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Friday, Aug 22, 2014
Letter of the Day

The safe, healthy confines of a playpen

Published:

Two very sad stories recently were side by side: “Young Lakeland cousins discovered in pool die” and “Child found in pool taken to hospital.” Tragic? Absolutely. Sincere condolences, of course, to the devastated families. But preventable? Just about as absolutely!

As a parent, I am puzzled at the rationale behind today’s modern concept that considers the use of playpens a psyche-damaging anathema. Even holding toddlers’ hands is apparently not “cool,” either. I cringe when I see these precious little ones, with neither the mental capacity nor physical stamina to keep up with — or try to keep up with — the pace of a parent, apparently oblivious to the potential danger of separation or worse, of being snatched by a pedophile in crowded public places.

At home it is even worse. Unsupervised, they roam the house on wobbly little legs that have yet to walk their first mile. Curious but totally unaware of its perils, they yank the cord dangling from that funny looking stuff bubbling on the counter and gobble those pretty colored “candies” left out of the medicine cabinet.

But then there’s that “psyche” again. Can’t “cage” our children lest we damage that. Well, for the record, I have two daughters, raised in a waterfront home with a pool, and you’d better believe that when I couldn’t visually supervise them when they were toddlers, they played happily and safely in their playpen with their favorite toys.

Today, they are productive members of society. One has her doctorate in education, and the other is a pilot — each with her psyche very much in tact. Most importantly, however, they are still here to have one.

Connie Paglen

Treasure Island

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