Is This News? A Baby Almost Hurt Himself

Readers — I found this note so interesting:

Dear brznkihifi
Free-Range Kids: I’m a big believer in your philosophy, which I do my best to apply in my work as a nanny. I check in just about every day, and am always thrilled to find fresh reassurance that I’m not the only person who worries the world has gone insane. 

That being said, I’ve never contributed anything before, but today this headline caught my eye on Consumerist. I (perhaps ghoulishly) expected something a little more dramatic, but after reading the story I found myself wondering… what am I missing? I might be reading into this too much, but some of the wording in the article seems rather strong for a toddler toppling face first off a table. He was ‘saved’ by a ‘hero’ security guard? It was certainly lucky that the gentleman was there to catch the child, but even if he hadn’t been things probably would have worked out okay… right?


And this story made the news here from Poland? Nothing else happened in the world this week that trumps a child falling two and a half feet? I understand that news comes in all varieties, both major and minor, but this seems a little overblown. Also, when I clicked back to the original source, I found this quote even more strange:

“The spokesman added that along with saving the child from almost certain injury, Mr Paczek may also have prevented the family from missing their flight.”

Haven’t these people ever heard the old saying that babies bounce?

I don’t know if any of this will be of use to you, but I thought I would pass it along. — Liz Perez

Lenore here: While not all babies bounce on all surfaces, I share Liz’s concern that when tiny stories like this become news, they seem to reinforce the idea that kids are uber-vulnerable at all times! This, in turn, reinforces the idea that the only good parents are the ones who never take their eyes off their kid. But I’m also pretty this only ran only because there was video available AND because the dad looks so nonchalant while the Good Samaritan “saves” his child. Media simply cannot resist that one-two punch: Bad parent/thank God for someone GOOD nearby — and video at 10!

P.S. WordPress users: A question. Every time I embed the video in this post, I can see it on the preview, but it doesn’t show up when published. Any idea how to fix that? I paste in the embed code while in “text” mode, as I always do. Hmmm.

P.P. S And NOW I’m seeing two copies of the video, but none on my preview. Vexing!

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21 Responses to Is This News? A Baby Almost Hurt Himself

  1. Lola December 18, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    (Yeah, babies have that suicidal tendency, don’t they?)
    All of which confirms my personal belief: babies are best left on the floor, as filthy as it may be. Although I guess my first choice in this case would have been asking that same security guy to be a darling and hold my baby for a sec, please.

  2. Shelly Stow December 18, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    I have success with video on blogs by having the video up and, assuming it is on the Internet, just copying the url and pasting that into the text of the post.

  3. Stephanie December 18, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    I completely agree with what you said about the only good parents being the ones that never take their eyes off of their children. My parents did not constantly watch us and we sometimes got into trouble. I have a scar on my knee from falling off of my bike when I was probably 7 and ripping my favorite jeans. I probably needed stitches buy my mom cleaned out the gravel and put a butterfly bandage on me instead. Some people would probably think of that as child abuse but I think of it as a great story from my childhood. A memory of when I was carefree and able to explore the world around me. I want that for my kids.

  4. Wendy December 18, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    Not newsworthy, but nice dive. Maybe the point of doing the story was not the risk of danger but the nice catch- like showing the moves in a sports highlights reel.

  5. QuicoT December 18, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    STOP THE PRESSES: Law of Gravity Operates on Small Child

  6. Michael December 18, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    For me, the story was a positive human-interest story, not because of the danger to the child, but because of the self-sacrificing act of the airport employee. The baby would have been OK after a fall like that. But, it was nice to see someone act in a concerned manner for a fellow human being.

  7. siouxzi December 18, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    It’s funny, I can usually totally relate to your disgust at most of the silly things people do to “protect” kids. But I had a very different in perspective on this one.

    Where you see this as a video of OMG the kid was in danger, let’s hang the father. I saw this as a Hooray, a bystander saw something happening and he was able to step in and help. And to me, that should be celebrated. That someone would step in to prevent an accident when very often people won’t makes me cheer hooray, community can still exist. Not to mention the security guy’s reflexes! I didn’t see the dad as doing anything wrong, his hands were full trying to get things together post-security, he was trying to keep baby by his side and get his stuff.

    I was actually annoyed that I couldn’t see more of the security guard rather than just the dad and then the dive. I wanted to see how he realized the impending fall. Again, not over the fear of the child’s safety but because that was a pretty impressive move.

