“Children are Unique, Beautiful and Fragile” — Grrrrrrrrrr

Readers — I got this letter yesterday in my email. Why does it make me SO MAD?

 

“Children are Unique, Beautiful and Fragile” begins its CRAVEN plea.

 

I’m losing it! I really feel this is a HORRIBLE thing to say or even IMPLY. I probably sound like I am in FAVOR of child maiming. I’m not! I just HATE this plea to emotion and terror when it comes to KIDS. It is INFECTIOUS!

 

Here’s the charity’s WHOLE LETTER — it’s just four sentences of SKIN CRAWLING smarm!  (And I’m sorry I keep updating this post — I just keep getting madder!) – L

What Snowflakes and Kids Have in Common

Kids are unique, beautiful and fragile. 

Help us keep every child safe this holiday season.

Please donate today – http://sk.convio.net/site/R?i=EwYoCgtfiw2yzv5Khmr4Vw

Thank you for your generosity,

Safe Kids Worldwide

Just like kids, snowflakes are beautiful and die really fast.

Just like kids, snowflakes are beautiful and doomed. (Caption, Lenore’s.)

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53 Responses to “Children are Unique, Beautiful and Fragile” — Grrrrrrrrrr

  1. Linda Wightman December 12, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    Sounds like spam to me. Nothing tears the heartstrings and opens the wallet faster than “keeping kids safe.” Unless it’s the idea that some Nigerian bank has lots of money for you….

  2. Dirk December 12, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    The organization associated with that website is a whole rabbit hole of stupid, you could mine blog topics from it for a month.

  3. Mark Davis December 12, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    Don’t click on that link. The thing you should worry about here is not the message this “charity” is sending, but rather that it’s most likely not a charity at all. There are lots and lots of scams masquerading as charities, especially at this time of year.

  4. lollipoplover December 12, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    I’d sooner donate to a local food shelter looking to feed hungry folks food and pies this holiday season.

    Substitute the word PIE for children and it sounds much better.

    What Snowflakes and Pies Have in Common

    Pies are unique, beautiful, and fragile.

    Help us keep every Pie safe this holiday season.
    Safe Pies Worldwide

    There. That’s a much better charity. Carry on.

  5. SKL December 12, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    What kind of “safe” are they talking about? If they want my money, they’re going to have to do better than that. LOL.

  6. QuicoT December 12, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Gotta love their Holiday Safety Tips

    http://www.safekids.org/holiday-safety-tips

    Because who hasn’t had their house burned down, their children maimed, choked and poisoned, their heads massively traumatized and their skin scaled over the holidays?!

    (To their credit, there IS one FRKish tip in the list – Engage Older Kids in Cooking)…

  7. Garry December 12, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    I’m betting it’s a scam. “Safe Kids Worldwide” is an organization with a web site and a “donate” link, but this link is not the same.

  8. Erica Mason December 12, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    It is not spam it is a real organization

    http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/52-1627574/safe-kids-worldwide.aspx

    I think they need to look into a better marketing strategy though.

  9. Gwen December 12, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    This is a real organization?? Playground safety says “Avoid playgrounds with non-impact absorbing surfaces, such as asphalt, concrete, grass, dirt or gravel.” Kids can’t play in the GRASS???

  10. vjhr December 12, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    lollipoplover…you win for comment of the day! LOL!!!

  11. Ali December 12, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    I need a shower.

  12. Donna December 12, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    This appears to be a scam. While the organization Safe Kids Worldwide exists, this doesn’t appear to be their donation page. And while their website is a bit fear-mongering, there is nothing about snowflakes or fragility.

  13. Ben December 12, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    If you’re looking at kids worldwide, there are sure to be some fragile kids you can help. Kids who get abused, kids who live in war-torn countries or kids are simply living in poverty closer to home. All of those need help, but that slogan is to generalized. It’s design to open op wallets and get money, but it doesn’t specify how it will help and who it helps.

    SOME kids are fragile, not all of them, but that doesn’t have a soundbite quality to it…

  14. Ben December 12, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    I compared the donation link from their website with the one you listed. Apparently, they both use the same service, but there’s no way to tie that first link to the website for sure. I’d consider it a scam unless they link to it directly.

  15. James December 12, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Snowflakes are fragile? Not really. Sure, there are a few things that you shouldn’t do, but snowflakes are actually pretty strong. You can play with them, and they’ll stay intact. And it’s fun to pick them up and toss them onto a pile of snow. So yeah, basically, they’re a lot like kids.

  16. Gina December 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    I don’t think kids are fragile at all, but most of those tips seem reasonable to me. Bike helmets? Yes. No batteries near babies? Yes. Pull over before you change a diaper or nurse a baby? Yes.
    This all seems like common sense.
    Certainly doesn’t need donations.
    But the tips are ok.

