Monday, October 29, 2007

A Word About Common Sense

Does anyone remember the woman who sued McDonalds for some extravagant amount of money because she burned herself when she spilled hot coffee on her lap?

She won her multi-million dollar lawsuit and now we have warning labels on coffee telling us that “contents may be hot”.

Do you ever wonder why there’s a warning sticker hair dryers that says not to use them in the bathtub? Or how about the warning on metal ladders that says not to use them around power lines?

Don’t these things seem, I don’t know, obvious? Like don’t put your finger in a light socket or turn on the garbage disposal while your hand is down it.

Common sense tells you not to do these things.

I’ve received a number of emails and a few comments about the recently recalled* Bumbo Baby Sitter.

A while back I wrote the praises of the Bumbo and I stand by that post; I also stand by my assertion of the misnomer product name. It is not a BABY SITTER. It’s a seat for babies.

A seat that does not have any sort of lock-in mechanism, or even a basic hook to tie your child to the seat. So common sense would dictate that, perhaps, leaving your child unattended might not be… well… wise.

I do not mean to question anyone’s parenting skills, nor do I wish any child harm. In fact, I feel awful for any parent whose child was hurt while using the Bumbo and wish them all a speedy recovery.

But c’mon people… let’s use a little common sense; don’t leave your unbuckled child unattended.
Otherwise, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is going to make up slap a warning sticker on infants before they can leave the hospital.

*it’s not really a recall, you simply call the Bumbo company and they’ll send you a sticker telling you how not to use their product.


Blogger ETownDZ said...

Honestly, it's the stupidest recall I've ever heard of. And, naturally, comes at a time when one of my kids has fallen in love with being propped into a sitting position. But the damn things seem to have been pulled from the shelves at BJ's and Target, so now I can't get one. For crying out loud, people!

10/30/2007 5:27 AM  
Anonymous Sherry said...

Great post! I have often wondered about this very thing. I guess some people lack in the common sense department. One that always gets me is the little moisture packets in purses and such... they say "Do not eat." on them. Hello! No kidding.
There is a book out called "Remove Baby Before Folding". Its all about funny warning labels. I haven't read it yet, but I think it would be amusing.

10/30/2007 7:42 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Loved this post! I totally agree with this line of thinking, give me a break! It's almost refreshing to go to another country and be responsible for your own safety... it does give you more freedom. When you go to the tours in England you do notice a difference. Less warnings!

10/30/2007 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get the Bumbo thing, I do. It's all about common sense. But that woman-who-sued-McDonalds-over-hot-coffee thing is such a piece of crap. McDonald's franchises were told that they had to keep there coffee between 180-190 degrees, whereas the common recommendation is 140 degrees. Why would they keep it so hot? Well, if it takes 15 minutes for your coffee to cool down, how many cups are you going to drink while you sit down with your EggMcBarfin? There were 700 complaints about people receiving 3rd degree burns from McDo's coffee in the ten years preceding that lawsuit. That's a lot of very severe burns. The decision was based on one fact: if you drank the coffee when it was served, you WOULD suffer from third degree burns in your mouth and throat. Seems negligent to me.

10/30/2007 10:23 PM  
Blogger Rob Barron said...

Yeah, the McDonald's reference may have been a poor example... I've received several personal emails that say the exact same thing as above. Apparently McD's had been warned several times about the temperature of their coffee. What's more, after a round with the Court of Appeals, she only got $480k.

So, forget the McDonald's one and replace it with the this - It is really necessary to put "Do Not Eat" warnings on a packet of silica pellets (that little square packet that comes in everything from coat pockets to cameras boxes, intended to keep moisture out)? If their so worried about people eating it, why not use rice? Then the warning would probably say "Do Not Eat Raw".

10/31/2007 5:33 AM  
Blogger Rob Barron said...

It's early here... replace "their" with "they're" in the second to last line... gotta remember to edit before publishing.

10/31/2007 5:34 AM  
Blogger J said...


I really enjoy your blog.

I was wondering if you had heard of

It's a great video podcast dealing with parenting issues in a really fun and informative way.

We need all the help we can get right?

You should check it out if you get a chance.

Keep up the great work!


10/31/2007 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's a matter with silica pellets!! Spread over some pumpernickle.....Yummmm.

10/31/2007 10:56 PM  
Blogger Not Afraid to Use It said...

Great post. There are great people, and there are morons. No amount of warning stickers are going to protect the kids from parents with no common sense. The next recall will be that the kids pulled off and ate the warning sticker while sitting in the Bumbo on top of the kitchen counter.

11/01/2007 8:05 PM  
Blogger AnotherMomCreation said...

Amen to that...

I must say, after working in client services for SEVERAL years.. okay a decade, the GENERAL PUBLIC completely lacks common sense.

11/02/2007 12:18 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Or, as another example, the commercials right now that show women destroying their washers (so they can get the new LG models). They show women running over them with steam rollers, taking a jack hammer to the old washer - all kinds of stuff. And, underneath each short video clip - "Do not attempt this at home."

I actually had an engineering design class where we had to look at the legal aspects / public interaction of our designs. We did a report on warning labels - my favorite was the curling iron that said "do not use while sleeping".

11/03/2007 10:45 AM  
Blogger Gidge said...

You know what is funny, when I heard the recall thing on the news.......I REMEMBERED That you liked it and didn't even listen to the recall. Firstly because I I don't HAVE a baby, and secondly because I figured that it was a "please don't set your baby on the counter in this seat" sort of recall.


11/04/2007 2:55 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

Another amen from me! What's next? Banning bathtubs because if you let your child hang out in them unsupervised they could drown? Ridiculous.

11/17/2007 7:26 PM  

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