What the Fiscal Cliff Could Mean for our KidsI’ve never been a huge fan of child safety regulations, but the SafeKids report convinced me that government oversight of child safety is necessary and appropriateAmy Julia Becker
It sounds as though President Obama and Speaker John Boehner are closing in on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. Still, the specifics must be worked out, and parents have plenty to consider, especially when it comes to child safety, as Congress considers spending cuts to government programs. Last week, Parents.com asked me to reflect upon a new report that details the effect sequestration (aka the fiscal cliff) might have on our children. Here's how it begins:
Even though I'm the mother of three small children, I've never been a huge fan of child safety regulations. I often roll my eyes at warnings on labels. I think back to my own childhood, when Fisher-Price Little People were shaped like cylinders instead of marshmallows, and we still managed to survive. I think back to my helmetless bike riding days. I often tell my kids that I believe in germs and dirt, by which I mean I bypass antibacterial hand wash, and I allow them to play with other kids who have the sniffles (though I avoid stomach bugs like the plague). I also allow them to take calculated risks that sometimes result in skinned knees and sometimes result in greater strength, balance, and flexibility.
So I read the recent Safe Kids Report on the effect of sequestration (aka the fiscal cliff) on children's health and safety with some degree of skepticism. And yet, despite my own laissez faire parenting, this report convinced me that our current budget impasse could lead to arbitrary and senseless cuts to government programs because these programs are necessary, appropriate, and largely cost-effective for ensuring the health and safety of children across our nation.