That is the question Tara Haelle, the American Academy of Pediatricians, and the Brady Center for the Prevention of Gun Violence want you to ask when your child goes to play at someone else’s home.
Is there an unlocked gun in your house?
I live in South Carolina, which has a pretty solid culture of guns and hunting. Many of our friends and neighbors are gun owners. Most of those are responsible gun owners. Accidents still happen. Fair warning to parents of my kids’ friends. I will be asking.
Tragically, I can avoid the social awkwardness of asking with a bit of personal history. A childhood neighbor of mine accidentally shot and killed a friend of his making it socially acceptable for me to fret.
It is all about managing real risks for my children. If you have a pool, I’m going to evaluate your home’s safety differently. If you have guns, same thing. Hell, I own big dogs. You should probably ask about them before sending your kid over here.
I suspect that people at our pool judge me for being that parent that’s too distracted watching his kids. It makes me an even worse conversationalist than usual. The social norm is that the kids play and the adults socialize, after all, there is an admirably diligent lifeguard. I am a quadcopter drone of a parent at the pool and beach for two reasons. One, I like playing with my kids (they are more interesting than you – I have data). Two, drowning doesn’t look like drowning:
The Instinctive Drowning Response—so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. – Mario Vittone
My workplace is very safety conscious, which is laudable as we regularly deal with a wide variety of unpleasant substances that scientific tradition teaches us to treat with a cavalier attitude. This sign appears to be warning me about the slips and trips. Unfortunately, what one says and what one means are not always the same thing. Continue reading
Vialipro, an “all natural” supplement advertised to enhance sexual performance, is undergoing a voluntary recall, because some US FDA testing revealed that several batches contain undeclared sulfoaildenafil, an analog of sildenafil, a drug for the suspiciously similar condition of erectile dysfunction. Continue reading
Because it requires a Laser Safety Officer. I bet the Death Star had one of those.