Find me someone who can undo a child lock and I’ll find you a Houdini in the making


Do I need the dexterity of a safe cracker to open a jar of vitamins? I am always amazed at Health and Safety’s belief in the stupidity of others. Of course dangerous things should be kept away from the vulnerable. And that includes some parents from kids. Why should responsibility and common sense be the albatross around Proctor and Gamble’s neck? I was  at a dinner party recently and instead of after dinner games like Ibble Dibble or Are you there Moriarty?, we were presented with the challenge of trying to open a box of washing pods. Impossible. Perhaps colouring them like sweets is not super smart but you’d need a mouth like Julia Robert’s to actually eat one. A) just keep box away from kids, B) give them a huge telling off if they try to even reach for them and, C) explain they taste yuck. Give them a tablespoon of mustard if they don’t believe you. Tough lessons worked on every generation back to the dawn of civilisation. Whether it was... “Don’t kick a sleeping saber tooth tiger,” Or “Never wear a black conical hat and talk to your cat in front of the Inquisition,” up to Don’t lick the plug socket!  It was pretty simple. If you did, the consequences were your own fault. Nowadays it’s never your fault, even if you are as thick as a whale omelette. Accidents are never caused by kids because no one told them not to... put the cat in the microwave to dry it, not to get stuck toast out of a live toaster with a fork or jump off the roof using a plastic bag as a parachute.

...and another thing

I am simply amazed at what we are meant to make childproof and what we don’t. The world is not childproof. Life does have the occasional pratfalls waiting for you. But it’s called experience. You learn from it rather than emerging as a seven year old from some cotton wool cocoon.

 I can still buy all sorts of dangerous drugs that come in blister packs but I cannot buy a safety gate without needing three hands to open. In fact I am pretty sure that deep in the bowels of ‘Elf ‘n’Safety’ hell, the designer of all things childproof is an octopus.

...and another thing

All this is based on the belief that parents have better manual dexterity than kids. Again, I am pretty certain the people from Elf ‘n’ Safety don’t actually have kids. I know toddlers who can play video consoles like Chopin tickling piano keys. The only people I ever see solving Rubik’s cube only have hair on their head and you guessed it at the dinner party the only person to open the washing pod box was four years old.

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