Pilloried on “The Doctors” Today

Hi Folks — Here’s me, today, on the show “The Doctors.”

This was not an appearance I’m proud of. I don’t think I got my point across — that kids today are pretty safe, and it is only our worst-case-obsessing culture (as exemplified by, ahem, The Doctors) that is convincing us our kids are in constant danger.

What really upset me about this is…everything. That includes the fact that New York City’s parks are portrayed as citadels of crime, because there were 41 incidents over the summer. In a city of 8,000,000 people! Hey, it’s too bad there wasn’t ZERO crime over the ENTIRE SUMMER, but if 41 crimes = VIOLENCE OUT OF CONTROL, I’m a jelly donut. (Or whatever. Time for lunch!)

Meanwhile, at the end of the segment, Dr. Travis exhorts me to spend a night with him in the emergency room (Doctor! I’m married!), because THAT is where I will finally come to see how unsafe children are. How I wish I’d responded that if he spent an afternoon with ME at Central Park, he’d see how SAFE it is. Obviously if you are surrounded ONLY by people HEMORRHAGING, you’re getting a very skewed perspective.

Just like anyone watching The Doctors. – L.

106 Responses to Pilloried on “The Doctors” Today

  1. North of 49 October 22, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    Voice of reason here – yes, you and I have talked Lenore in private too about things I go through. Apparently, making my kids walk 1.16km to the bus stop is “safe” but putting a bus stop outside of my house, because the bus would have to go a “long way around” is “unsafe.” Go fig. *shrug* Compromise? A bus stop 400m away. UGH.


    “The Doctors” completely lost their credibility with me when they brought in a psychic. And don’t get me started about homeopathy.

    Basically, you were set up to feed the hysteria of the masses. I’m sorry this happened. The message is the same: our kids are safe! We have to learn to trust them.

  2. Beth October 22, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    Even in New York, do THAT many kids really come in to the emergency room as victims of crime, on a given night?

  3. Janet October 22, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    I never watch that show because I can’t stand the Doctors. Sorry they couldn’t be more objective. I guess because all they see and read about is the bad stuff.

  4. Victoria October 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    I saw the segment this morning…. this is EXACTLY the mentally we are fighting against. ugh.

  5. Lindsey October 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    Did the doctor specify how many kids are in the emergency room because of violent crimes at the hands of strangers, or because of domestic abuse or accidents at home? I imagine it’s more things that happen at home rather than something that happened while they were out minding their own business. But of course, they can’t say that on TV–too boring.

  6. Mary October 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Learning to deal with the media is a full time profession in itself, and requires a lot more aggressive behavior than most are comfortable with.

    Don’t beat yourself up – this is only one round in a long battle and we’ll all get better at it, learning from each other.

    I raised 4 kids free range and am coaching my kids on parenting THEIR kids free range (as much as possible in this environment). It’s worth it. Keep your focus on the real objective – raising self reliant knowledgeable kids!

    I link to your blog every chance I get. THANKS for your hard work!

  7. RMW October 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Oh, Lenore, you were so gracious. It was obvious that they just brought you on to bully you and cloak themselves in sanctimonious fear-mongering. I’m sorry you had put up with these bozos.

    This just confirms to me why I HATE daytime television shows. They are so vapid and a huge waste of time.

  8. Susan Goerke October 22, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    I detest that show. All they do is spread fear about EVERYTHING.

  9. Tony Shreck October 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    Anecdotes do not make a scientific theory, unless you are on The Doctors apparently. Can you say confirmation bias? Not that I probably needn’t the advice, but thanks for ensuring I will never watch that twaddle.

  10. Kara Nutt October 22, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    I tried to watch, I couldn’t get past the introduction…. I think he could have been more condescending in his tone, but it would have been hard to accomplish. What a crock!

  11. Joe October 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    That includes the fact that New York City’s parks are portrayed as citadels of crime, because there were 41 incidents over the summer…. Meanwhile, at the end of the segment, Dr. Travis exhorts me to spend a night with him in the emergency room (Doctor! I’m married!), because THAT is where I will finally come to see how unsafe children are.

    How many children were injured in auto accidents in NYS this summer? It’s well over 41. How many children does Dr. Travis see in his emergency room at night who were injured or victimized in the parks vs. in automobile accidents?

  12. Dr. No October 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    Ugh. Can’t really watch the whole thing. But that’s my reaction to that show every time I’ve had the misfortune to come across it. Not just because they’re pounding on Lenore.

    How can you say creeeepy. Esp. that woman (sorry, it just slipped). They freak. me. out. Just looking at ’em makes me suspect they’re certified arses and then they open their mouths and remove all doubt. I can’t claim they lost any credibility with me though. They never had any. But seriously, if there is a crew that lives from fear-mongering, they’re it. So it could have only gone this way, regardless of anything reasonable Lenore had to say.

    Self important, sanctimonious, humorless little @!%!**#~@#!! . . . rant continues out of ear-shot . . .

  13. Jennie Murphy October 22, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Why do so many people have trouble finding the humor in the “I Won’t Supervise Your Kids” after school program concept?

  14. Fearless Formula Feeder October 22, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Lenore, I haven’t seen the segment yet, but after I saw how they treated Joan Wolf a few years ago when she was on, I lost all ability to watch that show without wanting to throw heavy household objects at my television. And my husband probably wouldn’t appreciate if I broke our rather expensive flat screen.

    These people suffer from so much confirmation bias that it’s laughable. I commend you for going on the show and trying to have a rational discussion – unfortunately the hosts don’t have the ability to do much more than pretend they know what they are talking about and yell whatever they decided to yell in their production meeting. Whatever valid points you made, I’m sure they fell on deaf ears.

  15. Warren October 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    You need to go a sip you latte, relax and enjoy a nice autumn day. We would need 5 or 6 clones of you to even the playing field.
    They bring you on these shows, and then ambush you with a panel of so called experts, that talk over each other. How is a person with manners, such as yourself supposed to get their message across, when the odds are against you?
    I watch you sit patiently or at least quietyly, and let them finish speaking before you respond. On none of these shows have I seen the panels respect you in the same manner.
    Thank you Lenore, not only for being our messenger, but for doing it with humour and class.

  16. JJ October 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    Lenore, you did great. I think you SHOULD spend the night with McScaredy (in the ER that is!). A kid in the ER is sad and horrifying of course and I hope I don’t come across as callous because that is not what I mean. However, I bet the majority of serious trauma among kids in any ER, other than natural causes, is from auto accidents and gun accidents (as in playing with parent’s gun). Not from child molesters. These doctors need some perspective.

  17. Valerie October 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    I’d love to know the last time THAT guy saw the inside of an ER and was actually on shift.

