The first time you leave your child with a stranger can be tense and difficult. Oftentimes your baby cries and reaches for you – an invisible string yanking at your heart as you pull away. Oftentimes a lone tear (or twenty) glides silently down your cheek. And then you count the moments until the reunion, hoping you chose the right person to care for the most important thing in your world.
Most of the time, parents have pretty good instincts about who is capable of caring for their children. Sometimes, there’s little choice. Whatever your situation, here are 4 warning signs that the caretaker you’ve chosen is not up to the job.
- The person conducts experiments on your child.
- The person lets your child get injured repeatedly before taking any action to protect him.
- The person feels there are certain levels of harm that are perfectly acceptable.
- The person is often distracted by shiny objects and not even paying attention to your child.
Okay. Stick with me here. I’m not nuts, I’m making an analogy. And, it’s about a regulatory system that is supposed to take care of our children and us – but is failing miserably. The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 is putting our children in harm’s way by allowing risky chemicals in everyday products. Here’s how the above warning signs translate to our flawed regulatory system:
- Potential toxics are not fully tested for safety before use (making all of us guinea pigs for potential effects).
- The government takes action only after harm is proven and widespread. (This is called the “count the bodies” approach to public health protection.)
- Certain levels of harm are accepted and allowed by government authorities. (Current policy focuses on establishing “acceptable” levels of harm from toxics rather than on seeking ways to prevent harm in the first place.)
- Powerful special interests obstruct government action to protect our health.
We wouldn’t allow a person who acted this way to care for our children and we shouldn’t expect a regulatory system that’s this flawed to protect them. As parents, it is up to us to make sure our children are better taken care of. Learn how at HealthyChild.org.
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