I just read a blog that absolutely outraged me and I feel I must comment. Colleen Driscoll, the executive director of the International Association for Baby Proofers was quoted on the importance of baby proofing and the need, at times, to hire a professional baby proofer. This was scoffed at by columnist Lenore Skenazy, author of a book entitled “Free Range Kids.” Since I’ve never heard of Ms. Skenazy I wanted to check her out to see what credentials she possessed in criticizing the need for baby proofing. From what I can tell, she’s a public speaker, columnist and, by the descriptions on her blog, quite humorous. What I didn’t see were any credentials to warrant telling parents “just let your kids wander free.” Ms. Skenazy doesn’t appear old enough to remember when children weren’t required to be in car seats. Does she realize how many children’s lives have been saved by this change in our laws?
As the owner of Safety Mom Solutions www.safetymomsolutions.com we always tell clients that baby proofing does not take the place of constant parental supervision. And no, we’re not trying to make parents paranoid. We’re just trying to eliminate potential dangers when we can. No, kids cannot live in a hermetically sealed bubble and they do need to sometimes learn the hard way. But shouldn’t we install gates to prevent a child from toppling down a staircase? And shouldn’t we tie up cord blinds to stop some child from strangling himself? I liken baby proofing to wearing a seat belt – it’s a preventative measure that could very well save your life in a bad car crash. I will assume that Ms. Skenazy has never faced the devastation of losing a child to SIDS the way I have or so many parents have due to an accident. She might think child safety is a joke and a great way to sell books but perhaps she should go to the funeral of a child who has died and try to make her point to a grieving parent.
Alison Rhodes is the founder of Safety Mom Enterprises, www.safetymoms.com and Safety Mom Solutions, www.safetymomsolutions the premier baby proofing and child safety company in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area. Alison is a family safety expert, TV personality and consultant.