  18. Jean KT October 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    The Doctors is an unwatchable program, and I felt that way before they tried to pillory you. Without their fear-mongering and TV-ready faces, they wouldn’t have a TV show at all.

  19. Jules October 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Oh, Dr. Travis, I’d love to come spend the night in the emergency room to see how many people come from doing something we do every day: ride/drive in a car. Bet I’ll never go anywhere outside of walking distance again. I bet I’ll see a lot of obese people come in for treatment for heart disease, because they didn’t get enough exercise, because they didn’t think it would be safe to go out and take a walk.
    Perspective, indeed.

  20. Amber Kent October 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    This show is built on all the terrible things that COULD happen to you. I don’t watch it for the same reason I never read “What to Expect When You Are Expecting”…you could lay awake for hours worrying about all of the terrible things that could affect you and your children, but they forget to mention STATISTICS! That these terrible calamities are like 1 in 5,000,000,000.

  21. Jules October 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    Oops, I see JJ just posted practically the same thing. What does that say?

  22. Bryan October 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm #


    I would think by this time you would know better than to feed the mass hysteria machine. I mean really. What do these guys/gals do all day but wind everybody up that the end is coming in an hour, and you have a fatal disease time bomb ticking inside you right now and will be dead in 5 minutes. Then once they’re done scaring the crap out of you and your neighbors they try to shove pills down your throat, and your kids throat, so you can function in what they claim is a normal mode of living.

    And if you think media isn’t about hysterics just look at your local news shows at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 PM. If you took all that seriously you wouldn’t leave the house.


    I recently read a great line the other day about doctors and how they interfere with people’s lives and deaths and it goes like this…

    Do you know why they screw the coffins shut in Ireland?

    To keep the doctors out.

    Keep on Truckin’ Lenore!!! 😉

  23. Michelle October 22, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    I haven’t watched the clip yet, because I’m still trying to decide if it’s worth the rise in my blood pressure. However, what you’ve described reminds me very much of a conversation we often have on another site devoted to evidence based birthing practices. There are a lot of doctors who believe that homebirths ALWAYS end badly, because the only ones they ever see are the ones that result in a transfer to the hospital. (Though it’s worth pointing out that most of those women still go on to have a healthy birth, just with a little more help than they could get at home.) They never see the hundreds of women who birthed at home in their towns who *didn’t* transfer to the hospital, so they assume those women simply don’t exist.

    I also agree with other commenters who have pointed out that, in all probability, most of the children those doctors are seeing in the ER were NOT injured by strangers in the park. I have taken my 7 free range children to the ER several times over the years — once because a baby stopped breathing in the night, a couple of times for toddlers with high fevers, and the rest for household accidents (like when my daughter broke her arm falling out of bed). Interestingly, my children have NEVER sustained any serious injury (ie, needing more than a bandaid) while outside my home. Sounds like outside is the safest place to be!

  24. Dave October 22, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    You did a good job. As for the doctor who told you to join him in the ER. Kids always end up in the ER I did. Things happen and always did. Now if you take your kid to the ER with cuts and bruises they are quick to accuse the parents of abuse. Worst first thinking always finds someone at fault. For the doctor to say he doesn’t care about statistics I would like to challenge him. Aren’t all medical practices risky? Aren’t there warning lapels on every bottle of medication? Maybe if we weren’t so quick to point fingers and realize the life is risky his malpractice insurance might not be so high.

  25. TaraK October 22, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    Didn’t you also post once that our society isn’t as litigious as people think? Not a fair fight to have you against 4 “professionals”!

  26. Amy K October 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    This is a great example of why I stopped watching shows like The Doctors and Dr. Oz.. They degenerated in to the same media frenzy as any place else.

    And don’t even get me started on their “healthy weight” ideals.

  27. Valerie October 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Ok…I watched it. It was hard.
    WHEN something happens to one of these kids… APPLAUSE.
    They want something to happen, they NEED something to happen. Justification is a drug.
    Who is going to do a story on the anniversary of the program and NOTHING bad happened? (no one)

  28. Lollipoplover October 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    Well, the good news is they didn’t show “Lord of The Flies”.
    You know what doctors see a lot of in ER’s these days? Kids overdosing on prescription medication. Some steal it from their parents. Kids so bored being trapped inside their house they turn to their parent’s meds to escape.
    Makes Central Park seem like Candyland.

  29. Hillary October 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    Kids I know who have gone to the emergency room went because:

    – They had an undiagnosed UTI
    – They fell off their backyard swingset
    – They have a congenital lung condition that makes simple respiratory viruses a big deal
    – They were chasing their brother and fell down and knocked in their front teeth
    – They cut their chin on the edge of the public swimming pool
    – They had a high fever from the flu
    – They got bitten by a spider

    Clearly Dr. Travis must work in a special ER where they send all the kids who are victims of crime. Otherwise one might conclude that children are MORE in danger hanging around the house and perhaps we shouldn’t have kids at all.

    Also, as the parent of a young child, I have spent hundreds of afternoons in the last five years in urban public parks. I have witnessed littering! And vandalism! And homelessness, and occasionally mental illness. I’ve seen kids get hurt in the course of normal play. But I’ve never seen a child harmed maliciously by an adult, nor a child injured due to lack of supervision, nor a crime committed against any child.

  30. gail October 22, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    There’s no way I’m watching this clip. Hang in there! You COULD NOT get your point across — well of course! Those shows are NOT meant for you to express a sensible idea. As everyone wrote, you were invited so they could do some Free-Range bashing — and that’s it. Don’t worry too much about it. Whoever watches this show is probably not ready for Free-Range parenting anyway. Not yet, at any rate.

  31. Naomi Mat October 22, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    Interesting point that if you are surrounded by kids bleeding out, of course you’ll think the world is dangerous. I tried to present some of ideas from this site to my father. He disagreed with me completely that crimes against children have gone down. He works for the NJ Division of Youth and Family Services so he sees the worst that society has to offer in terms of childhood. I think I’d lock up my son until he was 21 if I saw the things that my father has.

  32. Phill October 22, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    What a terrible television show. How could such a thing exist? What sane person would go to (or send their kid to) one of the ‘doctors’ on this show? I’m sorry you had to go through that.

  33. Marcy October 22, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    I think you did pretty good all things considered. The fact that the one guy had to resort to “I don’t care about statistics” proves that this is not a rational basis for decision making. Keep working at it. These guys have everything in their favour when making their arguments, they get to set the scene, they get to play on the preconceived notions. Plus they were 4 ganged up on 1.

