Adorable “Build-a-Choking Hazard”?

Hi Folks! As a reader named Michele wrote to me last week, “2011 wouldn’t quite be complete without wrapping up the year with another recall for the safety of our children!”

She was referring to arrfkzeytd
the recall of a mere 300,000 “Colorful Hearts Teddy” Build-a-Bears
because the material they’re made of is “sub standard,” and hence COULD rip, and if it did, the eyes COULD fall out, and these, in turn, COULD pose a choking hazard. That’s a lot of “coulds,” and the Consumer Product Safety Commission notes on its website that it has heard of no incidents or injuries.

Which is why I am always going crazy.

Yes, it is good to be safe. Yes, it is good to try to keep choking hazards away from small children. But if “something bad COULD happen” is the standard by which we deem things safe or unsafe, first of all we would have to get rid of all pocket change, because a kid could choke. Next? All buttons on all garments, because these could (and demonstrably have in the past) fall off. Just don’t keep a thimble around the house to fix ’em because…well, you know about thimbles. Meantime, we’d have to get rid of cardboard, because a piece could be torn off and choke someone, as could a piece of food — best to empty the fridge, or at least puree all its contents.

I know this recall is probably prompted by a fear of lawsuits on Build-a-Bear’s part: Warn now and deflect any potential suit later. But when 300,000 items are destined for the trash on the basis of no problems whatsoever, I keep thinking we just have to get a grip.

To make a society completely risk-free is not only a fool’s errand, it is wasteful. It’s like the time one of my kids was in the E.R. and the nurse cut a bandage and then threw the scissors away. I’m sure it’s because the standard practice there is to avoid all infections by simply tossing out anything that ever touched anything. But when are we allowed to give a little thought to the flip side? The side that says maybe there’s something lost when we keep tossing out perfectly good stuff rather than figuring out how to safely live with it?

So goodbye, you threatening little plush toy with the incredibly leaden name. (“Colorful Hearts Teddy”? That’s about as imaginative as, “Printed Fabric Friend.”) See you in the junk yard, next to a whole lot of other perfectly good stuff. — L.S.
Picture of recalled Teddy Bear

, ,

64 Responses to Adorable “Build-a-Choking Hazard”?

  1. Wendy Constantinoff January 6, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    poor bears who is protecting their rights 🙂

    Seriously though where is it all going to end this over protection? No doubt at some stage this fabric was OK. “They” keep moving the goal posts.

  2. Heather G January 6, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    Honestly if a parent doesn’t get that those little sewed on eyes could come off and lets a baby who will chew them off play with it the baby is in more danger than the bear poses. Yeah, an older child could leave it somewhere and a baby could get it. Happens at my house. Two year olds don’t get the concept of “put it in your room so the baby doesn’t get it”. That doesn’t mean toy makers need to recall every toy and or object my son *might* leave around. It means I need to teach him not to leave his toys where the baby can easily get to them and to assess the risk of things in her reach. Parenting. Imagine that.

  3. Kitlope January 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    As we all know here on this particular website “being safe” is just a byproduct of the real reason for this mostly oversafe society… the impending lawsuit. I really believe it’s just a matter of time until we all need “personal lawsuit insurance” akin to car insurance because as the middle class disappears , wages and good jobs go south, the only way people will be able to have a decent life is to sue a corp (preferably) or someone else.

    Anyhoo, been lurking here for a couple days and have bookmarked your site and am thankful I’m not alone in this absolute madness that has become of parenting. It’s like everyone is looking to be the perfect parent so many take things way too far. No one knows how to relax anymore and just raise their kids – instead it’s some sort of badge of honor to run yourself into the ground by being overly “busy”, which is simply not neccessary.

    Great blog and thanks.


  4. Chris January 6, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    My other recent “favorite” is the target recall of 55,000 sets of 6 flashlights (that’s 330,000 individual flashlights) based on 4 reports of overheating, 2 of which resulted in minor burns.

  5. Silver Fang January 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    Cute bear.

    I hate the idea of banning something just because of the remote chance something bad COULD happen. Why don’t we ban cars since someone COULD be run over?

