Protect us, because we're stupid
The Consumer Product Safety Commission does a lot of good work, I'm sure, in keeping truly dangerous products from reaching American shoppers, but the agency just doesn't know when to quit. It's a good thing when the CPSC intercepts Chinese products that are full of lead or keeps a hazardous crib from getting into the hands of new parents, but there comes a point when consumers should be trusted to use their own common sense and due diligence. The commission is forever issuing recall notices for toys that have parts that "could" come off and "could" pose a choking hazard for children. The folks at the CPSC also spend a lot of time looking for clothing with drawstrings that "could" pose a strangulation threat. Have these people ever seen Legos or Lincoln Logs? I'm guessing a lot of parents have whacked a kid in the back or gone Heimlich to dislodge one of those from their kids' gullets. When I was a kid, one of my brothers swallowed a marble. A friend who was a nurse told my mother to give him some mineral oil and keep an eye out on the other end. It was better than Playstation. Every time he went No. 2, the whole family gathered around to see if the marble would appear. It eventually did. Hey, there wasn't much to do in Claysville in the '60s. But back to the subject at hand. The CPSC doesn't confine itself to lead, choking or strangulation. No sir. Now that warm weather is here, the agency recently advised parents and caregivers to "take precautions to keep children from falling from windows." Really??? I'm not saying the CPSC is unnecessary, but when it comes to edible toys and the like, I think parents should follow this simple, old-fashioned approach: WATCH YOUR KIDS! That should be sufficient.