I saw this on the news a few weeks back, and it wasn't the first time. Children dying, or in the very least, being poisoned after eating laundry pods. You know what I'm talking about, those super convenient square pillow pods, sometimes with colorful detergent and sometimes just a weird chalk consistency, that we use to do our laundry.
Yes, apparently kids eat these.
Every time I see or hear news stories like this, I always wonder how does this actually happen? And I say that knowing that there are some kids who are just little terrors. They climb, they crawl, they get into everything. Absolutely everything. Jackson was very much that kid, I ended up taking all baby gates down by the time he was 7 months old because he had already learned to climb up and over them. Frankly, it was more of a risk to have them up than it was to let him slide down the stairs on his belly. But that was a calculated risk I took because I figured carpet burn was easier to treat than a head injury. Jackson was also my marker sucker, Play-Doh eater, dandelion eater, if it even looked kind of like an edible, he gave it a whirl.
But never in all of my eleven years of being a parent, have I had a child get into cleaning supplies. Never, ever. Even in my old house where none of the cabinets shut or worked properly, so you couldn't have child safety mechanisms on it. Not even in my old house where the laundry room was right off of the kitchen but was also the utility room with the gas furnace and water heater. I have always had pets and the only child who has tried to eat dog food was Penelope but now that she realized that isn't very tasty, she's over it. She doesn't even mess with the water dish. Why?
Because I told her no. I told her no, and I meant it. I don't have to spank her, or slap her hand, no means no. The one thing I can say is I learned from my mom how to be the master of diversion. It's a skill I find still works even with my ten and eight year old, but is really the best with smaller kids.
Anyways, back to pods.
I don't get it. I really don't. Even with Penelope, who plays so well by herself quietly with toys, but will shoot off like a dark towards something- no issues. She's one, so she's really at the age where I expect her to test boundaries and try to discover new things because she's curious. But there is never a time where she is not in my sight. Never. I always know where she is, what she's doing. She's almost never not in the same room as me. Fortunately our downstairs area isn't really open concept, but it's a sprawling space that goes room to room so even if I'm in the kitchen, I can see her clear into the living room. I wouldn't even call myself a helicopter parent, I just know what's going on. Anything that could potentially hurt her is so high up that even I need a step stool to get it sometimes. I don't have child locks on my cabinets and I don't even have outlet covers because she's always been taught no. Nope, totally not a play/fun area, but hey look- this corner has a super fun toy. And that's what she does.
It's horribly tragic to see kids get sick and even die because of something stupid. Something that was 100% preventable. It really is, it'll never not be, and I'm sure those parents feel immeasurable guilt. I know I would. But now the trend is to of course, sue the laundry pod manufacturers because the pods look too appealing to small children. Which is absolutely ridiculous.
You now what else is appealing to small children?
Cat fur. Dog food. Shoes. Any kind of garbage on the floor. Wrappers. Folded laundry. Phones. Balloons. And the list goes on because literally EVERYTHING, except vegetables and vaccinations, is appealing to small children. We can't sue a company because they make something kids think looks neat and want to put in their mouth. Here's a fun fact- taste is a huge learning tool small children use to learn about things around them. Which is why they want to lick a shopping cart, windows, the dog's tail, your car keys, the bottoms of their shoes, etc. It's all very disgusting and you and I would never think to lick a shopping cart at Walmart. Never, ever, but kids do because it's metal, cold, shiny, and weird. So instead of suing a company, perhaps we need to just watch our children. If something looks like a kid would like to lick and/or eat it, put it up high. Take some responsibility for your crappy moment in parenting and realize we all have them. It doesn't matter who you are, even the greatest parents of them all have a few moments where they would have done something differently. Sometimes it has awful consequences, and sometimes it doesn't, but we all have those moments. It doesn't make you the worst parent in the world, it makes you a parent who needs to do better.