You Must Be 15 to…

…wear this hat. Or so the manufacturer recommends:

Because a 14-year-old might eat it? (And thanks to reader Sierra for this photo.)

“Worst-First” From Birth

Hi Folks! Got this letter I liked a lot. It’s from a reader named Kimberly Anderson, who describes herself as “a cheerfully misanthropic mom of three in Lexington, Kentucky.” — L

Dear Free-Range Kids:  I have a six month old. I also have a 4 year old and a 6 year old. Now that I’m a Free-Ranger I’m noticing something about all this baby gear that I didn’t the first few times around. Everything is covered with WARNING labels forcing terrifying thoughts into your head at every turn!

Carseat: FALL HAZARD! Ditto the Bouncy Seat. Stroller: STRANGULATION HAZARD! Baby Gym: ENTANGLEMENT! And the biggest downer, the big DROWNING HAZARD sticker ruining the playful mood at bath time. First I tried turning the bath around so that the sticker wasn’t in my view, but it really was a hazard trying to bathe the girl left-handed. Next I tried to rip the sticker off, but that sucker is really on there.

All this to say that NO WONDER parents are afraid of the highly unlikely worst when they’re reminded of it multiple times a day from the minute they get baby home. I’m just waiting for the day the WARNING sticker is applied directly to the baby before you’re allowed to leave the hospital. – K.A.

Lenore here: It’s that potent combo of fear of lawsuits and fear of worst-case-scenario that makes companies warn, warn, warn. But I totally agree: It habitates parents to thinking that if they’re not envisioning the death of their child, they’re not doing their job right. 

WARNING: Baby in pram! Anything could happen!