    And completely off topic, my BIGGEST peeve ever is wearing a lab coat or scrubs as a costume!!! Argh, my lab coat is to a) protect me from nasties I am working with, so if I wear it outside my lab it means I am bringing nasties out with me and b) to protect my samples from contamination, so if I wear it outside my lab it means I am bringing extra contamination back into the lab. Having to use props to lend yourself some credibility means you don’t have enough credibility all on your own.

  34. Dixie October 22, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    I can’t stand to watch the clip above because I think the personalities that The Doctors put forth are reprehensible and their show, on most days, is disgusting and barely appropriate for daytime TV. Sorry they railroaded you but you’re in good company, I’m sure.

  35. mollie October 22, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    Thanks for your effort in this arena, Lenore. All of your efforts are appreciated by this community.

    Not sure if I’ll watch, but I will say this: for those who have ridden this “hyper-vigilance” trolley to its last stop and are suffering the fallout, you are a welcome voice. To those who just paid up their fare and are determined to get their money’s worth, well, you’re a nattering nabob.

    And for those of us who have seen the madness all along, you are our hero. THANK YOU.

    xo from Canada

  36. Leslie October 22, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    Ugh…. Just saw it. Too bad they couldn’t actually give you a moment to make your point without jumping to interrupt. I guess they had to get on to that all-important topic of butt-shaping.

  37. mysticeye October 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Well I *suspect* that unsupervised children are slightly more likely to get injured at a younger age, but they are less likely to be seriously injured as they get older (as they know their limits, have muscles to prevent injury, etc)

    Then again I also suspect most of the kids in the ER due to accidents are there due to accidents during supervised activities (ie at home with their parents, school, supervised sports, or at the park with their parents). Though that’s mainly because most accidents happen in the home and most kids aren’t allowed anywhere alone.

    Mind you hubby’s always shocked when I egg my kids on. Sure climb higher, jump further, throw huge chunks of snow off the bridge into the creek (yes I checked that they weren’t going to break anything)

  38. Trish October 22, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    Don’t let it get you down!

  39. hineata October 22, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    Lenore, not sure why you aren’t happy, you did really well and were very gracious. What a bunch of prats! And 41 incidents in a city of 8 million is just about nothing, and lower than our crime rate, I’m sure……

    However, if he was willing to pay our airfares, I’m sure both Catspaw and I (and we’re both married too!) would happily stand in for you and spend a night in the ER with that rather buff fool……:-). Especially if we got to tour NY afterward!

  40. Andrew October 22, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    If the parks are so dangerous, then why haven’t some police officers been fired. I visited NY City a couple of years ago. I walked around in Central Park with an expensive camera. Never had a problem. In fact, compared to some places in Atlanta, the people were down right friendly.
    I have a friend who was tasked with finding a town to open a branch office for a mid-sized company. After spending time in a town in Indiana,(think RVs),this town made the short list due to affordable housing, a skilled workforce, and a lot of sucking up by the local chamber of commerce. That all went down the drain when he let his 9yo son and 11yo daughter play unattended in a local park. The policeman that questioned him about his unattended kids threaten to charge him with child endangerment. He was told that (and we’ve all heard this before), it’s not the 50s anymore, and this is not Mayberry. It’s dangerous.
    That cost Elkheart In. 200 new jobs. His report to the main office mentioned that a official representative of the city told him that the city had a crime problem and that children weren’t safe.
    My point is, given the state of the economy, and cities trying to lure new jobs and companies in, why would you talk about how dangerous your town is? I can sorta understand why so many jobs go overseas. Aside from cheap labor, China and India talk about how dangerous their countries are.
    And last but not least, speaking as someone who is familiar with the television industry, Dr’s Drew, Phil, Travis, and their ilk, don’t have a private practice, or hang out in emergency rooms during their free time. Why, because they don’t have that much free time. Making a 1/2 hour television series takes a lot of work. Were talking 10-14 hour days. Unless you have god-like powers over time and space , it’s not happening.
    Just my two cents

  41. K October 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

    Oh, the spider-bite comment just got me… just another example of media hysteria.

    Spider bites are vanishingly rare. There are only two spiders in the U.S. that can readily cause harm.

    1. Black widows. Terribly common and widespread. Bites are very rare, though… why? They are terribly shy, almost never bite, and keep to themselves as best they can. For those with more serious bites, the antivenon is available and bites are readily treatable.

    2. Brown recluse. I have a friend in the local ER that once told me he saw a dozen or so recluse bites a year. That’s pretty amazing because the brown recluse does not even occur in our region. They aren’t here!

    Hint: Doctors are afraid of spiders. Further, isn’t it more jazzy to say that you were hospitalized for a spider bite than a local infection that became systemic? Now, that’s scary, because the most common things misdiagnosed as spider bites are little things like localized infection to wounds (perhaps a mosquito bite that someone scratched), MRSA, gangrene, or Lyme’s disease. While a spider bite is more adventurous sounding – I’d prefer that MRSA be treated accordingly!

    Just for kicks, you might want to check the distribution map listed there – large parts of the United States do not even have the recluse.

  42. Dulcie October 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    I’ve learned not to accept the opinion of doctors, cops or anyone else who is daily dealing with the horrors of life, mainly because that’s ALL they see and have very little experience with all the good things that go on in life because they’re always faced with the bad. I admire these people and what they do, but don’t accept their judgement on real life because, frankly, spending 1/3 of your life in an ER isn’t real life.

    I had a cop once tell me not to let my kids walk home from school (5 blocks) because it was in a dangerous neighborhood and the main road had no sidewalks. #1, if the neighborhood was so ‘dangerous’ why weren’t they doing anything about it (I never experienced anything resembling danger when walking though there) #2 there were dozens of kids also walking home at the same time, uh, safety in numbers #3 why the heck wouldn’t they put sidewalks on a main road leading up to a school located in the middle of a neighborhood to make things safer if it was an issue? We’re not talking about a highway here, just a busy thru-street. My kids continued to walk, enjoy spending time with friends after school on their walks home and getting *gasp* exercise

  43. Michael Chatham October 22, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Kids showing up at midnight to the ER are kids getting injured at home, not by strangers. Just sayin’.

  44. Crystal October 22, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    I’ve never even HEARD of “The Doctors.” Obviously, their influence is pretty restricted if a media-savvy person like me has never even heard of them!

  45. John C October 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    Lenore, you were set up by a bunch of fear-mongering jerks. This is typical media for the purpose of getting ratings. Tell people what they want to hear. I feel so sorry for those idiots in the audience that were applauding that moron who was questioning you. Their children will live a sheltered life and will never know what it means to be alive. I’ve never even heard of the show before, but I assume it’s a daytime show watched by people who have no life and do nothing all day but watch soap operas and Jerry Springer type shows.