  6. Chris January 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I am not entirely sure why not regulating cheap toys from China is considered “free range.” While no one has been injured from *this* particular cheap toy, there is enough history of children choking on eyeballs to warrant some basic standards by the CPSC. These standards for safety are part of why the free range kids idea exists, since we have eliminated these hidden (but real) dangers and instead people are focusing on mythical ones.

  7. Julia January 6, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    My daughter has that bear. I gave her the option of taking it back or not because I explained that they eyes could come off, but that they probably wouldn’t. I would not have even mentioned it except that she isn’t sentimental and might have decided she wanted a new one just for the change, but she decided to keep it.

  8. KD January 6, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    I usually don’t take part in voluntary recalls of toys. In fact, we still have ***GASP*** on of those easy bake ovens that “might” cause burns from a few years ago and one of those Cabbage Patch Kid dolls that was eating people….When the kids were little, the only recalls I paid attention to were for things like car seats, cribs, etc and now for things like bicycles, skateboards, or helmets. My mom happens to work for Toys R Us and she lets me know (and has for 16 years) if there is an important recall that involves an actualy safety issue versus something like this. Thankfully, she is also a free-range grandma 🙂

  9. GeekAaron January 6, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    I don’t see what the problem with this recall is. Build-a-Bear informed consumers that there may be a problem with the bear, and parents have the option of returning it if they wish. They aren’t going into people’s homes forcing them to return them. It is completely optional. If someone has this bear around an infant, they might want to get something else. If it is an older child, there is likely no risk.

    We had this bear, and while I trust my four-year-old to not choke on the eyes should they have come loose, we returned it because it was a sub-standard product. We’d only had it a couple of months and it was already falling apart at the seams.

  10. Cheryl W January 6, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    The eye lashes are adorable.

    Most of our toys are second hand, so if they were going to fall apart, they mostly would have with the previous owners.

  11. Paige Roper Norman January 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    I am 48 years old and could have died at at early age…you see my mother was a knitter and left her basket of safety pins on the table where my young fingers just could not resist the shiny little things. And so I swallowed one. And it “passed through” (after a trip to the Dr. and an X-ray to find the little shiny thing internally).

    I say we should outlaw knitting (and sewing) mothers, shiny safety pins (no more diaper pins either) and duct tape children’s mouths closed in an effort to keep them safe.

    For the love…

  12. RobynHeud January 6, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    I have a friend who’s dad is an ER nurse and they go through these cloth wipes like nobody’s business, but they’re not allowed to wash and reuse them, regardless of what they were used for in the hospital. So he brings them home and washes them and has them for personal use. My friend always had a bunch for cleaning and up until recently we had a bunch too. Unfortunately, there is not much demand for reuse of hospital items. Although, when I had to get stitches cut out, the doctor did give me thoption of keeping the scissors.

  13. In the Trenches January 7, 2012 at 12:14 am #

    When I was about twelve, I was clearing the table for Christmas dinner, and one of my gramma’s knitting needles started rolling off the edge. I lunged to catch it, and in a freakish accident, it caught on the table edge, and I managed to impale my hand on it. I still have the scar. So Paige, yeah, take the knitting needles away from those old ladies 🙂

    Honestly, try predicting that. I was reading recently about a kind of safety “mission creep” where once the real dangers are eliminated, there’s a psychological ramping-up of the perceived dangerousness of lesser evils. It’s now clearly gotten completely out of hand, but in a weird way, I’m almost happy to see it, since it’s evidence that there’s nothing real to worry about.

    It’s kind of like manners: I’m almost glad to see people be casually rude to each other, since in a less civilised society, such affronts would lead to violence. Weirdly, it’s a sign of a MORE civilised society where casual rudeness rules.

