Is Your Child Safe ENOUGH? Take This Summer Safety Quiz!

Hi Folks — Now for something completely different. This piece of mine recently ran in the Washington Post.  Enjoy!  – L.

Tips for Keeping Your Child Safe. Very, Very Safe 

It’s summertime, which means it’s time for parents to think about safety — only safety. That’s what all the parenting magazines and Web sites will tell you, as will every TV news report that begins, “It was a beautiful summer day until . . . ”As a result, you know how important it is for your children to avoid all swimming pools, playgrounds, lakes, camps, parks, bugs, balls, hoses, horses, exercise, soap bubbles, sunbeams, sand, sugar and, of course, other children.

If you are still considering allowing your child to play outdoors this summer, go right ahead, you risk junkie! But first, heed these tips. Some were gleaned from reliable sources, others I might have made up. It makes sense to take some precautions, but can you tell the difference?
1. Limit children’s sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
2 . Children should watch TV or text during peak sun hours.
3 . Discourage children from moving rapidly when they see insects — movement encourages insects to bite.
4. If an insect alights on your child’s arm or leg, remove that limb.
5. Do not let your children dive.
6 . Do not let your children lift anything heavier than a wet towel. 
7 . Touch your toddler at all times to check body temperatures.
8. Touch your child’s wrist at all times to check for a pulse.
9. Use softer-than-standard baseballs and safety release bases to reduce baseball-related injuries. 
1 0. Use charades to pantomime football plays to reduce the possibility of concussions.
11. Avoid dressing your child in bright colors or flowery prints.
12. Choose clothes that cover your child’s shoulders, arms, fingers, legs and face.
13. Sweat and body heat bring on the bugs. Bathe the kids before heading out and try to keep them calm.
14. Give your children sedatives at breakfast and as needed throughout the day.
15. Check out a camp’s play equipment for cracks and dents.
16. Check out whether your child’s day camp is located at a federal prison.
17. Make sure your children come inside after 30 minutes of play for 15 minutes of water and snacks.
18. Make sure your children remember the rule “Step on a crack, time to eat a snack.”
19. Avoid gardens where flowers are in bloom.
20. Enjoy gardens where flowers are dead.
21. Never let your child wait in the car, even for a minute.
22. Always wake your toddlers to drag them across a busy gas station, for safety’s sake.
23. Avoid sweets during picnics.
24.Serve only bran-based desserts.
25. Make sure all home swing sets have nine inches of wood chips beneath the playset.
26. Remove all swings and replace with ottomans.
27. Make sure kids do a series of warm-ups and gentle stretches to get their muscles ready for action.
28 . Do not allow your child to play tag before being assessed by a medical professional.
29 . Stay away from very cold drinks — they can cause cramps.
30. Serve Popsicles at room temperature.
Answer Key:The odd-numbered tips come from actual parenting resources. The even numbered tips don’t . . . yet.

Tip #7: Touch your toddler at all times to check body temperatures. REAL OR NOT?

I Thought This Was a Parody

Hi Readers! I wish this WAS a joke: A mama’s rant with about 100 “Amen!” comments after it, that basically makes the case for clinical paranoia.

Commendably, the blogging mom believes that her child IS safe an aisle away from her at the grocery store. Stranger danger, especially in a public place, is exceedingly rare, she says. Most abuse is committed by someone the child knows pretty well.

Ah — but that is why this mom has decided not to trust almost all the people her daughter knows. Or at least, their families. The post is titled, “The Safe List & Why You’re Not On It.”

Now please don’t get me wrong. I believe abuse happens. I also believe it usually doesn’t happen, and to act as if every sleepover is a rape fest is a very weird way to look at the world. Ditto, every playdate. Ditto, every outing. And so I believe in teaching kids some basics of self-defense, and the concept of okay touch/not okay touch, and that they can make a ruckus and say no to an adult — all of that. But to never let them out of my sight? That’s not the answer.

To treat all adults as exceedingly, disgustingly, appallingly guilty until somehow (God knows how) proven innocent? That’s not the answer either.

This lady says it is. And the “Amens!” agree. — Lenore

P.S. I love having a lively discussion going on here, but there’s no need to comment over at the lady’s personal blog if you think she’s really off-base, anymore than I’d want her readers coming here just to tell me I’m wrong. So keep ’em coming — here! And have a great weekend! And I have one last post before closing down for the night! — L

How Can You Keep Your Child REALLY Safe From Germs?

Here’s how! Phew! All thanks to the U.K. show, “That Mitchell and Webb Look.” L.

O Octomom, O Octomon (Sing Along!)

‘Tis Christmas Carol parody season. Here’s one of mine, below. For more — including “Text My Cell” to Jingle Bells, and “Frosty the Outsourced Snowman” —  check out and, my two other gigs!  (And I won’t tell you which one has the Tiger Woods Greensleeves song, “Whose Texts Are These?”) — Lenore

by Lenore Skenazy

O Octomom, O Octomom
You hear the patter, pitter
Like Jon and Kate
You, too, had eight —
Except in just one litter
It must be hard to keep them fed
And patty-caked and put to bed
O Octomom don’t call upon
Me when you need a sitter.


Hey Readers! Add On to Our “Keep Kids Safe List”!

Hi Readers! Here’s a list we could all learn from, sent in by a reader named Mike:

I was definitely scared for my daughter, so I did a little research on how to keep her safe.  These are the steps we’re taking:

1.  No contact with any family members.  Statistically speaking, they are the most dangerous.

2.  No church, or religious groups.  You think schools are a hotbed of pervy men?  Try the church!

3.  Never use the same babysitter more than once.  If you’ve read about pedophiles “grooming” victims, you know it takes some time.

4.  No personal attachments of any kind.  See item #1.

So here’s the challenge readers: Add some more “safety tips!” We must keep our children safe from anything. And everything! And then some! L