Thursday, December 16, 2010

Danger: Tunnel Approaching

It happened in preschool.
My first disastrous boo-boo.
Complete with some stitches.

Children's playthings are so safe these days. Everything is made of plastic. With rounded edges and, except for the occasional "made in China" disaster, non-toxic paint. Warnings are stuck all over baby equipment. And age restrictions can always be found on the front of the box.

Toy makers weren't quite so safety-conscious back in the day. Metal was not taboo. In fact, our preschool had a big yellow plastic tunnel in the playroom. A big yellow plastic tunnel with a metal rim around the edges. I loved running around the room and ducking to crawl through the tunnel. Often, I giggled with other kids as we chased each other around the room and through the large yellow tube.

I'm sure that tunnel had been used for years without incident.
But, as I mentioned a couple days ago, I am a klutz. Even at the tender age of three, I was a hopeless mess of boo-boos and bruises. And, coordinated as I was, I managed to run my face right into the metal edge of that yellow tunnel. I bounced right off and landed - splat - on my back. Blood was gushing from the bridge of my nose.

I don't remember much from that day (I was three, after all), but I know my dad was called at work. The teachers laid me down on a stack of folding tables, holding towels or tissues to my nose. I'm pretty sure I was screaming and crying. My Daddy arrived quickly and took me to the doctor. I ended up with some stitches and a genuine fear of that cruel yellow tunnel.

I still have a scar to show for it.

I am happy that toys (and car seats, and high chairs, and cribs...) have become safer since I was Amelia's age. But the next time you are thinking about safety for your young child, just remember: with every safety improvement, there were probably a few kids who suffered. Do you have a nice, soft, collapsible tent/tunnel for your child to run through? Well, you can thank me - and the scar on my nose - for that one.

Linked up to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop again today!
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