    The major problem with both is the corrosive effect that it has on the subjective (rather than the objective) quality of life in such a society. Objectively, we’re fine; we’re mostly peaceful, and we don’t die of disease very often. Subjectively, we have to put up with tools and crybabies. In the big picture it’s a fair tradeoff, but that doesn’t make it easier to put up with. 🙂

  14. Havva January 7, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    I wouldn’t think this bear would already bear the “not for children under 3” tag anyhow. All the safety recommendations I have read in the last year and a half or so say that those hard plastic eyes could fall off and thus are not recommended for small children.

    Of course try to find a stuffed animal that meets all the safety recommendations … and still looks like something your tot would want to hug.

    Seems this announcement of unusually weak fabric may come from a recognition that the “no 3 & under” tags are so ubiquitous as to have lost all meaning.

  15. pentamom January 7, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    “I don’t see what the problem with this recall is. Build-a-Bear informed consumers that there may be a problem with the bear, and parents have the option of returning it if they wish.”

    Because the fact that the eyes can come off IF the child pulls the thing apart, and can hurt a child IF they’re swallowed, isn’t a “problem.” It’s physics.

    In a rational world, the idea that something can break if abused and the broken pieces can hurt someone is not someone’s fault. It is reality. The idea that such irrationality is now some kind of standard for whether a business is responsible for anything that a child could do, is the problem.

  16. Brian January 7, 2012 at 12:49 am #

    A personal umbrella policy covers liability to third parties. A $1m policy shouldn’t cost more than about $100 a year. It includes defense costs and losses. Everyone should really buy one if they can. It also acts as excess auto insurance and covers many potential catastrophes.

  17. TaraK January 7, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    If anyone knows anyone getting rid of this let me know. My daughter wants one for her birthday. 🙂 I’ll take my chances.

  18. Josh January 7, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    I was in the supermarket with the daughter of a friend. As we walked down the candy aisle, the daughter exclaimed, “Look at all the choking hazards!”

  19. Gina January 7, 2012 at 1:57 am #

    My favorite recall of all time: Infant car seats. Why were they recalled? Because a few infants fell out when they were being carried in them and the seat tipped a little too far. Now, I don’t believe it’s ok when an infant falls on the concrete….BUT, I also would NEVER carry an infant in anything unless s/he was STRAPPED IN BY THE SEATBELT!!! C’mon people…..Common sense?
    Maybe what we should be recalling is the brains of the people whose children meet harm because they are idiots!!!!

  20. thinkbannedthoughts January 7, 2012 at 2:09 am #

    Best line ever – “Which is why I am always going crazy.”
    Exactly. As if parenthood isn’t demanding enough, now we have to consider every possible bad thing that might potentially happen and prepare for it as if it is armageddon itself.
    No thanks.
    By way of metaphor – scientists now believe that part of the reason for the giant surge in food allergies (especially peanut allergies) is a severe lack of dirt eating by today’s children. (Seriously.) Kids aren’t getting enough exposure to germs and dirt and so their bodies aren’t learning how to tell the difference between an actual threat, like toxoplasma gondii and something benign like peanuts.
    In a similar sense we are constantly bombarded with so many “fear this” messages that we are all losing our ability to tell the difference between a real threat (flame throwers in the hands of toddlers) and benign cuddly things.
    So, I will continue to make my kids play in the dirt, avoid hand sanitizer, go to the park without me, play with toys clearly labeled as approved only for children over the age of 99, and *gasp* even talk to strangers.
    I will prepare my children to live in the world and to be able to make good choices and tell the difference between true dangers and legal warnings.
    I will do this because someone needs to, someone needs to ensure that “Idiocracy” is not looked on as a documentary by future generations.
    Thanks again Lenore, for keeping us all a little saner.

  21. Ben January 7, 2012 at 2:34 am #

    Weren’t you supposed to keep your child happy and content? (sarcasm) I doubt recalling their Teddy makes kids happy. You’ll have tantrums and tears…

  22. Colleen January 7, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    My six-year-old daughter owns this bear. “Soft” is her constant companion and has been for nearly a year. They have tea parties together, watch TV together, she accompanies us on errands regularly, they sleep together every night. Soft has been imbued with a personality of her own. Not only is there no chance I could take this bear from my child without upsetting her, there’s no chance I would want to.

