Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fleeing Preschoolers, Jumping Tweeners, and Litigious Liability Lawyers Who Have Invaded the Lifeguard Tower: Relevant News Flash (8:1)

Welcome to August parental newsaholics. Pull up a chair, and let me serve up some relevancy.
  • Our cup runneth over with phthalates stories. Congress has recently sent a law to the oval office, which is expected to be signed shortly, addressing safety issues in children's products, and specifically banning certain types of phthalates that have caused many parents to toss bottles and soft plastic toys (oh our poor landfills!). The Washington Post reports that despite this action, parents are still, to put it politely, concerned about who and what to trust; or to state it accurately, completely freaked out, and stockpiling parental guilt by the ton. Not everyone is festooning the victory float, and The Wall Street Journal runs an editorial critical of the legislation.
  • It's a not so happy world after all. A sign of the times perhaps, but Disney parks are set to raise their prices again. At a time that many people are planning the so-called "staycations," Disney may have truly become another destination where the American dollar just doesn't buy as much as it used to. And if you just throw up your hands in exasperation and say "let's just go to the pool," be prepared for restrictive rules that would even make Disney exclaim "man, lighten up!" My favorite is the caution to not allow swimming while suffering from diarrhea! Really? People need to be told this? According to the liability lawyers, and your local pool lifeguard, resoundingly yes.
  • It's 3 a.m. and your infant/toddler has a really bad cold or flu virus, it may be tempting, but put down the cold medicine! The promise of momentary relief can do really horrible long term harm.
  • This is a solution to the housing crisis? Editorializing coming right up! I had to shake myself out of something of a stupor after I read this piece that suggested that, as the housing crisis deepens, more support is rallying for the strategy of demolishing excess housing inventory. Somewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, someone barely has a hut over their heads, but here in the U.S. we want to bulldoze whole subdivisions? It may address the supply side of the equation, but just unbelievable and frivolous waste. Enough said.
  • A new study has validated that you just might be separated from the various inhabitants of the planet by just six degrees. Really! Or, to be more accurate,by 6.7 degrees.
  • Is tv a significant causal factor of Autism? Does the advent and explosion of cable, follow the arc of the increase in Autism cases? A Cornell study suggests so.
  • Most moms I know take their kids to those indoor playgrounds when they want their kids to bounce off of something other than their own walls, and to maybe get a little chance to sit in a chair peacefully and watch the mayhem from a respectable distance. Some boys in Michigan decided to go for a world record of jumping at such a place for 24 hours straight. I'm thinking that may have been enough time for their moms to catch up on all their back issues of People, with an occasional "keep it up honey, you're doing great!"
  • Finally, over the meadow and through the woods, to grandma's house we go. A preschooler decided that he and his little brother really needed to get to grandma's house, so he got them both into the car and attempted to drive them himself. But all wry amusement aside, the article seems to indicate that perhaps this little guy had a real reason to want to get them both away in the dead of night. You have to admire the pluck of the kid, and I hope he and his little brother ultimately makes it safe and sound.


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