Sandals Recalled Because Flower = “Choking Hazard”

Folks — Be very, very, very scared of everything that exists on earth that is not the size of a bouncy house. (And then be afraid of them, too.) Because, of course, your child could choke on it. Hence, this recent recall of the Stride Rite “Joanna” sandal, whose  metal flower COULD become detached and hence  COULD become a choking hazard.

More hazardous than, say, EVERY SINGLE COIN in America? Every acorn? Every severed toe? (Uh…sorry about that one. Let’s sub in: “Every toy that ever came out of a gumball machine?”) As Ben Miller, my go-to voice of reason at the organization Common Good, says:

“This is risk aversion to an unsustainable extreme. What lesson should a company like Stride Right take from the recall? It’s impossible to manufacture a shoe, or for that matter any product, that’s completely incapable of causing any level of danger. A recall like this doesn’t promote safety so much as it promotes hiding behind a wall of lawyers, crossing your fingers, and hoping that the risk of a product recall doesn’t put you out of business.”

He’s so right. Any product can, under some circumstances, turn lethal. That’s a  fact  we can’t seem to get a grip on without running to issue a new warning or law, making everyday life seem ever scarier to parents. That’s one of the reasons for helicopter parenting — we are told that almost everything is out to kill our kids unless we are exceedingly vigilant.

White “Joanna” girl’s Stride Rite sandals with flower on top

Is this the face of a killer? No.

And not just because it’s not a face. – L

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