    The only hazard posed by eyes falling out is the distress my daughter would feel seeing her dear friend injured.

    In fact, when she was three, we did have an eye fall out of a stuffed toy. It was most certainly a “choking hazard”. So I did the only logical, sane thing. I took the toy away, threw the eye in the garbage, and used a needle and thread to sew the hole shut and create a new eye for it.

    I suppose I ought to live in fear that Seamus the Sheep’s other eye will fall out and kill her any day now.

  23. Kaetlyn Wilcox January 7, 2012 at 4:35 am #

    My 15 month old got his first “boo-boo with blood” the other day from stumbling into an empty cardboard box. There was no warning on the box! In addition to suing the company that produced the cardboard, as well as the company that produced the item that came in the box, and petitioning the product safety commission to outlaw the making or selling of cardboard in the US, my husband and I have instituted a strict “no learning to walk” rule in our home. Crawling is much, much safer.

  24. Gina January 7, 2012 at 4:53 am #

    @thinkbannedthoughts (I LOVE that moniker)….I’ve have long said that the recent increase in food allergies is because we don’t allow our kids’ immune systems the chance to develop or to do what they are designed for.
    My feeling is that we are creating a generation of Immune-suppressed kids who have no idea how to think for themselves, cooperate, negotiate or accept responsibilities for their actions.

  25. pentamom January 7, 2012 at 4:55 am #

    “So I did the only logical, sane thing. I took the toy away, threw the eye in the garbage, and used a needle and thread to sew the hole shut and create a new eye for it.”

    That’s absolutely BRILLIANT! I would NEVER have thought of that! How did you manage without government regulation or corporate recall structures?


  26. gap.runner January 7, 2012 at 4:57 am #

    What about recalling things that could be hazardous to adults? Earlier today I went grocery shopping on base. When I opened the door to put the groceries in, the corner of the door banged into my forehead. I got cut and currently have a small goose egg. Fortunately, I need a haircut and my long bangs hide the injury. Eating is definitely hazardous to a person’s health. If my family didn’t need to eat, I wouldn’t have gone shopping and wouldn’t have bonked myself. I think the next time I go grocery shopping, I’ll wrap my body in bubble wrap, wear knee guards, elbow guards, and my son’s soccer shin guards, and put on a helmet. You can’t be too careful. I’ll also send a letter to Skoda (the car manufacturer) asking them to recall all of their cars because they are obvious safety hazards. One person getting hurt is one person too many. I will also ask my family to stop eating so that I don’t have to risk brain damage going to the store to buy food.

  27. Havva January 7, 2012 at 5:09 am #

    “my husband and I have instituted a strict “no learning to walk” rule in our home.” — I wish that joke weren’t so painfully familiar.

    I had a friend with some serious helicopter parents who claims her parents unintentionally did just that. Supposedly they had been confining her to her crib “to prevent falls.” Her efforts to craw apparently alarmed them, and were discouraged. After she passed the far end of the developmentally normal point for learning to walk, her pediatrician started looking into what was wrong. He found out all of this. His orders got my friend out of her crib, and she quickly learned to walk. But, her parents never got the big picture. She was lovingly smothered, and in all the years I knew her I only saw the tiniest flashes of fighting back. When she finally did something about it all, she went straight to the nuclear option.

  28. Catherine January 7, 2012 at 5:17 am #

    Sigh~ that’s a ridiculous recall. I’m more annoyed about the excessive pricing on their substandard materials 🙂

  29. Heather January 7, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    @Kaetlyn Wilcox: I have to laugh at your comment about crawling being safer than walking. My (now 13 year old, yes, he survived infancy) son was about 12 months old and crawling and crawled over to us in an attempt to entice us to “chase him” and when he whipped around to crawl away he ran smack into the corner of the wall. Metal edge bead- 1, baby forehead- 0. He still has a faint scar where it split right open.

