There’s been a recent story in the news about a child having eaten one of those laundry detergent “pods”, and dying. The first and most important thing I want to say is that this is a tragic thing to hear. No one should have to lose their child, regardless of the way it happens.
But let’s put aside the tragic nature of this tale for a moment and look deeper. The first thing I would ask is how did the kid get ahold of one of these pods in the first place? How is it that he/she managed to get it into their mouth before the parent could stop them? And from what I’ve been hearing, this child was less than a year old.
And I understand that “it only takes a moment” will be used as a defence. It’s a fair thing to say, and likely true. But unless this pod was just lying on the floor somewhere or something, the child would have had to make their way to it, and that doesn’t take only a moment. But the other side of that is why was the pod somewhere the child could easily get it?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to suggest that the parent is a terrible person. My guess would be that it was really just a very unfortunate series of events and mistakes. But what I’m driving at is that no doubt there will be a lawsuit involved soon enough, and most likely the courts will side in favour of the family, because from what I hear the containers also did not specifically say “keep out of the reach of children”.
And this is my issue. We’re allowing people to get away with not having any common sense. By rewarding their lawsuits based on the fact that something was not specifically stated, we’re saying it’s okay not to think for themselves. And when people don’t have to think for themselves, then they’re encouraged to not bother thinking at all. Which is why things have steadily been getting worse.
Kids today are learning to use the system to their advantage. To be stupid, and when they get hurt, to blame others for not telling them they were making a mistake. Even though most likely they did have people telling them not to, but just didn’t listen anyways. And we don’t teach them that it’s wrong. Their own parents don’t take the time (or in some cases don’t have the time) to show them how to be responsible, accountable people.
So please, if you are a parent, or are planning to be one… Take the time to be a good one. Show your own kids how to be decent people with a healthy amount of common sense.