It is an unfortunate truth that those who oppose efforts to protect children from known and preventable hazards often resort to sarcastic banter in an attempt to make their points, rather than focusing on facts.
It is one thing to oppose government regulation in certain (or even most) circumstances, and quite another to conjure up a child leaping from a plane and landing on a toy. For me, as well as parents of children who have been maimed or killed and countless other concerned citizens, holding accountable those who manufacture and sell defective playthings for our nation’s children is no laughing matter. Such inexcusable lack of concern for safety has caused scores of deaths and catastrophic injuries over the course of decades.
I find it remarkable that, in Ms. Skenazy’s view, speaking about individual children, or numbers of children, who have lost their lives as a result of a preventable hazard is not appropriate because it might “scare” people. Naturally, it is easier and more comfortable to discuss loss of life in terms of “percentages,” in much the same way many manufacturers attempt to justify placing a product into the streams of commerce that causes death or severe injury. The preventable losses of these children are marginalized, the data fed into a machine that spits out a percentage number which we are told represents an acceptable risk. Acceptable to whom? Certainly not to the parents who have to bury their child, or the child who has to live the remainder of his or her life with physical and often psychological damage. Certainly not to those of us who believe we can and must do better.
In my view, we as a society owe more to our kids than treating them like lab rats. It is not acceptable policy to allow manufacturers to sell defective products, monitor the death and injury rates, then see if the loss percentages are within an acceptable range. The focus must be on prevention, on proper design and testing in the first instance, so that tragedies can be avoided, rather than merely added into a cost/benefit analysis akin to number crunching at any financial institution.
We can agree that laws exist to make society reasonably safe. However, we have a long way to go when it comes to fulfilling this mission.