    But fast forward to 14 months and he’s now running (oh, the horror!) and he ran in the grass and tripped and knocked the wind out of himself and passed out for a few (extremely long!) seconds. Of course I called 911 and he was fine as soon as he saw the fire truck pull up with “all the pretty lights”.

    So, nothing is safe anymore. We’ll have to encapsulate them in bubble wrap. Wait, suffocation hazard, darn.

  30. Michelle the Uber Haus Frau January 7, 2012 at 7:04 am #

    The future of mankind

  31. Stephanie January 7, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    Yeaagh! Keep it away from me! I can feel those eyes trying to leap out of the cloth and choke me through the monitor.

  32. Jennifer J January 7, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    When I was in 6th grade, my teacher taught us critical thinking skills. He taught us how to recognize all kinds of propaganda. He made us carefully consider what each word meant when giving directions (we tried to get him to put on a winter coat, which always ended up upside down and backwards). I think this is a lot of what is missing now. “Common Sense” isn’t common. It often needs to be taught. When alerted to danger, we just need to mitigate it as much as possible, while refusing to alter our lives in substantial ways.

  33. Liz Rusch January 7, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    The crazy thing is (as if it all weren’t crazy!) they have been recalling a bunch of clothes (baby, I think) because of buttons that could come off!

  34. JaneW January 7, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    Kitlope: It kind of already exists. Look up “personal umbrella policy.”

  35. Jimmy the Bitch January 7, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Those ER scissors were probably going to the autoclave, not the garbage.

  36. gap.runner January 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    This is totally off-topic, but I saw this ad for a French clothing company when I was checking my e-mail this morning. The man in the background is obviously a pervert who preys on children. Why else would he be naked around them? Maybe the kids in the ad are running away from him because he wants to abduct them.

    The French obviously have a different attitude about a lone man being in the same photo as children. They also are more relaxed about nudity, as are most other Europeans.

  37. hineata January 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    Talking about safety seems particularly relevant today, as our wider community had one of those awful ‘ never happens’ incidents close to us – 11 people killed in a hot air balloon tragedy. Feel very sorry for them all, but this will not stop people going up in hot air balloons, and nor should it. This is the third such in 113 years…..So it is normally extremely safe. Is it too awfu/selfish to say that I hope I didn’t personally know any of them?

    Life happens, no matter how safe we try and make it. Loose buttons on teddies…..Really, sounds incredibly dangerous.

    (Sarcasm, sarcasm)

  38. hineata January 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    ‘awful’, not ‘awfu’

  39. TaraK January 7, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    The ER scissors were probably being thrown away, not put into the autoclave. I was in the ER with my son. They opened a package with the steristrips they used on his cut. There was a pair of scissors in the package. The doc gave them to me and told me “you may as well take these, you paid for them and they’re just getting thrown away otherwise”.

  40. Michele January 7, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    Recall, recall, recall for NO other reason than lawsuit, lawsuit, lawsuit. If we can fix the civil court, lawsuit happy, ambulance chasin’ lawyer, world we live in and stop entertaining this madness, perhaps we can make the world a better place.

  41. oncefallendotcom January 8, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    Don’t forget about those dangerous hot dogs you now have to chop up into minuscule pieces so your lazy kid won’t have to chew them.

    Maybe if you made teddy bears out of cuddly Kevlar with titanium eyes riveted into the Kevlar, the worry warts would be satisfied.

  42. Jenny Islander January 8, 2012 at 1:22 am #

    A little while before Halloween, I had to figure out how to keep my toddler son safe while I cooked in the kitchen and his sisters played in the yard. He could not play out there without my supervision because there’s no fence and there are piles of lumber. He could not be in with me because I had to pay attention to the stove and there was hot grease. So I parked him just inside the heavy-duty glass storm door, where he could bask in the sunlight coming through the panes, with the same safe whacking tool I had given both his sisters: too short to reach anything up on tables, too light to hurt anyone or anything, not breakable by toddlers, and blunt.

    He promptly impaled his soft palate with it and got a ride to the nearest major pediatric surgical facility on a Learjet.

