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September 4th 2012
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Remember how the world used to be flat, and everyone was cool with that, until we figured out that it’s really round?

That’s how the world of kids and safety seems to be… I don’t remember any sort of stress over safety when I was a kid.

Car seats

Yes, we ALWAYS wore our seat belts in the car, but I remember my sisters and I would often put the shoulder belt behind us because it would rub our necks uncomfortably. I remember lying down to sleep (still buckled) in the back seat on longer car rides, too. I don’t think “extended rear facing” was a THING.

Now I have my CPST friend inspect my car seat installs, plan to rear face until the limit of the car seat’s ability to do that, and will use a 5 point harness as long as possible once the kids are forward facing too. I kind of wonder why the adult seats in cars don’t have 5-point harnesses too. HA!

How did we survive?

Microwaved food

Remember “don’t stand too close to the TV because the radiation will give you cancer”? There was also “Don’t stand in front of a microwave while it’s cooking, because it’ll give you cancer.” Is it true? I don’t know but we had no qualms about microwaving food when I was a kid.

Honestly, I still don’t… but I know lots of people who don’t own a microwave because it alters the food’s molecules and… will give you cancer? I dunno.

How did we survive?

Canned food, for that matter

BPA, right? Canned corn, green beans, spaghetti-O’s, and even canned macaroni and cheese sometimes (ewww)… canned food was normal and near-daily in my life.

Now I try to avoid cans when I can, but we still eat black olives, artichoke hearts, and diced tomatoes (I like to add them to my pot roasts) on occasion. But opening a can is more like a weekly occurrence than a daily one.

How did we survive?

Drop-side cribs

(and crib bumpers, and blankets)

I know sleep recommendations go in cycles… and tummy-sleeping used to be recommended. Now it’s all “back to sleep.” Obviously no more drop-side cribs, and bumpers that somehow “breathe,” or bumpers only after a certain age. BEWARE THE PLUSH also.

How did we survive?

What safety issues concern you now that might not have even crossed your mind 20 or 30 years ago? Are you thankful for the advances, or do you sometimes wish for the bliss of ignorance?

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Julie (18 comments)

I had a conversation with my mom about carseats, and she said rear facing ones didn’t exist back in the 80s, and most people didn’t bother buying them at all! People thought she was a little nuts for insisting on them. We even had boosters when we were a little older, which we loved because we could see out the windows better. But none of our friends had ever seen such a thing, so it made us weird.

I worry a lot more about chemicals than my mom ever did. Back then, everybody considered plastic safe, no matter if it contained chlorine or BPA or toxic flame retardants or what have you. We had plastic dishes and plastic toys and put plastic in our mouths all the time, and now I’m buying little baby glasses and stainless steel water bottles and old-fashioned wooden toys. I get tired of scrutinizing everything to figure out whether there are nasty chemicals in it. Sometimes I miss that blissful ignorance!




Bree (5 comments)

The only major ones I can think of are car seats and seatbelts… I remember having a car seat at 2 years old… After that, it was nothing.. Not even a seat belt. I remember riding in trunks (of Jeeps,hatchbacks, vans, etc.), beds of trucks and just in the backseat with no seat belts.
now that I’m a CPST, I obviously see the obvious dangers. We only survived because we were never in a crash. If we had been, I surely wouldnt be here today.




Steph (3 comments)

Mom’s version of a car seat was to sit up front with me in her lap. And there were no airbags. Hah!

I think about plastic anything. All cups are plastic! Spoons are plastic! Make it soft! Don’t let kids hurt themselves! Man. I ate off ceramic plates with metal silverware. I drank from glass mugs. How the heck did I make it without all that plastic protecting me?




Ellen (17 comments)

Okay, this may seem strange, but testing for Group B Strep during the last weeks of pregnancy is one that I wish I was blissfully ignorant of. (I know lives are saved, and I’m thrilled about it! Wouldn’t want that changed!)

I was born at home, as was my little sister, in the 1980s before this was tested for. If my mom had tested positive, it is possible her birthing choices may have been affected. I got to see my little sister being born in my Mom’s bedroom which was an amazing experience. My own home birth is a badge of honor for me and is a treasured bond with my Mom.

For some reason my GYN included this testing during my regular annual exam/pap a couple of years in a row about 5-6 years ago, though neither times was I pregnant! Both years I tested positive. Knowing that I *have* tested positive puts it on my radar for my own (future) home birth plans. I understand it comes and goes and blah, blah, blah, I just wish it wasn’t something I had to consider. I’m so NOT about antibiotics for preventing things in general, but I’m also not about just turning a blind eye. I just really wish it was something I didn’t have to think about.




The comment above has a good point – Things just weren’t so bad back then. I believe there were less car crashes, and older cars were bigger and safer. There were chemicals in things but not nearly as many. Less processed foods and more home cooking.

As for the microwave, I still don’t worry about that one. I don’t like the way most real food tastes in the microwave, but that’s about my only concern with it.




Jackie S (6 comments)

When I visited my family a couple weeks ago I found an old car seat safety brochure from the early 80′s, it was so absurd..”in an emergency if you must buckle 3 kids in the back seat with two seatbelts, secure two kids in each belt, crossing in the middle. Better buckled this way than not at all.” And, “in the event you don’t have a car seat for your infant, buckle them in the back seat with the lap belt.” OMG. How DID we survive?




Lindsey (6 comments)

Yeah I find that stuff to be interesting as well. We’re trying to get an organic mattress for our crib because we’ve read articles that suggest that chemicals found in mattresses contribute to SIDS, so…organic mattress! My dad wants to buy the mattress but he keeps saying “none of you kids had organic mattresses; those didn’t exist back then.” And that’s totally true. I just tell him that they probably didn’t add so much crap to mattresses back then, and the research says blah blah blah…I know it’s different but with all the safety hooplah it seems like the right thing to do!






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