As a parent, I am neurotic about . . .

I am not an overly nervous or overprotective parent. For example, I never boiled my babies' toys in an attempt to keep them germ free. But I do admit to being just a tad neurotic about certain safety issues. So all babies rode in cars only in carseats. All children below the age of 7 rode in boosters. And all kids are directed to apply sunscreen before going out into the sun -- and not only for swimming. I am trying to not only prevent sunburn now but sun damage that can cause skin cancer in the future.

So are you considered neurotic about as a parent?

Comments

SephardiLady said…
What is neurotic about any of this?
Ezzie said…
None of that is neurotic, though I'll tell Serach she's being so. :)

Interestingly, carseats are generally viewed as making little difference. (That said, we use them.)
Ariella said…
Ezzie, if you ever take one of those defensive driving courses to reduce insurance premiums, you may be shown some videos that show what an impact can do and why properly placed carseats would make a difference. In any case, you are subject to a fine and 3 points for each violation in NY. Interestingly, though, taxi cab drivers are exempt from this -- as if the laws of physics are suspended for taxis.

SL: I call myself neurotic because I know some mothers who take their babies out in the sun with no protection until they are the color of a toasted whole wheat bagel. While tans may look healthy, they indicate dangerous levels of sun exposure, especially in babies. The same mom took her kids out to the city and packed them in a cab. She held her baby in her lap and had her 6 year-old (who is on the small side) belted in without a booster. I warn my children that they had better not do that to my grandchildren (years and years from now).
yossi said…
Apparently no one here read the Book Freakononmics
Ariella said…
Would you care to elaborate, Yossi?
Anonymous said…
I'm hardly neurotic about anything. When the kids are too old to fit comfortably in a carseat or booster, aroung age 5, it's a regular seatbelt. The one thing I avoid is letting anyone in my family eat raw eggs (including cake batter and cookie dough). While the chance of salmonella is miniscule, it's a risk that's not worth taking, IMO.
Anonymous said…
As I went out on my morning errands I realized I am neurotic about at least one more thing: BICYCLE HELMETS. The first thing I saw this morning was a little boy with peyos with no helmet. In my neighborhood it's common to see slightly older boys riding with black hats and no helmets. Or my personal favorite (not): boy with no helmet, steering with one hand, cradling his black hat in the other hand.
Ariella said…
Tesyaa, you reminded me that I am neurotic about that for my children, too. But that is just complying with the law that requires those 14 and under to wear helmets while cycling. In NY the law also requires booster seats through age 7 or 80 lbs. Each child counts as a separate offense with a fine and points, so double buckling young children could be quite a risk financially speaking --even if you do not consider it a serious risk to the passengers. My children are all past booster seat age now, but someone I know who shall remain nameless here recently got 2 tickets when he and son were not buckled. That amounted to over $200 in fines.
yossi said…
Chapter 5: What Makes a Perfect Parent?

Several years before Freakonomics was published, author Steven Levitt lost his infant son Andrew to a sudden, fatal bout of pneumococcal meningitis. In the aftermath of this tragedy, Levitt and his wife became active in several support groups for bereaved parents. Even as he sought help and guidance for the terrible loss, Levitt noticed the disproportionate number of parents in the groups whose children had drowned in backyard swimming pools. This prompted him to research the issue, as well as a number of other aspects of parenting, from an economic point of view. His research uncovered the high risk of allowing children to play in swimming pools: Levitt estimates that a child is more than 100 times more likely to die in a swimming pool than playing with a gun.

In a series of subsequent articles, Levitt explored other facets of parenthood and their outcomes. He determined that in spite of the cottage industry of parenting and the millions of how-to books on the subject sold every year, who you are matters much more than what you do. In other words, positive parenting outcomes are linked more strongly to factors such as socioeconomic status and parental education than any specific parenting practices. Factors that are important in determining high standardized test scores in children include: highly educated parents, high socioeconomic status, maternal age of greater than thirty when the child was born, low birth weight, English as the primary language spoken in the home, parental involvement in the PTA, and many books in the home environment. Also, adopted children tended to have lower standardized test scores than their non-adopted peers.
yossi said…
Chapters 5 and 6 both address various aspects of parenting and the way that parents’ status, choices, and actions can impact the outcomes of their children's lives'. First, Levitt details the outcome of his study of the safety of backyard swimming pools, which found that children are 100 times more likely to drown in a backyard pool than they are likely to die while playing with a gun. Then, he summarizes the findings of a series of studies about parenting practices, all of which suggest that parental socioeconomic status is a more reliable predictor of high academic outcomes in children than most other parenting practices that are commonly recommended by experts, such as reading books to your children. He then turns to the study of children’s names; specifically, the different economic impacts of “white” versus “black” names. Levitt concludes with a discussion of the patterns that govern the popularity of children’s names in the United States.
Ariella said…
Thank you, Yossi. My husband recalls that he read the book. It doesn't sound like the thrust of it is child safety so much as looking at the whole picture for predicting the success of a child.
When I had a child assessed years ago with the whole battery of tests from the equivalent to the Board of Ed for the area, the tester admitted that the tests were less accurate as predictors of academic success than factors like the parents' level of educations. (BTW both her parents hold graduate degrees and always made books available). But schools just look at the numbers and are so ignorant of statistics and standard deviations that they consider anyone who falls out a couple of points below 100 to be below average intelligence. A little knowledge (as opposed to through understanding of the limits and readings on IQ tests) is a very dangerous thing in the hands of yeshiva administrators.

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