    Obviously the makers of flat-ended cylindrical bamboo chopsticks should be forced to recall every single one they have made over the past decade (when we bought our set).

  43. LegalMist January 8, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    Recalls like this are such a waste of our resources, and fill up the landfulls so unnecessarily. And they are throwing away perfectly good scissors at hospitals?!? Wow. I had no idea.

    What a world we live in…

    I’ve been recommending your site to everyone I know. We really need to stop this madness.

  44. C. S. P. Schofield January 8, 2012 at 3:46 am #

    To hell with choking hazards; how about banning that thing because it’s the tackiest stuffed animal since the Care Bears?

    And the person who mentioned their friend who was discouraged from walking until her pediatrician stepped in reminded me of a powerful Rudyard Kipling story called THROWN AWAY, about a young man whose parents sheltered him until he was an adult and so he made all his mistakes at once.

    Not for reading just before bed, BTW.

  45. blogamama January 8, 2012 at 4:58 am #

    I agree with your analysis, Lenore. I’m encouraging, however, any crack down efforts on cheaply made junk from overseas. Yes, this is my shtick, but I do think we all need more education about junk (especially toys) made in sweat shops. What an oxymoron: unsafe toys made for kids by kids working in unsafe conditions. And what doesn’t seem to get addressed is that big name U.S. companies are the ones responsible for having the junk made abroad and importing it in. My hubs teddies from 50 years ago are still intact (even their eyes!) We don’t make products with the same care, CPSC or no. Okay, here endeth my opinionated rant.

    Great discussion topic. My kids would have raised up en masse and stormed the Bastille had I even suggested getting rid of their stuffed animals. It’s all about balance and common sense.


  46. Robin January 8, 2012 at 5:02 am #

    We need to recall cement driveways. Today coming up from the mailbox I fell and scraped up both palms and my knee.

  47. Lollipoplover January 8, 2012 at 6:53 am #

    @Robin- and recall stairs. I sprained my ankle last week and it still hurts like a mofo.

    Choking hazard aside, this bear is ugly as sin. I miss my sweet Cordurory Bear that I grew up with that had real BUTTONS on it. I think they did come off a few times, but my mother sewed them back on and miraculously I am still alive today.

  48. Gina January 8, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    I tripped over my daughter’s feet and broke my knee…Time to recall my daughter?
    I burned my finger trying to light a candle…recall matches?
    I banged my head into my car door..left a nice bruise….Recall all car doors?
    Dropped a glass aquarium and cut my finger to the bone picking up the pieces…recall all glass items?
    Maybe just recall my brain because I am a klutz?

  49. KD January 8, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    @Gina….LOL, you sound just like me. Last January I broke my hand while walking through the kitchen and aciidentally hitting the wall just right that goes to my living room… Feb. I micro-fractured my knee cap when I was on the floor by the door in my daughters room and got startled by the dog. I turned and hit the door frame with my knee….yesterday I tripped over a blanket and jammed same knee into the ground…..and the ONE, ONE step in my house is a constant source of stress….as I trip over it on a daily basis….forget the kids…I need bubble wrap….

  50. Michelle Potter January 8, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    Hey, this isn’t really related to this comment, but…

    I was just watching iCarly, and I wonder if anybody else had noticed that Mrs. Benson (Freddy’s crazy, overprotective mother) lets Freddy stay home alone, ride his bike to school, wander around his apartment building, and even wander the streets of Seattle without her. In the episode I just watched, Carly, Sam, and Freddy were walking around Seattle (with Carly in a bunny suit) offering to brush strangers’ teeth for $1. Freddy ends up getting hit by a truck, and yet his mom STILL lets him wander around with Sam and Carly after that.

  51. Uly January 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    This is off-topic, but as it’s been a while since it’s come up I thought I’d ask… Lenore, are you still planning to (ever) put in a proper forum/bulletin board?

  52. gap.runner January 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    @Uly, I like your idea for a forum or bulletin board. That way people who go off-topic can start a new thread and those who want to discuss the original subject still can.

