Myth 26: “Better Safe Than Sorry” Is Rational Thinking has spoofed the syndrome that many of us concerned parents are vulnerable to — access to and believing too much scary information and believing our children are extremely vulnerable to harm. Their June 1, 2009 piece called “Alt Text: Beware Nebulous Internet Disease” starts with this jab, “The infection typically begins when the victim reads about an unusual affliction on a news site or current-events blog. Upon reading, the victim begins to experience one or more symptoms of that disease, typically minor symptoms such as a scratchy throat or slightly reddened area of skin.” – Wired Continue reading

Myth 25: Social networking sites are crawling with predators

onlinepredatorThe State Attorneys General put together a task force to get to the bottom of safety issues related to the internet. The group was called the “Internet Safety Technical Task Force” and it was run out of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. The group found that “Although identity deception may occur online, it does not appear to play a large role in criminal cases in which adult sex offenders have been arrested for sex crimes in which they met victims online.” Wait a minute, isn’t that double talk? Continue reading

Myth 21: Carseats are safer than seatbelts for ages 2+.

23273103thbEvery child who is 1 year old and weighs 20 lbs. is allowed to ride in a front facing car seat (if only because they get too huge to fit rear-facing anymore) and at age 4 and 40 lbs they can graduate to a car booster seat until they turn 8 or until they are 4 ft. 9 inches tall. Endless studies show that carseats and booster seats are safer, safer, safer. But safer than what? And under what circumstances are they safer? Are parents even qualified to install the carseats they buy? Certified child passenger safety seat installers and Highway Patrol officers are required to complete a 4-day course on carseat installation. Do carseats and booster seats for children age 2 to 8 actually make your child safer or are you being bullied by carseat companies into spending $300,000,000 per year on complicated safety devices that have no more benefit than a properly used seatbelt? Is improved safety for small children through the use of carseats and booster seats a buckled down fact? Or is the sense that these seats provide more safety for your kids just a well marketed myth?
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Myth 11: You should tell your kids about Stranger Danger.

Penn & Teller busted this myth in their Showtime show “Bullshit“, the episode about Stranger Danger. Watch a clip from this episode… click here>>

They interviewed Erin Runnion, founder of The Joyful Child Foundation, and mother to Samantha who was abducted, raped and murdered just before her 6th birthday. Erin believes that parents should take a very proactive role in protecting their children. Even though her child was tragically abducted to the worst possible effect, she still understands that the primary child predators are not strangers, but people that the family knows and trusts. More surprisingly, she advocates against teaching children about “stranger danger”. She feels that it is the parent’s role to be concerned for a child’s safety, it is not the child’s responsibility to worry about that. She feels that it is a child’s right to grow up feeling that the world is a safe and loving place. It is the parent’s responsibility to protect in appropriate ways.

The episode will rerun on Showtime:

08/09/08 11:45 PM ET/PT
08/09/08 01:15 AM ET/PT
08/10/08 11:00 PM ET/PT
08/10/08 12:00 AM ET/PT
08/11/08 12:15 AM ET/PT
08/14/08 10:30 PM ET/PT
09/02/08 11:00 PM ET/PT
09/16/08 11:30 PM ET/PT
09/25/08 09:30 PM ET/PT

Myth 1: It’s the government’s job to test for lead.

ImageParents and lobbyists have demanded that legislation be passed to ensure the toys that reach our children’s mouths are 100% safe for human consumption. As Nancy Pelosi says, ‘It should be a given that toys are not dangerous. Our children’s toys will be tested in the laboratory, before they are tested by our children on the living room floors of America.” Well, the American people have spoken and they have received a reply… Continue reading