Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Have Safety Fatigue

Just in time for our third child to be born, they recall every crib in the known universe.  I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to safely pick a baby up out of a crib without a dropping side - at 5'4" tall short, it's not easy.  I guess I'll get a step stool.  That should be REALLY safe at 3 am.

I've thrown out and replaced all of our plastic sippy cups due to concerns over BPA.  We also bought Pyrex storage containers to replace our plastic ones, and we use them most of the time.

At the grocery store today, I spent $7.50 for a gallon of Horizon Organic Milk.  We also buy our beef from a relative who only uses antibiotics when his cows are ill, and who doesn't use growth hormones, and who feeds the cows grass most of the year.

But I have safety fatigue.  I find myself wanting to rebel against the constant vigilance that is required of us - today's parents.  I am sick to death of having Google News Alerts for product recalls.  I'm pretty sure the bars of my crib were more than 2 inches apart AND the side dropped, and somehow my fat head and I managed to survive.  I remember riding in the back of the station wagon, and in the back window of the car, and somehow I survived.

There's a big part of me that thinks that they do this to get us to buy more stuff.  We threw out the carseat we used with the girls because it was 5 years old, and supposedly the plastic degrades after 5 years.  We threw out the stroller it came with because it, too, had been recalled, and the "fix" was a cheesy velcro and fabric cover that any baby I've ever met would rip off in about 10 seconds.

We've given up high fructose corn syrup entirely because of this video (we were on our way to giving it up because common sense says it's bad, this, and having to throw out everything in our fridge, pushed me over the edge):

I'm sick to death of anxiety.  I'm sick of worrying that everything from the milk my kids drink in the morning to the shampoo I use on their precious little heads at night is going to kill them.

I'm about ready to call it quits - to ignore the recalls and just keep using whatever works - because I don't trust the people in charge, and I don't want to spend the money, and I'm just plain tired of worrying about everything.

How do you decide, as a parent, what to worry about and what to ignore?  Do you follow every safety recall and take away the things that are "dangerous" or do you selectively ignore some?  Do you buy organic?  Where do you draw the lines?

Because seriously, sometimes my line makes me feel like a chump.


Anonymous said...

Companies get away with whatever they can. Meineke here broke studs on my car and burned a hole in my rim, then closed this shop, and the forwarding Meineke shop claimed "independently owned and operated!" I went to a local tire shop to get my tires rotated (which they do free for those who
buy tires there) and the tire shop pulled me in and showed me where Meineke had make these huge errors which could have meant my tire falling off. The tire company told me take
pictures, contacted corporate Meineke with me and gave me email/phone/fax corporate contacts to follow up. In this case, a local company (tire shop) that I've been doing business with for 9 years served me far better than Meineke, a national corporation.

Charlotte said...

I choose what is the easiest to do. It's been easy to find BPA-free plastic and use glass. But the idea of giving up my drop-side crib and being unable to reach my child is not easy so I don't do it. I try to make reasonable risk assessment.

You're right. It is confusing and silly and makes parents crazy.

Kathryn said...

Here are my 2 cents worth.

Organic milk/dairy definately worth the money, but if you run out and need to buy some at Family Express don't beat yourself up over it. Follow the organic bible of the dirty dozen and clean 15. If you can't afford to buy organic on all the dirty dozen then buy organic on the top three that you eat.

As far as the crib goes, I don't think that you will ever find a 100% safe crib. I would just look at how it is made and make sure that it's put together right and that it doesn't easily seperate into a place that a small head could get stuck. Babies survived for YEARS without getting their heads stuck in far less safe cribs than are on the market today.

We too have ditched plastic in cups and storage containers in favor of stainless steel and glass. I do occasionally use the glad containers as they are free of the nasty stuff.

I would say that the preg hormones have kicked into full gear and that you are experiencing the worry that goes along with being a parent to the nth degree. Just use the common sense that you are so blessed to have and try not to worry so much.

gaynycdad said...

I agree. I don't know if we have a shot, everything can hurt us these days, even everything organic is breathing in polluted air. But, look at life expectancy, my doctor says we are doing better, so I try to hold on to that. And then I look at my son and pray.

Anonymous said...

I believe all the hype is just another way to make us spend money. I don't buy organics from grocery stores. I have a problem paying TWICE the amount for a product that was actually cheaper for someone to grow. Organics may take more effort to grow, but they're free of the chemicals that cost farmers HUGE amounts of money...And I'm supposed to pay more? Not a chance. I do try to get local meats, I only eat eggs my family has harvested, and I prefer to buy produce from farmer's markets or from local growers, if it's available.

As for plastics, most plastics in the last few years are supposed to be BPA free. My son uses plastic sippy cups, they're all BPA free. And we use plastic storage contains, which are also labeled BPA free.

I don't believe any crib is SAFE. I mean they're like little cages. My son puts his arms and legs through the bars and I worry he's going to break his arm or leg playing around in there someday. If it's something MAJOR like falling apart, or hardware malfunctions, definitely get something new one. But if it's just because the bars are .001 off of being regulation, no way. We survived? Carseats weren't even required back in the day? We lived. I think it's a bunch of hype. As adults, we've survived living on non-organic foods, driving without seatbelts, in the back of pick-up beds, drinking from water hoses....We turned out ok, right?