  53. laineyj8 January 9, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    I am not throwing this bear into the trash because it COULD pose a choking hazzard to my 5yr old. Enough of the madness, seriously.

  54. Cass January 9, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    It is funny about the power of suggestive comments. I automatically skimmed sections of your article in the same way that I might close my eyes at a scary part of a movie.

    Your post had heaps of dangerous things I had never heard about… and want to forget about before they become seeds of concern in my brain…

    This super-free-range mum (me) who lets her 2yo spend her days naked chasing chooks around the back yard completely hovers whenever she comes anywhere near a grape… because of a story I heard of a toddler choking. I try to shake the fear but it took hold and I just can’t wait until she is older and I can stop fearing the grape!!

    But now thimbles???? Oh gosh, sometimes I feel like half the job of a mum is to fight all the fears that attack us.

  55. Jackie January 9, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Lenore, you’ve lost this follower.

    I’m finding more and more that there’s an underlying message in your posts and in your readers’ comments that implies that parents should be more self-conscience to the judgments of others. Rather than empowering parents to empower their children, the message seems to be that if people don’t agree with you then they’re not parenting the “right” way.

    It’s not just our children who need more trust; we all need to trust one another more than we have been trained in recent times.

    I hope you can advocate for strong and caring communities, and refrain from sensationalizing what look like “outrageous” decisions of others.


  56. pentamom January 9, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    “The side that says maybe there’s something lost when we keep tossing out perfectly good stuff rather than figuring out how to safely live with it?”

    As a general sentiment, that’s a healthy approach. But infection control in a hospital environment is pretty serious business. Kudos to the places that let people take stuff like that home with them, where they can use their own discretion, and the risk is much smaller.

    So if you’re talking about a way for the hospital to get rid of single-use stuff without just throwing it away, I’m with you. If you’re talking about repeated use of more stuff within the hospital environment, I’m not so sure.

  57. Helene January 10, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    The unfortunate thing is that many of these cases are most likely prompted by someone who sees it as a way to make some easy money by suing the company who made the product. Once in a while a product is truly defective, but a lot of times the problem is due to the product being used in a way not intended or improperly. Common sense, people!

  58. singlemom January 11, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    That is one seriously cute bear! super cute!

  59. LeahGG January 13, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    Pentamom – There are autoclave machines. I trust them. Where I live (not in the USA), metal instruments are autoclaved. My doctor unwraps a ‘new’ pair of scissors or speculum which is wrapped in plastic for safety. When he’s done, he drops it in a bucket with alcohol. At the end of the day, the bucket of stuff goes to the autoclave, and the next day, there are ‘new’ utensils.

  60. Jenne January 14, 2012 at 4:30 am #

    The reason (many) hospitals throw away scissors in dressing packs rather than autoclaving, etc. is that it is cheaper in staff to buy single-use packs rather than use the staff time to autoclave them and keep them sterile between uses. So, always ask for your scissors and any other parts of the package they are going to throw away and will let you have.

    In a doctor’s office, the equipment is quite likely autoclaved and re-used, but in a hospital with large volumes, high staff costs, and the ability to buy cheap junk from overseas, buying new cuts costs for them. Another case where sustainability = a short term increased cost, unfortunately.

  61. Jimmy the Bitch January 14, 2012 at 4:57 am #

    Wow, I had no idea. It’s similar to the belief that the effort necessary to extract oil from the ground, ship it to a refinery, turn it into plastic, shape it appropriately, truck it to a store, buy it and bring it home is considered to be less effort than what it takes to just wash the spoon when you’re done with it.

  62. mcdruid January 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    If that is the bear, it should be recalled for ugly.

  63. coach factory outlet April 9, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    It¡¦s in reality a great and useful piece of info. I¡¦m glad that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing. coach factory outlet


  1. Free Range Kids » Pithy, Witty & Wise - April 15, 2012

    […] Free-Range Kids: Loved this comment [on the Build-An-Adorable Choking Hazard post] :  â€Which is why I am always going crazy.” Exactly. As if parenthood isn’t […]