Keys (and some other things) are NOT toys

Posted on August 17, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Car Keys Are NOT Toys So Why Give Them to Children to Play With?

I just returned from the grocery store and yet again, witnessed a parent whom allowed their young child to play with the car keys; he was sitting in the cart seat, chewing away on the car keys.  What are parents thinking when they let kids chomp on keys?  Just ask yourself: how often have I dropped my keys (and in what)?  How often have I lent someone else my car?  How often have I, myself, picked up my keys with dirty hands?  Do we regularly wash our keys (I know I don’t)?  And yet so many parents give keys to their kids as toys!

There has been a lot of media discussion recently regarding the benefits of frequently and properly washing our hands to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus (swine flu). As a result, many stores, exercise centres and hospitals have set up alcohol wash bottles to try and keep the spread in check.   And yet, parents let their kids play with car keys which are potentially handled by many hands.  Every time your hands open a store door, push a shopping cart, shake another hand, germs are transferred.  Not just your hands touch your car keys.

Would that same mother chew on her own car keys?  I think it would be safe to assume she would not.  So why would she let her vulnerable child suck on the keys and the car’s automatic lock system?  Nothing about this makes sense to me.

Another message is given:  car keys are toys.  Car keys at NOT toys.  What if there is an emergency and your non-verbal little one has made off with the keys in his or her usual fashion?  If time is of the essence and the car keys are needed, an accident could become a disaster as valuable time searching is lost.

And don’t get me started on the Mom whom was walking with her about 6-month old in her stroller and the child was chewing on a container of Advil!  With all that goober and chewing, even a cap with a “child-proof” lid, is a candidate for being opened.  And where would those pills go should the child succeed in getting the cap off?  Well right down her throat with all the saliva a teething child produces.

The message given this child is that medicine bottles are toys.  A visit to grandparents, who generally have several different medications at bedsides, or any bottles left in reach around the parents’ home, make them an easy choice for a child used to playing with a medicine bottle.  Sure it’s a good size for little hands and makes a great sound when shook, but the potential price to be paid is enormous and sometimes there is no turning back or fixing the damage created by thoughtless choices.

Don’t get me wrong.  I believe the majority of parents to be loving and caring whom would do their utmost to protect their children.  While we can’t protect them 24/7, there are so many times when we need to make good choices for our kiddies and protecting them from our bad choices may be exactly what is required.


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