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Protect our Bubble Babies with Our Stuff

14 August 2009 2 Comments
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Get your saline-soaked, aloe-treated, grape-scented tissues for your child! It’ll make blowing your child’s nose safe and fun! Don’t let him feel discomfort. Be a good parent.

In the Kiddie-Safety Industrial Complex, parents are gobbling up hitherto unheard-of stuff like those Boogie Wipes tissues, toy wagons with seat belts, sure-grip gloves for lifting baby out of the bath, and even knee pads for babies to wear when they start to crawl over that crushed glass you chose instead of carpeting for the nursery.

Oh, you didn’t? Well, the knee pads will still set you back $19.95 a pair. Forget the fact that 300,000 years of human evolution has already given babies built-in knee pads called fat. And how to explain “baby moisturizer”? Clearly, baby skin just isn’t soft enough. And what about the Thudguard? That’s a helmet you’re supposed to strap onto your baby the minute she starts to toddle because skulls just don’t do the trick anymore. As the Thudguard’s website notes (beneath pictures of helmeted toddlers who look as if they’ve all just had brain surgery): A head injury can be “traumatic for both parent and infant.” – Readers Digest

The above quote is from a Readers Digest article discussing how when it comes to selecting and purchasing baby safety products, parents are driven by fear rather than science. Through advertising and marketing, these baby safety companies continue to capitalize on the “what if’s” in order to move parents to purchase their products.

What is a “Good Parent” Supposed to do?

Baby Face FearsHow can we argue against such a message? What is another $120 for a monitor versus the life of your very child. A good parent has to buy these products right? You don’t want to be the one that didn’t and have something tragic happen to your child. It is a lose-lose situation.

How else do you explain the the need for the plastic bathwater turtle. You place the turtle into your baby’s bathwater and if the tummy of the turtle says “hot” then its the water is too hot. Since of course, feeling the water yourself would be too dangerous and not as accurate. Your parents took such risks but now we don’t need to take such life threatening action. No need to guess. Be certain that the water is ready. Use the bathwater turtle.

Media Influence at it’s Finest

Whenever people discuss the influence of media, it is easy for us to point at the children and talk about how the media influences their innocent, impressionable minds. Children must be protected but us adults, we are older, more mature and have better discernment. Right?

True. But that doesn’t mean we are immune to it. Why do companies spend millions of dollars on advertising if it didn’t influence the way we think and behave? We protect our children from violence and sex, yet have no qualms about watching it ourselves because it’s “just entertainment”. We watch movies with questionable worldviews, we listen to music that we wouldn’t dare play in front of our children, and soak up lifestyle messages from commercials one after another. Unfortunately most people tend to never think about how these messages influence the way we view the world and ourselves.

The baby safety industry is flourishing. Cause a bit of anxiety and tug a bit at the emotions and parents run to the store to buy every thing they are told they need. Indeed media influence at its finest.

Other Absolute Needs for your Child

Wipe Warmer – It’s a warmer, for your wipes. Don’t want to upset the baby with a chilly wipe.

gLovies – Disposable gloves for your babies when they leave your home. “Keep kids from germs in public places… Fun to wear!”

Shopping Cart Liners – Put them in your grocery cart so your child doesn’t touch any of the germs.

“There’s a sense that babies are never supposed to be frustrated, that everything in their lives is supposed to be perfect,” Harvard’s Susan Linn.

  • What are your thoughts about these products?
  • Do you think they ultimately help or harm babies? Parents?
  • Is fear driven marketing right or wrong? Neither?
  • Do you agree or disagree that media affects our worldview?

2 Comments »

  • Jane said:

    To each his own…

    I would never look down upon a parent for buying, or not buying, these products. These are businesses, plain and simple, and to be honest, Boogie Wipes isn’t doing anything that Kleenex isn’t by putting vitamine E in their tissues and cute little kids with red noses in their commercials.

    On another note, the ‘media influence’ of Readers Digest? Well, bankruptcy seems to be in their future, so…

  • jocelyn said:

    As a parent, more than anybody else, we know what is best for our baby. We must not allow the media to influenced us.

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