Thursday, August 16, 2007

Safe

I marched around my house yesterday gathering up all the baby crap stamped "Made In China" so I could throw it all out because all of the "surprise! There's lead in your child's bib" hoo ha is really really pissing me off and I can only imagine what might be next. Surprise! I've had enough. Even though as Mr. E pointed out we don't own anything that has been recalled, so far, I can't help thinking that safety and honesty isn't seeming like it's really at the top of these manufacturers lists of priorities and I'm not sure how we know any of the shit we have is safe when obviously the people who are supposed to be doing their job to keep this shit safe aren't doing those jobs.

It turns out that aside from one hippy dippy overpriced German wood Haba rattle purchased by Eli's yuppie wantonly idealistic Disney hating over protective plastic eschewing mother (that would be me) and one french fleece Dinosaur named Lloyd, all of everything else we own is made in China.

Do I throw it all out and start over with wood toys made in Vermont? A huge amount of this stuff we own now was gifts. Do I get rid of gifts that people gave us? Do I refuse gifts if they were made in China? That seems...rude. Do I donate this crap to someone else because even though it's not good enough for my kid it's good enough for your kid if you shop at Goodwill? That seems...elitist? (I did this with the plastic bottles and still feel weird about that one). Do I just need to get over myself and not care that Eli's walker and his baby spoons and his baby bibs and the teether he shoves in his mouth a thousand times a day were all made in China?

Can't use plastic bottles, bisphenol A. Can't use scented diapers or body wash, estrogenators. Can't buy baby food in plastic containers, bad chemicals, forget which. Can't microwave breastmilk, also bad, also can't remember why. Can't buy gerber oatmeal, choking hazard. Can't buy plastic toys from China, lead.

Where do we draw the line? How do we know our kids are safe? Who can we trust besides ourselves? I have no idea what to do on this one.

I'm torn between rampant over protectiveness and common sense. I don't want to get rid of all Eli's toys but I'm worried maybe I should anyway? Anyone?

This is Lloyd.

5 comments:

Chris H said...

Go to the websites dedicated to this issue and find out exactly what toys etc they are recalling, and only get rid of those. You can go overboard with this sort of thing...hell 75% of what we own is made in china!!!! You have to draw the line somewhere... don't panic!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry to much. I think most of the safety hype is to sell more products to guilt ridden parents. Keep in mind that Eli's grandparents grew up with out seat belts, car seats, bike helmets, baby monitors, sefety latches on cabinets, child proof bottle caps, had lead paint on their cribs, cribs with bars wide enough to trap a head, etc. Not to mention DDT used for mosquito control How did they ever survive let alone produce healthy offspring!! (P.S. I would just throw out the Mattel stuff).

bazu said...

You're right that you can't get rid of anything- in this globalized age, everything is too interrelated for anyone to be able to exclude things from one country or region... but unlike the above commenteres, I think your instincts are in the right place.
Have you read the book "A Year Without Made in China"? It recently came out, about one family's effort to live without anything made in China for one year. Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

use your own logic, you are obviously a smart chic - don't worry too much and get on with life

TB said...

I know how you feel. We haven't had a lot of plastic toys in the house up til now, because I hate them to begin with. But now I have an even better reason for asking that people give Myles books and allow us to choose his toys (many of which are wood).

Also, I've been living on this website lately. I can't help myself. http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/index.php

And don't even get me started on vaccination. Oy.