degrees, 20 mph wind, some rain, and baby gets a little sweaty doing the "poopy dance"...BAM! His ears overcompensate, drawing out too much blood, causing him to cool down too quickly, which in turn leads to hypotheremia. Baby turns blue, parents run over and immediately wrap him tightly in a blanket. But in their haste, they fail to notice they are bending junior's ears so hard they're causing irreversible disfigurement. Talk about going from bad to worse! What do we recommend? Call your local vet immediately and get those whoppers docked!

5. Parole

Center gate kid

Like we said above, life on the outside is dangerous and and is only getting worse. Death or dismemberment awaits your child around every corner. Yet, the sad fact is that even our most conscientious attempts at early-childhood incarceration emphasize restraint over rehabilitation. The solution? Keep those gates locked, or your child may find himself alone on the street with no transferable skills other than knowing how to trade formula for smokes--and how to poke himself in the eye with sharpened spoons smuggled out of the dining room.

6. PowerPoint


As parents we want our kids to be informed. It's never too early to talk to them about public policy, market strategy and team-building. And what better way to do that than with PowerPoint? But what most of us don't realize is that the soothing background colors of most PowerPoint templates designed for young children amplify specific wavelengths that, when they come in contact with the fumes that produce that funny smell kids have, cause serious drowsiness. This in itself is not dangerous, even if it is annoying as hell--you worked a long time on this presentation! The trouble comes when your young corporate tiger's head crashes into the glass water carafe on the conference table and scars herself so badly that not even NPR will hire her.  

7. Evolution


You must be asking yourself, where the bloody hell are you going with this one?! Well stick with us, or your kids will pay the price. Because we all read the New York Times science section cover-to-cover each week, we know that evolution is big news these days. Researchers are making such strides that soon we will have an evolutionary explanation for everything we do, think and enjoy (with the possible exception of lawn bowling, creationism and Lady Gaga). The downside is the enormous psychological burden this places on our children. Every time our kids screw up, they further limit their future choice of mates--real winners only do it with other winners. But when a loser accidentally impregnates a winner (it happens, you know), the offspring is still a loser; and the longer losers keep this reproductive chain going, the more they pollute the gene pool and force the winners to work harder to find evolutionarily advantageous mates. Of course, we all want what's best for our ancestors 100,000 generations from now, but it's asking too much of our children to carry the weight of the species on their small shoulders. Childhood should be a time of innocence. Kids should be allowed to be kids, indoors only, right? ;-) We recommend a dual approach: help your kids to be as perfect as possible, but don't tell them why. Keep them in the dark about reproduction until age of 17, when they will be better equipped to understand the genetic implications of their actions.  

8. Appenzeller 


Appenzeller is well known as the stinkiest of the fondue cheeses (and the  yummiest).  Few parents realize, however, that its strong odor can quickly overwhelm baby's sensitive airway and lungs, causing severe respiratory distress requiring immediate medical attention. Don't forget to douse the flame when you leave for the ER! (Between us, it's ok to dip a last piece of bread or two; you might not eat for a while, and the kid's already hosed.) We strongly recommend never bringing this dangerous cheese into your house, wrapped or unwrapped. But if you must, store it in a locked cabinet away from long forks, small pieces of stale baguette and sterno. Give your children healthier alternatives, like mac & cheese.

Copyright 2013 Paul J. Rasmussen