Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Why We Need Responsibility

Not to say that kids eating toys is hilarious, but the way this is written certainly makes it so. He raises some great points about how we need parents to step up and actually be parents.

This Toy is so Fun, I Think I'll Eat it!

Posted by Bobby Eberle
June 3, 2008 at 6:15 am

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Blame, blame, blame, and more blame... that seems to be the process these days when an "accident" occurs. It's always someone else's fault. Blame the big corporation... blame the restaurant... blame someone else. Whatever happened to taking responsibility for one's own actions? Did it ever occur to these people that if you do something stupid, the consequences are no one else's fault?

A perfect example of this "blame everyone else" mentality occurred recently in Indiana where an 8-year-old girl swallowed 20 steel balls and several other magnets from a Magnetix toy set. Now, the parents are blaming the toymaker and working on getting the toy "out of the schools and off the shelves." Wouldn't it be a whole lot easier to simply not eat your toys?

Don't get me wrong... what happened to the girl is not funny. According to the story on FOX News, the girl "was taken to the emergency room for stomach pains, and an X-ray revealed the force from the magnets had torn her intestines in eight places." As the doctors said, she is lucky to be alive.

The point, however, is that she was not skipping down a path and a steel ball just happened to slide down her throat. She was not distracted by the evil steel ball leader while the others jumped into her stomach. She ATE HER TOY! And now what's happening? The parents want to go after the toy company because it's the company's fault. Sound familiar?

The news story says the family "plans to meet soon with an investigator from the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission to discuss ways to keep other children safe." Discuss ways to keep children safe from this toy? Is there a wave of steel ball attacks going around?

What really caught my eye about this story is that just last night while watching television, I was playing Magnetix with my 6-year-old son. He loves it, and we are actually planning to expand the set. We built some spinning diamonds and then he made a huge pyramid. At no point did he think that he should eat the pyramid.

On the front of the container is a large warning stating, "CHOKING HAZARD - Small parts. Toy contains a small bar. Not for children under 3 years." Another label on the container states, "CAUTION: Do not ingest or inhale magnets. Attraction of magnets in the body may cause serious injury and require immediate medical care."

From the CBSNews.com web site, we have the picture on the left. So, not only was a steel ball eaten, but then another one was, and another, and another, and another... And the parents want the toymaker to remove the product from toy stores? If a child is going to eat a toy, doesn't that potentially make any toy dangerous? What about Magic Sand? The label says do not swallow. So, if a child eats it, should we remove it from the stores too? What if my son eats his Darth Vader action figure with accompanying light saber? Do we blame the dark side of the force?

There is a quote on the right side of the CBSNews.com page which says that the toy's parts "looked like candy" to her. She is 8 years old! These aren't Skittles... they are steel balls.

If people would just sit down with their kids and explain that toys should be used for education and entertainment and not for nourishment, we could save a whole lot of money on lawyer bills. Unfortunately, common sense isn't as common as it used to be. I feel sorry for the girl, but it is not the toymaker's fault.


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