Friday, March 31, 2006

This plastic bag is not a toy

Worms!Word has come down the pike that Apple is putting out an update to the firmware for various iPods to cap the volume. It's not terribly stupid that they would want to lower the volume from 115dB, or that they'd give people the option of leaving their volume where it is, but I do think it pretty damn idiotic that people would not think of turning down the volume all by themselves. Did it cross anyone's mind not to crank it to eardrum-bleeding levels? How you use your toys is not industry's responsibility, regardless of how litigenous we have become or how little personal responsibility we're willing to accept anymore. Another feature of the update is parental control, which begs the question: why are you giving any kid who is young enough to need management a $300 device?

And speaking of product liability and giving the little kids something out of their league: Several small children have swallowed Magnetix toys and been injured or died, so now Rose Arts has recalled them. Don't try this at home (The picture in the previous link isn't the same set as what they always show on the local news; for that image, click here.) I think the doctor from Children's Hospital said it best: "I wouldn't have them around my kids, until they were school age or older." The age limit printed on the box says it's not for children under age six, yet some parents let their everything-goes-into-their-mouths age kids at them. As you can see to the left, I own a set and I think they're extremely fun. Last Christmas they were the hot toy item on many people's must-have lists. I won't argue the point if a magnet fell out because of bad mounting, that's a safety issue no matter what age one is, but the average person the product was intended for isn't going to eat two (like the first little boy, 2, who died) or three (like the second little boy, 5, who is in the hospital). There's another kid, according to last night's news, whose mother was daft enough to say "The package said it wasn't for children under age 3, but my son is 3½..." And obviously still eats things off the sidewalk, didja consider that? Pardon me if I seem callous, I do feel for the kids and their families, but some adult wasn't keeping an eye on their kid or wasn't thinking about what would be age-/maturity-appropriate toys for their kids, leading to lawsuits and fun items being taken off the market.

(And for the record, I did actually take a Lawn Dart to the head, around 1975. I caught it between my fingers so it didn't impale me, but very nearly. I was 6 or 7. And it was my own fault for throwing it straight up, as well as that of whatever adults were present at that party for letting me near them... the age limit on them was like 12. Not all kids were as lucky, which is why they've been off the American market since 1988. There are adult Lawn Dart leagues in Canada, because they are good clean fun in the right hands. Follow label directions before using!)

Sorry that I wasn't in a great mood last posting, the stupid people I'd been dealing with professionally as well as another unchecked rise in gas prices with no spontaneous public outcry demanding to know why really bugged me.

My son wrote an essay for speech and delivered it in a brilliant oral presentation. It was a two minute speech on Ear Damage from ipods.
He did it because I am always warning him about protecting his hearing since he is a musician and needs to be able to hear in order to play his best.
It's a running joke, but I'm his mom, so it's my job to point these things out.
His speech was good, but I doubt it will cause him to lower the volume on his ipod.

Luckily, neither of my kids ever had a serious choking incident. About four years ago, Courtney choked on an ice cube. I didn't know it was ice that she was choking on, so I flew over there and about killed her with the Heimlich.

Courtney recently got her certification in CPR, so she can return the favor should I choke on something.
the things parents do for their kids' happiness. :-)

I swallowed a beautiful little green bead at the age of 4 or so, and for ONE WEEK I was faithfully waiting for it to appear in the toilet bowl some sunny morning but it has never done.
So... your intestines are beaded? :) Years ago I used to get nosebleeds so sometimes I'd put a small wad of cotton up there... and one time I forgot it was up there until I realized it was missing. It was *months* later when it reappeared when I blew my nose.
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