Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Parents must be constantly hounded by the government or else their kids won’t be safe. At least, that’s the theory. As a parent I’ve always wanted my kids to remain alive. And my wife and I have always done our best to keep them alive. So far so good, knock on wood.Â This is, in fact, a very widespread approach to parenting, I believe. Yet I’m always reading stuff about how what worked just fine yesterday could kill your baby today.
In a recent column, Vin Suprynowicz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal points out that “do-gooders now busy themselves passing laws under which parents can be jailed for using their own best judgment,” like letting their kids ride in the front seat with them. The newsletter Accident Reconstruction argues that always stashing children in the back seat is a “simplistic band-aide solution fraught with danger.” One problem is that infants in the back seat can distract other drivers and cause accidents that way. Vin also notes the increasing danger of “forgotten-baby syndrome,” in which infants are accidentally left in the car by parents who would never have forgotten the child had it not been banned from riding up front. Babies have died from suffocation that way.
The greatest danger here is the notion that government regulators are better at parenting from a distance than the parents are themselves, right up close. Yet it’s Mom and Dad who must live with the consequences. Reminds me of the time a public official claimed to care as much for a couple’s children as they did, but had nothing to say when the father asked, “Then what are their names?
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.