  17. C. S. P. Schofield December 12, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    My experience as a retail sales clerk is that kids are far less fragile than their mothers.

  18. Katie December 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    This reminds me of my new favorite term: special snowflakes.

  19. marie December 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    Kids are unique, beautiful, and fragile. Yep, so it’s a good idea to toughen ’em up. Send them outside to play on that teeter-totter and let them walk to the ice cream store. Let them skin their knees and flunk a test or two.

    Character-building used to be a good thing.

  20. Elf December 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    The site this purports to connect to is Safe Kids Worldwide, which has a collection of “safety fact sheets” that include such frightening statistics as “A 2012 survey found that one in three children who play a team sport are injured seriously enough to miss practice or games.”

    One in three got injured enough to miss practice.

    If I weren’t a regular reader of Free Range Kids, I might not recognize that for fearmongering, because it looks like about what I’d expect for kids who do sports–they play hard, and some of them get hurt, and sometimes it takes more than three hours to recover, and they’re not supposed to practice with a pulled muscle or bruises big enough to make a difference in how they move. Shrug.

    Their fact sheets are all nicely up-to-date… which means they don’t ever compare dangers now to dangers 20 or 50 years ago.

    The Poison factsheet starts with “838 children ages 19 and under died from poisonings in 2010.” (Hm, I don’t think of ages 18-19 as “children.”) Then it goes on to say, “89% of children who died from a poisoning were ages 15 to 19.”

    Ah. So the real risk for children and poison is not the bleach in the laundry room or the milk that’s started to go sour–it’s probably alcohol. (They very carefully did not mention the cause of deaths.)

    As far as I can tell, the whole purpose of the organization is to convince you that children are in GREAT DANGER ALL THE TIME so you should treat them all like infants until they graduate college.

  21. mystic_eye_cda December 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    It’s not saying kids can’t play on grass, it’s saying that grass isn’t appropriate under play-structures, and they do have a small point about that.

    Yes “back in the day” we had playgrounds on concrete or grass, and kids did break bones. Granted a broken bone isn’t the end of the world, but nor is it a lot of fun. So now playgrounds are supposed to have impact reducing materials under them, such as sand, which isn’t really a big deal. The only real downside is that it’s caused playgrounds to be less spread out and kids end up closer to the swings which can cause… yup broken bones.

    Anyway while I disagree with safety measure that go to far, and those that makes play grounds less fun, I don’t think kids have a problem with sand or the bouncy rubber stuff, one is good for building castles and one is good for jumping.

  22. Lin December 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    I had a look at their website and even though I was trying to find something to get outraged about, it’s not that bad, really. They mention teaching kids how to cook and handle hot pots and kitchen appliances for example. Some of it i don’t agree with, like putting non-slip rugs in your house, not letting kids climb on furniture (good point if it’s shelves, but mine is allowed to climb on the back of the couch for example) or choosing a playground with rubber, etc.

    But yes, that kind of marketing isn’t well thought out. Lots of the things they mention actually could apply to adults or the elderly too.

  23. Rachel December 12, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    -QuicoT

    What bugs me more is that most of the list sounds more like for 0-3 year olds,yet they just say children.

    I didn’t eat plants once four years old.
    I knew better not to play with matches,despite them always being around.
    I’ve never gotten hurt with one of those metal hooks,even put them on decorations as kid. Perhaps not a good idea for a toddler though.
    Other things make more sense.

    They have pet versions too: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/holiday-safety-tips
    Which also kinda sounds like its for puppies over adults.

  24. Papilio December 12, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    “most of those tips seem reasonable to me. Bike helmets? Yes. No batteries near babies? Yes. Pull over before you change a diaper or nurse a baby? Yes.
    This all seems like common sense.”

    Are there seriously people who attempt to change their baby’s diaper while driving??? Seriously???
    Those idiots should drive a manual car.

    As for the bike helmets: Lenore, I never got around to thank you for NOT mentioning those in your birthday post, even though I did notice and appreciate it. So thank you! :-)

  25. Kore December 12, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    My son’s school is having a presentation by The Lassy Project on Monday. Anyone want to come protest with me?

    http://www.thelassyproject.com/tour

  26. Donna December 12, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    Papillo – I am sure that people have tried changing diapers while driving. A few years ago my mother saw someone nursing a baby (and puffing a cigarette) while driving down the freeway at 80 mph. My mother, who was not driving, tried to snap a pic but did send me a text.

  27. Reziac December 12, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    Revised version:

    Kids are like snowflakes — they’re crushed by too much pressure.