  46. sabmad October 22, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    Lenore, I thought considering it was 4 against 1, you did great. You got your point across and yes hopefully people will realize that 41 crimes in a city of 8,000,000 people is pretty dang good. You’re not trying to change their minds. Nothing will change “The Doctors” minds. They have an agenda and they will trying to use you to forward it. But people I bet HEARD you that crime is down from what is was in the 70s, 80s and 90s when kids were running all over the place “unsupervised” so what’s the difference?? They totally didn’t even try to contradict you, they just try to fear monger people.

  47. Donald October 22, 2012 at 9:33 pm #


    The tide is turning. People are starting to understand that bubble wrapping kids hinders their development of self esteem. It encourages them to keep the me, me, me, me, attitude that kids grow out of when they mature. That’s because helicopter parents choke their efforts to learn to become mature.

    This leads to depression, anxiety, and suicide. Do ‘The Doctors’ think that this isn’t serious or happens less often than 41 out of 6,000,000?

    As more and more people understand this, they see through the ratings grab of distorting the truth in order to get better ratings. Many people are already seeing this but now they are starting to understand that this ratings grab is coming at the expense of child safety.

    In short, ‘The Doctors’ believe that their ratings are more important than child safety! “Who cares what the truth is? Ratings are more important.”

  48. Donald October 22, 2012 at 9:35 pm #


    41 out of 8,000,000 instead of 6,000,000

  49. Max Kessler October 22, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    Personally, I cannot trust a doctor who utters, “I don’t care that statistics….” Really? A doctor that that does not care about statistics? That says it all right there for me. Each and every month someone is winning Megamillions and Powerball. Guess that means my turn cannot be too far off as long as I don’t care that statistics say otherwise. Give me a break.

  50. Arianne October 22, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    OT, but I thought this was a weird “sorry kid, rules are rules” case. Hmmm. http://www.9news.com/news/article/295594/188/Teen-growing-hair-for-kids-with-cancer-faces-suspension

  51. JJ October 22, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    PS, That segment came awfully close to looking like an SNL skit. Chris Parnell and and Jason Sudeikis could play the doctors. Tina Fey could play Lenore. (ok I realize I am about 10 seasons behind on the cast but you get my point .)

  52. railmeat October 22, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    You were totally set up. That doc was an ass. Completely and totally out of line.

    ‘Come spend time with me and *I’ll* show you how wrong you are because I know better than *anybody*’.

    Good attitude for a brain surgeon. Lousy attitude for a policy critic. Jerk.

  53. Heather October 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    The Doctors want to know what you think. Tell them!

  54. Nicolas October 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    Today’s docs are a breed of authoritarians who are de facto agents of the state. The state has a strong interest in promoting a fearful and compliant populace. The Therapeutic State does not like dissidents like Lenore.

  55. WendyW October 22, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    Just wondering, Lenore, has anyone signed up for your class?

  56. Michelle October 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

    @Max Kessler, I hate to keep bringing up something that is only marginally related, but in the fight for evidence based birthing practices I have encountered MANY doctors who don’t care about statistics. They have a view that DOING SOMETHING is always better than not doing something, therefore whatever risks are posed by your actions don’t count. Only the risks posed by inaction count.

    For example, try to discuss the studies showing the relative risks of a repeat c-section vs VBAC. The studies show the risks to be very similar, with the risk of infant or maternal death VERY LOW for both options. Yet most OBs will tell you that VBAC is incredibly dangerous, that it’s recklessly putting your child’s life at risk, while never even mentioning or downplaying the risks of repeat c-section.

    That’s what they are doing here, too. They are completely downplaying or ignoring the risks of over-protecting our children, while blowing the risks of simply letting them play way out of proportion. They don’t care about evidence or statistics, just their belief that action is always preferable to inaction. IME, that’s par for the course.

  57. Nicolas October 22, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    Michelle, you are bang-on. Most doctors are NOT scientists.

  58. Angelica Totten October 22, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    Fellow attachment parents: one of the doctors on this show is Dr. Jim Sears, son of the Dr. Sears who wrote The Baby Book and all the other landmark attachment parenting books.

    He’s been a semi-outsider in the health field due to his support of attachment parenting and rejection of some vaccine orthodoxy. He should know better.

    I encourage you to write to him to complain about his rejection of the facts in favor of mainstream orthodoxy on the show today. I contacted him via AskDrSears.com. I put his name in the subject line so it would “go” to him. Don’t know if he will get it, but it was the only way I could find to contact him.

  59. Robyn October 22, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    My favourite part: “Up next! A procedure to get a curvier figure.” Doctors indeed. These people make me sick to my stomach. You did great.

  60. Kim October 23, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    I feel so conflicted. I’ve been a huge proponent since I read Freerange. And I still am. But by announcing to NY that you’re not supervising these kids, you are effectively skewing the statistics you’re so proud of. I’ll leave my kids unsupervised in grocery stores, parks, our neighborhood – for HOURS! But I would not bring them to your event. Second, I’d never heard that you were actually charging! Really? You’re charging? For what? Where is the money going? Again, I ask honest questions, my intent is not to batter cause I wholeheartedly agree with your position. But as I said, I do feel very conflicted today…

  61. Mike in Virginia October 23, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    Keep up the good fight Lenore. My only advice is that you might need to practice some good high-impact talking points that you can squeeze into the 1-minute of total talking time they give you on these kinds of shows.

  62. Ally October 23, 2012 at 1:14 am #

    You can’t argue with a map with little red dots, Lenore. You just can’t. Ugh.

    I just got ambushed on a parenting forum for wanting to let my kid home alone for one hour after school because he NEEDS to be baby-sat.

  63. Amy Austin October 23, 2012 at 1:38 am #

    I thought you did great. Keep on keepin’ on. They obviously weren’t there to HEAR you.

  64. linvo October 23, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    Struggled to watch the whole thing, but I wanted to add my thanks for continuing the good fight too. You’ll win some and you’ll lose some but I am very grateful that you continue to put yourself out there. And you never know if you prompted a few people to do some further reading on the issue.

  65. Michelle October 23, 2012 at 2:42 am #

    Kim, firstly, I seriously doubt that saying that a few kids will be playing in the park this Wednesday is going to attract perverts from all around. Stranger abductions aren’t rare simply because there aren’t enough opportunities or because the bad guys just don’t know where the kids are going to be, but because that’s not how most abductors / molesters / child abusers work. I don’t know why they prefer to groom children close to them and ingratiate themselves into their victims lives (and frankly, I don’t want to know WHY), but statistics says they do. Secondly, even if there was a pervert of the “abducting strange children” variety who heard about this event and decided to go check it out, Central Park is a huge place filled with tons of people who aren’t just going to stand by and watch a kid get snatched. Not to mention that these kids are playing in a group, making an abduction even more difficult.

