Do You Let Your Kids Walk to School?

If so, TV is calling!If you might be interested in seeing your child on network TV, drop a line to Gwen.Gowen@abc.com . She’s doing a piece on — obviously — letting kids walk to school and needs some “real world” examples. Thanks! — L.

“Nightline” goes Free-Range Friday night!

Well, with a couple of caveats, that is.

First of all, the segment could be postponed indefinitely, should any “real” news develop.

Secondly, the piece is about a Free-Range tangent,  the whole issue I call the “Kiddie Safety Industrial Complex” —  that is, the multi-billion dollar  industry that has given us superstores full of baby products that didn’t even exist a generation ago.

Things like the baby bathwater thermometer that warns you if your baby’s bath is “TOO HOT!” (Never mind the fact that, unless you have no central nervous system, you could probably figure this out with a wrist in the water.) And things like “Boogie Wipes” — special Kleenex for kids. For their oh-so-special “boogies.”

Really — just writing about this product revolts me, but the messages behind it are too weird to ignore:

1 — That it is so “difficult” to blow our children’s noses that we need new, pricey (10 cents a sheet!) assistance.

2 — That kids are almost a different species from the rest of us, hence require a whole houseful of kids-only  products.

3 — That we really WANT to raise kids on grape-scented, saline-soaked nose wipes. As if the world isn’t chock-full of overwrought, over-scented, unnecessary junk already.

And that’s not even getting into the  way the safety industry creates a picture of  the world as super-dangerous (“Is your baby about to be SCALDED?!” “) so we will freak out and buy anything they’re selling.

Anyway, I’m happy the Nightline folks are looking into this topic, thanks to a great piece in SFGate.com. And I’m happy that they came to interview me. And happy, too, that  the  correspondent, David Wright, is really funny and a dad of two young ‘uns. So I suspect  it’ll be a good piece.

Till then — good luck with those “boogies.” Even though we seem to be the first generation in history that needs a whole lot of  help dealing with them.  — Lenore