Monday, April 27th, 2009
Consumer Reports: Painfully Clueless about Parenting Products
I like Consumer Reports, but when it substitutes opinion for testing research, it’s terribly misguided. Take a look at an article it published last week: Five products not to buy for your baby.
1. Bedside or co-sleeping devices. Why? Because co-sleeping is “dangerous” and maybe these products don’t increase safety. I admit, co-sleeping is dangerous if you’re on drugs, so wasted out of your skull that you sleep on your baby. Worse, one bedside device was recalled because of deaths caused by a design flaw! Oh no! Umm, where should babies sleep then? Lots of cribs have been recalled, thus making all cribs a bad idea, right?
The American Academy of Pediatrics states “the data neither condemns, nor endorses” cosleeping. How long has the family bed been around? Hundreds or thousands of years? My guess: as long as there have been families. Why does Consumer Reports hate families?
2. Baby bath seats. Why? Because an average 10 babies drown each year when parents misuse the product, leaving their babies unattended. Hey, let’s not use infant car seats either because hundreds of babies die each year when left strapped in hot cars! Let’s drive with the baby on our lap. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Look for a review of a kick-ass baby bath seat here in a few weeks.
3. Sleep positioners that make a baby sleep on its back. Why? Because babies can’t roll over anyway. Umm, but wait, plenty of sleep positioners are for use from birth to 6 months, and babies can roll over as early as 2 months. I admit positioners are actually unnecessary though, unless somehow related to a reflux issue.
4. Crib bumper pads. Why? Suffocation. Well, everyone gets one right. This issue is nothing new. Consumer Reports should have mentioned that bumper pads are also bad because they only serve a cosmetic function. You’re worried about your baby bumping against the side of the crib? Seriously? Also, thick bumpers get used as steps once a baby gets an itch to climb.
5. Sling carriers. Why? Parents misuse the carrier and the baby falls out. You should “opt for other types of infant carriers, which have safer track records.” Oh really? I believe slings have a solid track record spanning hundreds, if not thousands, of years. This one is so absurd it boggles the mind. Let’s not use our arms to hold babies either because sometimes babies get dropped.
Here’s my List of Five Things Not To Buy Your Baby:
1. Video, DVD and computer edutainment. I won’t bother finding the links about limiting your child’s vocabulary. If you don’t know them, you haven’t been paying attention.
2. Stuffed animals that require batteries. They can’t be washed and WTF does your child need to be over-stimulated for?
3. Pointy sticks. I know they’re fun, but they are a laceration and impalement hazard.
4. Cigarettes. They cause cancer don’t ya know?
5. Alcohol. Hundreds of babies crash their ride-on toys every year due to inebriation.