    In regards to why Lenore is charging money for this, I’m pretty sure she has stated that it was a ploy to get parents who believe in spending a ton of money to put their kids into all the “best” activities to take the concept of free and independent play seriously. (Also, if someone is *willing* to pay her for not watching their kids, who is she to object? LOL!) She has also stated many times that children are welcome to join the group for free (under a “scholarship”), and anyway, how could she stop you from just dropping your kid off at the park during that time?

  66. Steve October 23, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    Lenore, you said:

    ” How I wish I’d responded that if he spent an afternoon with ME at Central Park, he’d see how SAFE it is.”

    You could still invite him to do that very thing. Pitch it as another good segment for his show.

    And… if he takes you up on the offer, you can write about it. And even if he doesn’t accept your invitation, you can still write about how insulated doctors are from the real world because they see only sickness and injuries day in and day out.

  67. Cynthia812 October 23, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    Thank you so much for being out there about this. The country needs this message.

  68. Reader October 23, 2012 at 4:09 am #

    Regarding the spider bite thing, and coming from Australia where there ARE a few more dangerous spiders, can I just give an example? There’s a spider here called the redback — no, it’s not the super-dangerous Sydney Funnelweb but I’ve never seen one of those.

    When I was young and there were a few redbacks around, my parents told me what they looked like so I wouldn’t go around touching them when I was playing in the garden alone. One day my younger brother (he must have been about 3 at the time) was about to touch one but I identified it and told him not to.

    Also, I read a non-hysterical story in a health magazine (from the much more realistic ER-type column we have) about a girl who was playing in the garden (alone!) got bitten by a redback, realised what it was, and told her mother. Instead of freaking out, the story ended with the kid happily in hospital sucking a rehydration lollipop while they checked whether she needed a second dose of antidote or not.

    On the whole, I think teaching your kids rationally about danger is a much safer solution than supervising them every minute.

  69. Todd October 23, 2012 at 4:37 am #

    Great job Lenore! You are really learning how to establish message in these biased interview type situations. Poor Dr Sears was dumbfounded trying to argue with you. He totally agreed with you in spirit and was left clueless how to be outraged.

    @Kim – IMO this whole thing about charging the parents $350 is really a sarcastic publicity stunt. But that’s what it takes to get on TV shows like this. Lenore knows how to attract attention.

  70. gap.runner October 23, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    We don’t have this show in Germany, thank goodness. I watched the clip and thought that the people on the panel were being very rude by interrupting you every time you tried to say something. You’re very courageous in getting your message across when everyone else is against you.

    I’d love to spend a day in the emergency room with the one doctor and compile statistics on the number of kids admitted due to car accidents or diabetes versus being kidnapped and molested by a trench coat wearing stranger. Anyway, a child molester isn’t going to do anything to a kid in a group because there are witnesses. The usual modus operandi of a child molester is to get a child one-on-one and keep the behavior a secret between the two of them. They also spend time grooming a kid versus seeing one at a park and suddenly getting the urge to molest him or her.

    Both of the trips that my son made to the emergency room would have happened whether or not he was supervised. The first time was for bronchitis that wasn’t going away with standard treatment. The second time was for a sprained ankle that he got from skiing. He was with a friend and unsupervised. But even if he was with an adult, he would have done the same thing and incurred the same injury.

  71. Donna October 23, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    Kim, the number of stranger abductions is not low because pedophiles just don’t know where to find kids. The numbers have always been low, even when kids ran the streets from dawn to dusk. The idea that child abductors – an extremely rare breed to start with – are going to flock to Central Park during Lenote’s “class” is ridiculous.

  72. Kenny Felder October 23, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    You have nothing to be ashamed of, Lenore. You did a great job as you always do, facing hostile blowhards and a hostile audience and responding with common sense.

  73. Andrew October 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Doctors don’t care about statistics? Not true. Only 26.2% don’t care about statistics. 82% of people know that.

    Oh and Lenore, I’ll ask my friend to write about his experiences.

  74. susan eppley October 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    You did a FANTASTIC job! The panel already had made up their minds (as well as their audience’s minds) before you even spoke! So judgmental! OY!

    As I watched I wanted to call out “do you put your kids in a car and drive?” (I’ve seen you put that counter argument in writing). I imagine that the doctor sees many car accident victims in his emergency room. A dear friend works in the NICU at a local hospital and she sees lots of sad stories, none of which are due to abductions. Most are just very sad accidents, especially around water (but there’s not a huge smear campaign against bath time).

    Please keep your chin up. I suspect the doctors are popular because they cater to their viewers fears. Heck, it’s fear that makes them rich!

    I make my living helping parents reconnect with common sense and I recommend my clients bookmark your website as part of their “homework” of creating healthy boundaries between their children and themselves.

    Thank you for all the work you do.

    Parent Coach, Educator, Mother

  75. Stacey October 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    Lenore, you were railroaded by this group of Dr. Oz wannabes. Doctors practice medicine; they don’t make TV shows. Just keep doing what you’re doing.

  76. BL October 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Doctors, heal thyselves.

  77. CrazyCatLady October 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    What exactly, does spending a NIGHT in the ER have to do with kids playing in the park? Wouldn’t it be better to spend the afternoon and see how many kids come in? Responsible kids and parents, make sure the kids are home around dinner time in my experience.

    Go ahead, tell him you will spend an AFTERNOON in the ER if he will spend an afternoon in the park with you.

    (Sorry if others said this, but I only got half way through the comments.)

    If you do this, keep a tally of kids vs. adults. Kids brought in for things done while under direct adult supervision and those that are not. Soccer, baseball and football would be my guesses for the biggest reasons that kids would be there in the afternoon, all tending to be done under adult supervision. Kids riding bikes would be another, be sure to note if parents/caretaker were there or not.

  78. Lollipoplover October 23, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    I’m curious how many panic attacks these doctors treat and how much anxiety medication they dispense. Panic attacks present in the ER much like a heart attack.
    I wager they treat a lot more panic attacks (people hearing a noise and thinking their house is being robbed) than Central Park assaults on children. People watching bad medical/daytime talk shows and getting irrational fears….