    The outfit appears to be yet another charity mill, dedicated to separating well-meaning people from their money.

    http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=10419

    (and IMO, ratings by Charity Navigator tend to be, um, rather ‘charitable’)

  28. Steve Cournoyer December 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    Safe is a four letter word…to be used wisely and cautiously…

  29. Nicole December 12, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    Safe kids (the actual safe kids) does do quite a bit of good- like providing helmets and car seats to low income kids, as well as basic safety education programs. Sometimes I disagree with their approach (a while back they had an “injury free childhood” campaign) but I tend to agree with what they do.

  30. Nicole December 12, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    They’re not a mill :p they’re an actual, legit organization. I know the head of a local chapter, and know many people who are certified through them in car seat installation. They’re partnered with the NHTSA.

    They may not be the most efficient organization (although Charity navigator rates many good charities low- like SOS Children’s Villages) but they are legit.

  31. bmjj2k December 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    Fragile? Little kids practically bounce if you drop them. Fragile is your 90 year old grandmother.

  32. fred schueler December 12, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    I get spams urging me to marry beautiful Russian women

  33. J.T. Wenting December 13, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    “It is not spam it is a real organization ”

    the two aren’t mutually exclusive…
    Used to be a large, international, charity calling themselves “Foster Parent Plan” that supposedly took your donations and used those to help children in developing countries by giving them a chance to go to school, helping build wells and sanitation, etc. etc.
    Until people started comparing the “letters”, “photos”, and “drawings” of the supposed children and discovered that Ahmed from Indonesia looked startlingly similar to Misha from Equador, drew exactly the same pictures, and wrote letters that were identical (down to the handwriting) except for the names.
    They’d been in operation for going on 20 years when that scandal broke, using the standard tactic of trying to shame people into donating by targeting their children, often sending flyers and representatives to schools (with many schools directly collecting money from pupils out of their pocket money for donation drives, entire classes competing for who could “foster” the most “poor kids in the third world”).

  34. lsl December 13, 2013 at 12:36 am #

    @Kore: that lassy project is CREEPY!

  35. Nathan Hennig December 13, 2013 at 4:39 am #

    I agree, this is ridiculous!

    Kids are not fragile, they are tough and resilient!

  36. Rachel Coburn December 13, 2013 at 5:26 am #

    Lenore, please do freerangers everywhere a favor – just update your blog and delete the hyperlink to these fools.
    Just for amusement, I went to their homepage. OMG, what a laugh! An post on the horrors of TV tipover injuries! I’ll go there again when they run posts about protecting children from the potential of neutron radiation from exploding stars.

  37. Rachel Coburn December 13, 2013 at 6:01 am #

    Follow up on my earlier comment- I did a little snooping round the Web for more info on these guys. Their IP address is 199.167.76.210, and their primary deal seems to be running some sort of child seat certification course. Strange that their website promos child car seat, in light of the objective evidence that child seat appear to be next to useless. The freakonomics guys have written a number of articles on this scam:
    http://freakonomics.com/2007/01/05/we-are-not-the-only-ones-who-think-child-car-seats-dont-work-well/

  38. QuicoT December 13, 2013 at 6:33 am #

    @Kore – I’m there.

  39. QuicoT December 13, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    @Kore

    Holy s**t now I’ve fallen down a kind of Lassy Project Youtubehole…it’s UNREAL!!! I…I…I…I…holy…ok I need to compose myself before I can even write about this. That’s so F####’D UP!!!

  40. Marni December 13, 2013 at 8:01 am #

    OMG. That Lassy project website.

    WTF?

  41. Aimee December 13, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    I think the “changing a diaper while driving” probably meant a passenger doing it, not the driver. Although I’d love to see a driver try that. Especially on a squirmy toddler. That should be an episode of “Top Gear”.

  42. J.T. Wenting December 13, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    p.s. I suspected it was a scam the moment I noticed the website is hosted in Slovakia. Why would a reputable American charity host their website in an eastern European country known as a hotbed of computer crime?

  43. J.T. Wenting December 13, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    “I think the “changing a diaper while driving” probably meant a passenger doing it, not the driver. Although I’d love to see a driver try that. Especially on a squirmy toddler. That should be an episode of “Top Gear”.”

    have seen women apply eye makeup while doing 100kmh+ on the motorway, people pouring coffee from a thermos with one hand into a cup held between their other hand and the steering wheel on a motorway on-ramp, and other acrobatics like that.
    Very little by now surprises me when it comes to irresponsible motorist behaviour.

    Not a few days ago newspapers here ran a story about a guy who’d stuck his head out the window doing 120 and lost his glasses in the slipstream.
    He’d wanted to dry his hair that way as he’d not had time to use a blowdryer at home before setting off…
    He stopped his car, in the middle of traffic, walked back and went looking for those glasses he’d lost, never thinking about the dangers he was in or created for others.

