I must have been busy last week or something because I fully intended to rant myself silly straight after the Apprentice about those bloody baby helmets that one of the teams was selling. My instant reaction, as a fairly experienced mother, was: Don't sell those, they are ridiculous! Then of course, as a fairly experienced meeter of other parents, I knew they'd sell like hotcakes because people have lost their marbles in this country! We have little pieces of plastic blocking every socket in our houses, stairgates, ovenguards, harnesses on highchairs, toys with small pieces are taboo before 3 (try that with kid number 2 onwards!) etc so of course the logical next place to go was safety helmets. Junior's head will probably receive two or three fewer egglike bruises in the first three years, but of course on the downside Junior will never learn headbutting a glass door isn't such a good idea, well not till he hits three, grows out of his helmet and suddenly has to relearn absolutely everything he's done for the past three years. When is it going to occur to us that humans learn from experience so this is counterproductive?
I have a one year old who mastered going up and down stairs before she could walk because she had to with no stairgates. I didn't sit three rooms away assuming her safety hoping someone had closed a gate, I took her up stairs and turned her round at the top to teach her how to come down backwards from about 8 months and she's never fallen once. She doesn't need a helmet - she knows if she runs into a wall it'll hurt. They've all had bumps, bruises, cuts and bleeding. That's how they learn how the world functions!
A friend, who lives in Denmark, so probably wasn't inspired by the Apprentice, was having a moan on a similar vein last week. Would you have a look at some of this nonsense: gloves for the germ paranoid, knee pads to stop babies ever wanting to get mobile, padding for the vertically paranoid, padding for the horizontally paranoid etc etc. I wonder if parents who buy such things ever dare to take Junior to visit a friend without all the safety features or if they stay home cocooned in their safety paradise till Junior goes to school (in his helmet and knee pads).
If you ever catch me buying one of these ridiculous paranoia products, please take me out and shoot me!