The book "How Fear Works" is a gripping account of how we have come to think that whatever could POSSIBLY go wrong (no matter how extremely unlikely) has an actual PROBABILITY of going wrong. This new, emotional and often automatic leap that has made everyday life look like a minefield.
It explains this response, below, to last week's post by a mom who let her three kids wait in the car for literally under a minute:
Hey good for you! Your kids survived 20 seconds alone in a car. Guess
what else can happen in 20 seconds? Your child can choke on a piece of
candy, or an apple. On 120° day in Phoenix your car Interior
temperature can reach 130° in mere minutes. Remember also, even in
small towns, a not-so-upstanding citizen can open your car door and
take off with your child. By the time you reach the car he's gone, and
oopsie! I was only gone for a minute, or 10, or was it 20? I am a 911
operator and I have worked every one of those scenarios in real life.
So, it takes 5 minutes to unload and reload your kids, do it anyways.
Then you won't need to call people like me in tears. I'm a parent of
twins and I understand it's not always easy being a mom, but take it
from someone who sees the worst everyday. Take them with you.
To which we respond: No. You really do NOT need to take them with you. You can, of course. That's the whole point: it is up to you. But the kids who die in cars are there, unattended, for an average of 4.6 hours, not less than a minute. Choking and kidnapping CAN occur, but so can being hit by a car when you and your three kids are walking from the car to the store. (And by the way, kids are statistically safer WAITING in the car during an errand than crossing the parking lot. Just sayin'.) Just because something CAN happen doesn't mean it will -- by any stretch!
There is no reason NOT to defer to the odds, which state that our kids are EXTREMELY, even OUTRAGEOUSLY SAFE waiting in the car for 20 seconds -- so safe we shouldn't even be talking about whether they are. It is that obvious! We are not crazy or negligent simply because we trust common sense, the laws of nature and actuarial tables. Convenience is not a crime or moral failing! - L