  8. Michael December 18, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    Well, at least the parent didn’t scream at the security guard to get away from his child and start accusing him of being a predator…

  9. kimc December 18, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    I can see how people might take away from just watching the video that this is a feel good, stranger helps parent kinda scenario, but if you read the article statements like this “This is a warning to all parents: you can never predict what a young child is going to do,” sound incredibly judgmental as if the parent, who was standing right there incidentally, had done something horribly wrong. My daughter fell off her change table once, onto my back (I was picking something up…derp, didn’t do that again) and she was fine. I fell from my change table when I was a baby, my caretaker *heroically” saved me by doing a running leap and ended up screwing up her knee for the rest of her life, and has required periodic surgeries on it since. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that she felt the need to protect me from a fall onto a carpeted floor, I am not grateful for the guilt I have felt since being able to understand the effect it has had on her life. If I had of fallen on the floor, it’s likely I would have suffered a bruise, maybe.

  10. Kristen December 18, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    Look how close dad was and still the baby fell… a friend of mine was less then a meter away when her daughter when she was burned from a falling hot iron. No matter how much you hover, kids are still at risk. It’s their nature.

  11. Papilio December 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    When my brother was 2, he fell from our balcony – that was more like 2.5 *meters*. My mom was busy with wet laundry and didn’t initially notice what had happened, as my brother screamed his lungs out quite often at that age…
    Anyway, she saw he was downstairs in the garden and screaming, then thought ‘but wait, wasn’t he upstairs with me? Oh no, he FELL!’, and rushed downstairs (the normal way…) to get him. I still remember how both my parents sat on the couch comforting my screaming brother, but he’s fine, no brain damage or other permanent consequences (well, unless he was really exceptionally smart before that…).

  12. Asya December 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    Reminds me of a story on the Path train TV… “4-year-old SAVED after he is dropped off at the wrong stop. A woman RESCUED him by calling police. Boy is reported to be okay and safely home.”

    It made my blood curl. I let the whole train car know my feeling about the “news” story.

  13. SKL December 18, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    And just today I was reading a story about subway/train accidents. It says that there are like 100 deaths annually from people being hit by cars, and a little more than half are accidents (there are also a lot of suicides in that number). So how come there is never a national / international news story about someone getting hit by a train? Because 100 deaths isn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things? Well, then if that’s the case, why do we hear constant warnings (and receive guilt trips) about dangers with similar death rates?

  14. SKL December 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    Sorry, I meant hit by trains, not cars.

  15. Papilio December 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    @SKL: By cars must be a much bigger number…

  16. hineata December 18, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    Thought this was kind of cool, actually – the guard should become a rugby player, if he’s not already! And I like the way the dad then finishes putting on his jacket before retrieving Bubs – probably a good idea all round :-).

    And it is nice that the dad is not screaming at the guard for touching his child, LOL. My husband is still ‘traumatised’ (well, not really, but it’s a cool word!) by the crazed American woman at Euro Disney who screamed blue murder at an Eastern European woman who had the audacity to actually bend down and ‘right’ Crazy Woman’s toddler, who’d fallen at her feet. Fortunately the kind stranger didn’t appear to understand English, though Crazy Woman’s tone of voice was probably enough to ruin her day.

  17. Reziac December 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    I’m in the wrong business. I could produce a news story like this almost every day — my neighbor’s 18 month old is a monkey in training. Every day one or another of us catches her enroute to taking a header… tho when she still manages it, guess what — she bounces!

    As to the “filthy floors” — There was a study done on the filthiest surfaces available — the gunky NYCity subway floors and public toilet seats. Turns out there are almost no pathogens present (indeed, very little bacteria at all) — because there’s no FOOD for bacteria. It’s gross, but it’s not nutritious, and bacteria need to eat too.

  18. bmj2k December 18, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    “The guard received a special bonus for his action.” OK, I am all for rewarding heroism but at some point doing what is moral and decent- and in this case, not life-threatening to the guard- is just doing the right thing, not worthy of a reward. Yes, kudos to the guard, I applaud him. Let’s not lower the bar on heroism.

  19. Stephanie @ Where in the World Am I? December 19, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    So when my daughter rolled off the changing table but then I caught her before she hit the floor, does that make me the bad parent or the hero parent? Or, just a parent?

  20. Nat December 21, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    WOW! Now my world is complete… (sarcasm) I live in Poland… And I haven’t heard about this. Really – there are more important things happening here in my country, than a kid falling from a counter.

  21. Mike December 24, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    Perhaps it’s a bit overdramatic, but a fall off a full-height table onto a hard floor can be fairly dangerous. I’d certainly be grateful if a stranger was there to grab my kid.