  44. marie December 13, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    Very little by now surprises me when it comes to irresponsible motorist behaviour.

    Lots of irresponsible behavior out there and most of it does not result in injury or death.

    I watched a woman cut her hair while driving–probably more a trim instead of a full cut–but she managed it without causing an accident. Do I recommend cutting one’s hair while driving? No. Neither do I think it is anything to be outraged about. (I DO think it is a funny story.)

    If she had caused an accident because she was distracted, it doesn’t matter if she was distracted because of cutting her hair or because she was eating a Big Mac or because she was thinking about a death in the family. Accident is her fault.

  45. Marni December 13, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    The actual Safe Kids Worldwide donation page is here:

    https://www.safekids.org/donate

    The link that Lenore got is clearly a scam.

  46. Lola December 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    I imagine this charity provides freezers to lock children inside with the snowflakes…

  47. EricS December 13, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    Children are like snowflakes?! lol! Far from it. Kids don’t melt, are cold, or turn to ice. Does it also mean, they get sh@t on, peed on, shoveled off to one side? Bad analogy Safe Kids Worldwide.

    Kids are more like trees. It grows, it adapts, and what you feed it determines the strength of it’s roots. Stronger roots, means stronger tree. Trees are still unique, they may look the pretty much the same from a distance and on the outside. But no trees are identical. And you can’t deny the beauty in nature. Even when you cut that tree down, it’s still useful, and beautiful and strong things can be created from it.

    Kids, don’t ever be a snow flake. Be like a tree.

  48. Nicole December 13, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    The Freakanomics thing is laughable and amounts to a conspiracy theory. We have an abundance of peer reviewed data showing children are safer in properly used child restraints.

    They did have some points, notably that seats are hard to use and misuse rates are high (although we know 1/3rd of fatalities involve children not restrained at all). However, they completely missed the mark in suggesting that car seats do not provide increased safety, based on their ‘study’ (not peer reviewed) that they won’t release details of.

    You would have to believe car seats are a massive government conspiracy and all of the data, world wide, is basically fraudulent to believe the freakanomics guy (who is an economist, not an engineer or scientist). It’s the intellectual equivalent 9-11 truthers and the anti-vaccine movement.

  49. Lindsey December 13, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    http://www.safekids.org/blog-post/its-playtime
    Safe Kids probably does not support swings that go 20 feet high!

  50. Rachel Coburn December 13, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    I respectfully disagree with Nicole on the subject of child car seats. Breaking down her post reveals a number of challenges:

    “The Freakanomics thing is laughable and amounts to a conspiracy theory.”
    * On what basis? As those who read this blog have seen, many people start off with well-intentioned assumptions that take on a life of their own. I certainly do not believe that child seats are a conspiracy, merely that there is a paucity of evidence to support criminalizing their non-use.

    “We have an abundance of peer reviewed data showing children are safer in properly used child restraints.”
    * Who is this “We”? Are you speaking for the free-range community? Are you an engineer or have you done a study on the subject? I would appreciate a clarification on your rights as a spokesperson for an advocacy group.

    “They did have some points, notably that seats are hard to use and misuse rates are high (although we know 1/3rd of fatalities involve children not restrained at all). However, they completely missed the mark in suggesting that car seats do not provide increased safety, based on their ‘study’ (not peer reviewed) that they won’t release details of.”
    *Actually, Levitt has released a great deal of information on his work, (Please Google the terms “Levitt + car seats” for voluminous entries on the subject) while acknowledging publicly the lack of data sets on the subject in general. It is this very lack of objective evidence that has led Levitt to assert that criminalizing the non-use of child seats is based on fear-mongering, not child safety/health.

    “You would have to believe car seats are a massive government conspiracy and all of the data, world wide, is basically fraudulent to believe the freakanomics guy (who is an economist, not an engineer or scientist).”
    * Again, show your evidence of this. All the data worldwide has not led to the worldwide use of child seats. The issue of conspiracy has been addressed in my earlier arguments. Economics is a science, involving the use of hypothesis, experimentation, statistical analysis, and review.

    “It’s the intellectual equivalent 9-11 truthers and the anti-vaccine movement.”
    *The statement above is commonly known as an “ad hominem” fallacy. This is an attempt to attack an individuals character rather than reasoned arguments. If you believe that there is factual evidence that persons who do not believe in the use of a child car seat are the intellectual equivalent of those who do believe in vaccination, please provide evidence.

  51. Papilio December 13, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    @Aimee: LOL! I wouldn’t want to put a toddler in a car with Jeremy Clarkson though 😀 Although the guy does apparently have children of his own…

  52. Tommy Udo December 14, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”

    Adolf Hitler

    He was referring to government, not private enterprise, but he hit the nail on the head–suckers will go for anything if you use children as bait.