  79. Susan October 23, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    I think what you are trying to do, Lenore, is admirable, but I think what the doctors were trying to say wasn’t that kids shouldn’t be free range, but that maybe central park is a questionable place. I am very pro free range, but have to admit that 41 VIOLENT crimes in a 3 month period in ONE park does seem a bit high. (I know there are 8 million people in NY, but I have no idea how many of them visited central park over that 3 month period in order to know the statistics.) I live in an average sized suburban town and there hasn’t even been one incidence of violent crime in any of our parks in years. (I checked.) I feel safe letting my kids go alone to our local park. But I don’t think I’d feel safe in Central Park. And the thing is, having an adult in charge sitting on a bench reading a book in no way prohibits kids from leading their own play, using their imaginations, and inventing their own games. AS LONG AS the adult makes a conscience effort NOT to get involved with squabbles or try to direct anything. The kids may run up the first few times, but after a few times of, “You need to solve your problem on your own,” they will. And if anything really serious does comes up, the adult is there. Like I said, my kids go to the local park on their own all the time, but we live in a low crime rate area. If we lived or visited a high crime rate area, I think we need to use common sense and make adjustments as needed while still promoting independence as much as possible. I don’t know if 41 is high for a three month period in a park in NYC, but a lot of people who live elsewhere, do consider it to be high. (And these were said to be violent crimes. I am assuming total crimes are much higher.) Are there any other parks around with lower crime rates? Maybe a good thing would be to promote the free range mindset where you get the kids out to play, make up their own games, entertain themselves, but just have a designated adult sitting in the background keeping an eye out. I know it’s not ideal, but when faced with less than ideal circumstances, it may be a close second best.

  80. Chris October 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Do not despair…most of us have no time to watch an ex-bachelor/actor/doctor talk to us about germs. My husband and daughter are both ER docs, and we all know the value of a skinned knee! http://www.wendymogel.com/books/

  81. EricS October 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Let me just say this, just because your book smart (educators, doctors, lawyers, psychologists, etc…), it doesn’t mean your street smart. And when I say street smart, I’m not just referring to the ability to deal with the REAL world as it is happening around you and your community, but also the use of common sense. To me, that was the key ability back in the day that made children become confident in doing things on their own. These doctors are as human as any of us. And are just as susceptible to the sames insecurities, fears, paranoia, and media influences as anyone else in their frame of mind. And will no doubt have the same apprehensions. Sure, emergency will ALWAYS have the conditions this doctor said. It’s EMERGENCY. I don’t think it has ever been any less with EMERGENCIES even when we were growing up. If he had actually used some common sense and street smarts, he would realize that in a population of 4 million people, the amount of people that end up in the emergency room with moderate to life threatening injuries are a small fraction of the population. Of course it’s going to look like it’s an ‘epidemic’ when you consolidate those numbers in a one area. Also, take into consideration, how many of those emergencies involve children. And of those, how many involve children that have been assaulted by a stranger? I can say with much certainty, that the numbers drastically drop. It’s just like the media, which is one of the the things that have perpetuated this mass paranoia when it comes to our children. You hear EVERYTHING, ALL OVER THE WORLD, in one location. Of course in the small scope of things, it will look out of control. But when you break it down to basics, logic, and statistics, you can win the lottery (twice) before something will likely happen to your kids. Let’s not forget, sheltering your children from “potential” dangers, isn’t protecting them. Necessity is the driving force of evolution. Mental, physical and emotional. We as humans are meant to thrive through life experiences. From the time man walked the earth, we were already engrained with the ability to adapt. Our evolutionary cousins fell and learned to get back up, only to fall and get back up again. We learned the same traits. We’ve been falling and getting back up since the dawn of time. This is how we adapt, this is how we strengthen our minds and our bodies. This is how we LEARN. It’s this learning factor that will be the most effective tool in protecting our children. Yet these so called professionals in all their “wisdom”, are saying that’s no longer important. That what is most important is to shelter our children from all the randomness of bad things happening all over the world. Which is pretty much near impossible. Even if parents spent 24/7 with their kids, they will still fall and hurt themselves. They will still bump their heads. Scrape their knees and elbows. I don’t know one child past and present, and I’m very certain even future kids that WON’T hurt themselves. If you can teach your kids to protect and handle themselves (and they are very capable of doing so, given the right guidance), that would go leaps and bounds more towards not only their safety, but also their well being, emotionally and mentally. They will be less insecure, and less prone to bullying and coercion. Stop being so selfish people. Parents and “professionals” alike.

  82. Neil M October 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    Lenore, I think you did as well as could have been expected from such dreadful interviewers. When that one gentlemen said, “I don’t care what the statistics say” he essentially (if not consciously) conceded your point that fear has taken priority over good sense. When your opponent concedes your point, the debate is over.

  83. wellcraftedtoo October 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    Hi Lenore,

    Like many here, I never watch The Doctors. Watching the clip from the show was my first real exposure to it, other than very short bits and pieces.

    First, I don’t think you failed, or did miserably with this interview. Given the events of the summer in NYC you had a very tough sell–tougher than usual. And a short, combative interview on a show like The Doctors will make getting your points across–which run counter to most of current mind-sets–difficult indeed.

    Next, I thought “the doctors” themselves did a poor job of introducing you, or allowing you to introduce yourself, and to explain a bit about where you are coming from. Without being able to do that, getting your points across become even harder.

    Dr Sears, that’s his name I believe, interrupted you several times, breaking into thoughts that were important, and giving your position weight and credibility.

    The woman doctor said nothing of import, and the older male doctor on the left sounded marginally in support of the Free Range view.

    The doctor who moderates, on the right, came across as rigid and reactive. I have heard ER docs sound like that. They, like police officers, ‘see a lot’, and can become hyper-protective, and very know-it-all sounding. After all, by the ER doc’s perspective, no one should drive a car either, or ride a bike, or play sports–ER docs treat daily serious injuries and deaths caused by these activities.

    In conclusion, I’d say if you agree to an interview in such a forum–where your reception is likely to be challenging, if not downright negative, and where you’ll have only a few minutes to explain your position and points–then you have to prepare as if you are going into a debate (hmm, why would that be on my mind this morning?).

    Meaning, you have to be able to break your argument down into a few very key point, be prepared for counter arguments (however outlandish they might be), and be prepared for some outright aggression. I thought Sears’ repeated interruptions of you were aggressive, and I know I would have been, had I been on the receiving end of them, thrown by them.

    I’m sure you already do that, and I think you came across better than you might think. You offered serious food for thought, which in itself is valuable. Your statement re crime stats being lower today came across loud and clear–and you’ll notice no one had a response to that.

    The reality is that crime is lower, AND that we are more protective of our kids. Making sense of that apparent contradiction doesn’t come easy, and can’t be done in sound-bite.

