Readers — Sometimes when I am trying to explain why the fbbiasfnee
laws against letting kids wait in the car a few minutes make no sense, I point out that if we are going to prosecute parents for putting their kids at some infinitesimal risk, we’d also have to include all parents who raise their kids in homes with stairs, or feed their kids solid food. After all: those pose some danger, too. Where do we draw the line? Is ANYTHING in daily life safe enough?
And then I opened today’s email:
Dear Free-Range Kids:
In two recent episodes of House Hunters I noticed that the young mothers looking for a new home insisted it be a single story as they were afraid of their child falling down the stairs. Am I missing something? What about using baby gates? Being in a bungalow is now a necessity to keeping your child safe?
Shaking my head in Toronto.
This is truly the first I’ve heard of stair-phobia. If it is nothing more than a twice-off, no biggie. But if it’s a trend, it would represent a new milestone in underestimating our kids. Now we can’t let them ride their bikes or walk to school or GO UP AND DOWN THE STAIRS? It is ALL too daunting and dangerous? Please let me know if you have heard of this anyplace else. I am really curious. – L.