Archive | Marketing Madness and Gadgets

Son, you are two minutes late to your sociology class on the Surveillance Society!

App Alerts Parents if Their Kid Skips a College Class

You’re only young once, but our culture seems determined to make sure that childhood lasts into middle age, if not senility. To wit: There’s a new app, Class120, that pings parents when their kids don’t show up for their college classes. NBC reports: Class120 works with the help of GPS or WiFi. The campus is […]

Continue Reading

Worst Super Bowl Ad? #Nationwide

Yo, Nationwide. That ad you just ran on the Super Bowl? What is it proposing? Parents of dead children just weren’t careful enough? Way to twist the knife! One of my favorite comments to this site ever was this: “Most of the time, when something bad happens to a kid, it isn’t because of bad […]

Continue Reading
empty swing 1

Xmas Gift? A Kit That Saves Your Child’s Scent for the Search Dogs

This festive season, remind parents that their precious kids could be abducted and killed if the rescue dogs don’t find them immediately. What better way to send happy holiday greetings than the $19.99 FindEm Kit, that preserves a child’s scent for the day they are abducted? As the website declares, “A Child Goes Missing Every […]

Continue Reading
I've activated the rear seat auto-correct defibrillating cup holder.

Are Baby Products Becoming Insanely Complicated?

Readers — My kids are far from babies, so I don’ t know if the following comment is true across the board. Is it?  Sounds quite likely. It came in response to my post about the Owlet device that measures your baby’s blood pressure, movements, oxygen level, etc.  – L. On a related note, is it […]

Continue Reading
Our bouncing bundle of obsessive, expensive, medically dubious joy!

Hey Parents: Treat Your Healthy Baby Like She’s in Intensive Care!

Readers — Do parents really have to strap a vital signs monitor on their healthy babies? That’s the question David King, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Sheffield in the UK, sought to answer. And frankly, it was easy. No. No, babies do not suddenly need a real time, smart phone read-out of […]

Continue Reading
Not safe in the car, not safe outside the car... Welcome to modern parenting!

“Facebook Knows I Have a New Baby, So…”

When all-knowing meets all-fearing: Dear Free-Range Kids: Facebook is now aware that I have a newborn, and my targeted ads are full of products to make my kid more “safe” including a GPS tag and this magnet that is supposed to keep my kid from being hit by a car in a parking lot by […]

Continue Reading
Bebi. The water for babies whose parents have been convinced they need it.

At Last! Water for Infants!

Readers, in truth, I originally thought I had to boil tap water for my kids’ bottles. Then my pediatrician said nope — we live in the First World. Rejoice and let the kids guzzle. But since there is no easier dollar to extract than that from the wallet of a new parent, an Australian company […]

Continue Reading
The Safety 1st pro-grade. push-button toilet lock. (Good luck to any guests visiting!)

The Decision Not to Babyproof

As a mom who did babyproof to a certain extent (no toilet locks!), I certainly don’t blame folks who do. But I certainly don’t blame folks who don’t, either. And since there are about a million levels of proofing, my advice is simple: Don’t judge! – L.  Dear Free-Range Kids: I’d love to get your […]

Continue Reading