    The audience was shown once or twice in the interview, and the faces I saw looked thoughtful. This makes sense to me, as the message you brought raises concerns that cannot be dispensed with easily. The moderator-ER doc tried to do that with his flip statement of coming into the ER–“see what I see” offer. He certainly didn’t sound convincing to me, and I imagine he did not to many others.

    Good luck!

  84. Becky October 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    I have 3 children ages 18,15 &14. While I agree with letting kids be kids, I feel that children still need to have a minimum of supervision when they are in a public play area. I am not the type of parent that feels the need to police their every move, but with the type of violent crimes specifically directed toward children that we read & hear about every day, I don’t see the problem with making sure that I know where my children are at all times & making sure that they know to check in with me at designated times. To address the point that Lenore made that she trusts her children to know better than to go with a stranger, it only takes seconds for a perpetrator who is bigger & stronger than your child to grab them & shove them in a vehicle & get away with them…barely enough time to scream & make people around them aware that something bad is happening to them. As for her statistics that crime is lower now than in the 1970s, the statistics that I Googled do not support her statement. http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm
    I also do not understand how anyone would be willing to pay $350/week to have you not pay attention to their child…anyone who would do that obviously already does that for free in their own everyday lives, so why not just drop them at the park & tell them don’t bother calling if someone gives them any problems because I just don’t care enough to be bothered by it & you need to learn to handle it yourself even though you haven’t learned the skills necessary to handle any issues that I should be assisting you with. The comments I see on this appearance don’t seem to be associated with my idea of what you have termed “free range parenting” but seem to be more reminiscent of “abandonment parenting”.

  85. Donna October 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    @Susan –

    According to the Central Park website, 35 million people visit Central Park each year. In addition to the 8 million residents, damnable near every tourist who visits NYC makes a stop at the park for some period of time. A large portion of that traffic is in the summer when the weather is nice. You are talking probably over 10 million Central Park users during those three months. Still think 41 violent crimes seems high?

    You also need to take into consideration the size. This is not your local park. It is comprised of 843 acres and is 6 miles around. There are 7 bodies of water and 21 playgrounds.

    Also I don’t believe he said this was STRANGER violent crime. He probably counted the well known rape there from the summer which was committed by someone known to the victim. As would any cases of domestic violence that occurred in the park or drunken fights amongst friends. Violent doesn’t always mean that a stranger attacked someone. In fact, it rarely means that. Most violent crimes are perpetrated against people known to the doer, not strangers.

  86. EricS October 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    @ Susan: You make valid points. But you have to put things into perspective; Central Park has 25 million visitors a year. That’s about 68500 people a day. Roughly 8.2 million in the course of the summer. 41 out of 8.2 million people, spread across a 3.4 sq km area. That is a extremely small percentage of people falling victim to violent crimes. And I’m pretty sure, very, very few of those 41 (if at all), are violent crimes towards children. Another thing to keep into perspective, that most crimes against children are perpetrated by someone the child already knows and trusts. ie. coach, teacher, aunt, uncle, mother or father even. These 41 violent crimes in Central Park were crimes of opportunity. Muggings and sexual assaults more like. I doubt thieves will mug a child. And yes there are pedophiles out there that have and will assault children, but they wouldn’t be so blatant as to do it in such a public area. I’d like to think most kids have been taught how to deal with strangers that act inappropriately. My 6 year old has known how to deal with strangers (good or bad) since he was 4. Unless my child is super special and far more intelligent than other children his age that I’m not aware of, he is no different than any child out there. The only difference would be, he was taught the right things. I grew up in an urban city like New York. We had parks (not as big) that fell under the same conditions as Central Park. We as children knew early what to watch out for and avoid. And to know what to do if we came face to face with issues (hardly ever). I teach my kid the same things I was taught. So if he and his friends wanted to go to the park to play, I’m confident in them that they are well equipped with street smarts to take care of themselves and watch out for each other.

  87. sassystep October 23, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    Susan – I am not sure if you have ever been to NYC, but Central Park is huge and runs almost the entire length of Manhattan. It is likely the equivilant of dozens and dozens of parks in other cities. I imagine that everyone in NYC visits the park in a 3 month period, as well as every single tourist/visitor. I have been to NYC half a dozen times and I am pretty sure that I was in the park daily. Every time I have been to Central Park it is full of people – runners, picnickers, school children, business men, seniors paying chess, ice skaters, zoo visitors, couples, etc. You actually have to cross through it to get from the East side to the West side. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that many smaller cities are the size of Central Park.

  88. Dee October 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    I was so incensed by this, I sent them a DM on FB.

  89. Dee October 23, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    You know what you should’ve done? When he said he’d like you to spend the night w/ him in the Emergency Room you should’ve said, “Ok, when? Name the date.”

    Then they could’ve done a follow-up and you could have pointed out that (a) you’re not advocating kids to be at the park at 1:00am and (b) most of what came in were non-violent crimes and the violent crimes that came in didn’t happen in parks but in neighborhoods with a high incidence of drug use and abuse.

  90. Bob Davis October 23, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    This discussion remind me of the line: “The Romans had Bread and Circuses; today’s Americans have Junk Food and Trash TV.”
    And we should always remember that the main purpose of commercial TV is not to promote intelligent discussion, but to sell the sponsors’ products.

  91. Michelle October 23, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    Susan, if my local park had 41 violent crimes in one summer, I would be freaking out. Actually, if it even had one. But my local park is about the size of one lot in our neighborhood, and has a couple dozen visitors per day, at most. Central Park is more than 800 acres, and has 100,000 visitors per day. Not to mention that no one is at my local park after sunset, while Central Park doesn’t close until 1am. I’d be willing to bet that most violent crimes in the park are occurring after dark, when children are at home having dinner and going to bed.

  92. Becky October 24, 2012 at 2:00 am #

    Interestingly enough, I see all of your comments here supporting her ideas, but I haven’t seen one of you say that you would pay $350/week to this woman for your child to be in her program…heck, if you’re willing to do that, then send your money to me…you can send your children to your local park & I’ll sit here in Indiana sipping my coffee not keeping an eye on your kid just like she does.

  93. Havva October 24, 2012 at 3:05 am #

    @ Becky… those of us here get that the $350/week is a joke, a publicity stunt. If you go to the website for this class “this woman” (her name is Lenore Skenasy BTW) offers anyone and everyone a “scholarship” to join the class for free. Because frankly it is a public park, she can’t keep other people’s kids from just wandering into the playground and playing.

    The amount is about what parent in her area would pay for classes. This publicity stunt calls attention to a common complaint of parents here. Namely, that they want their kids to have fun outside, but all too often the kids don’t want to go because there is no one to play with! Even Lenore is coping with this issue. Her teen son has trouble finding anyone to play basketball with at the park across from his high school. All his classmates have parents who have ordered them to come straight home after school. Or are off to some (adult) organized activity. These are young adults who have yet to have a childhood. Who don’t get out sans organized activity, and supervision. Think about that, high school kids– nearly adults, nearly “ready” to leave home and be on their own at college, physically as capable of self-defense as any adult — in a very nice part of new york, and they can’t even play basket ball on their own!

    In my area, on beautiful days the park is full of adults, but mostly devoid of kids. It is tragic.

  94. Havva October 24, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    Lenore, I have always admired your willingness to stand out there and be a lightning rod. You help other parents find their way out of the tangled web of over protection, by putting yourself out there.
    I don’t think it was so bad. You got across enough for parents questioning the way things are to find you. And I would know a thing or two about listening to the person brought on as a punching bag. I found the support I needed during the housing bubble because of a sensible guy on TV, saying “now wait, this is madness.” He got pilloried too. And I remembered you from the beating you took over Issy riding the subway.

    You did fine. I loved the bit about reseeding the playground, like bringing back the wildflowers. That was beautiful and inspiring.

    I did have a few thoughts on comebacks… took a while and I still haven’t dug up all the stats but perhaps will prove useful in the future.
    I think when people hear of any crimeS (much less 41) in a single “park” they think of their own largest city park. They aren’t thinking of central park. Probably have trouble imagining it. I sure couldn’t until I walked half the length on my way to the Met. It is near as large as the city I grew up near, and has more visitors in a day than that city had population.
    Perhaps it would help to say something along the lines of. “Central park it the size of many cities both physically and in terms of population. It has 37-38 million visitors/ year and yes crime happens, but it is quite safe. Compare this stats to any small city… compare that to the crimes in our national parks. [I don’t have recent data but in 1980 and adjusting for number of visitors, you were twice as likely to get raped or assaulted in a national park, than in 2011 in Central Park] X times more likely, yet the national parks are considered idyllic while you think central park is a hotbed of crime!”

    In response to: but criminals will know when and where the unsupervised kids are! “And when you and your friends walked to school or the bus stop alone, everyone knew when and where the unsupervised kids going to school would be… Unless your school randomly change start times and locations?”

  95. Captain America October 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    Lenore, you did a good job.

    The inherent dynamics of these kinds of “issues” shows is to generate emotion by positing a stark black-white contrast. So, of course, the show starts showing Perfect White Model Kids playing on dreamlike playground, etc.

    I suppose the show staff were coached to attack your position. The guy in blue, the Dr. at the end, was just emoting. . . but chest-pounding is a venerable rhetorical tactic and it works.

    Heck, you should try the “I’m Incensed at These Dumb Institutions” approach.

  96. bmommyx2 October 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    I rarely watch the Doctors anymore because they are so set in their opinions & judgmental. They mentioned the 41 incidents but did they say how many happened in the daytime when kids would be there? I suspect that lots of them are at night when the park is less populated.

  97. decemberbaby October 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    @Andrew… Simpsons reference FTW!
    (“Oh, Kent. Eighty percent of statistics are made up! Forty percent of all people know that.”)

  98. Andrea G. October 25, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    Honestly, I only vaguely knew this show existed (it might have been on once when I was getting my oil changed), and I doubt most of the moms I mix with know much about it. Most people I know barely look at network television anymore, especially in the daytime. We’re out and about at that time, taking our kids to parks and such. 🙂

    Just an anecdote about alarmist and uninformed ER docs… my husband and I keep bees in our backyard and love it very much. A couple years ago my husband wasn’t being careful while he was working the bees and got stung in the jugular, which resulted in a pretty severe allergic reaction. I gave him the epipen I had on hand for just such emergencies, and called 911 as the package instructed me to do. Paramedics came to take him to the ER, which was mostly unnecessary, but now we know.

    The ER doctors very seriously instructed us to get rid of our bees. For them, there was no other option. We didn’t want to, so I researched it and discovered that fatal reactions are quite rare, and there was a good chance my husband’s bad reaction was made worse by panic, but that it wasn’t anaphylaxis. Then I talked to our naturopath, who happened to have a tincture my husband could take before he went near the bees, which has very much neutralized his reactions to stings ever since. Stings still suck for him, but at least with this tincture, they are not fatal. The instruction to get rid of our bees was completely uninformed and unnecessary. I’m glad we didn’t take it.

  99. Paul October 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    What’s worse (a worse shame for this doctor) is that doctors are taught in medical school that there is a type of selection bias (Berkson’s bias)) specifically addressing hospital-based ‘studies’.

    I’ve seen only a few shows of The Doctors, and I found that it fits squarely in the type of show that ‘sells’ these days. It’s not rigorous medical reporting and doesn’t elevate the conversations of their topics. It’s saddening.

    Thanks, Lenore, for everything you do towards sanity in parenting! I’m a believer, but I still fight the fear…

  100. Earth.W October 29, 2012 at 3:16 am #

    I think my children would grow up much better in China than in the USA.

  101. Earth.W October 29, 2012 at 3:17 am #

    That ER Doctor should know that most children who are abused, are abused while in the care of a known adult. Usually a relative.

  102. Survivinginsweden November 3, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    The doctors are scare tv. I once wrote down everything they warned grown ups about in one hour and it included : your fruit could kill you, your neighbors bad lawn maintenance could kill you, your pantyhose could kill you… Seriously, in one hour, however the ways to avoid this trauma? Wash your fruit, wear the right size clothing and watch out for rats.

    These people are never going to be free range since it would put them out of work.

    I wanted to laugh at the whole thing, but I couldn’t believe real doctors actually went along with that kind of a discussion and wanted to be taken seriously. That and I the the next episode was supposed to be about all the great things you could inject into your face to look less old – but nothing about whether or not that could kill you if you tried to inject yourself and accidently put it all into your blood stream.

  103. Kris November 26, 2012 at 4:07 am #

    Without reading all the comments here, i just want to say the scariest part of this clip was the end- all the people clapping in agreement with Dr. Travis’ remarks.

  104. Miku Hatsune December 28, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Aw, cool! You were on The Doctors! :O

  105. lance mitaro April 12, 2013 at 12:42 am #

    Bottom line? Too man worrywart parents drink the John Walsh Kool-aid and constantly hover over their children and deprive them of a normal childhood and grow up withdrawn and sheltered. I also attribute the current obesity epidemic in children due to our current culture of fear and paranoia that keep kids indoors after school – as apposed to them playing outdoors and walking on the sidewalks like kids of the 70s did. Dr. Phil, the media and their ilk are scaring soccer moms with the “it could happen to your child’ nonsense.. Sad times we live in now.


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