Friday, October 1, 2010

How toy recall feeds ‘risk-averse’ culture

      My children are grown and are survivors of high chairs and big wheels, to name just a few, manufactured by Fisher Price.  No one wants anyone to get injured, but I see so many children these days who are not supervised.  This isn't to sound cruel, but some accidents are just that, accidents, and today we are in recall mode when sometimes we are the ones who have to take responsibility for our actions and not penalize the maker of the toy and the children who play safely and properly with them.  We have legislated safety labels, age appropriate labels, directions in every language, and? 

The recall of 10 million products across North America by the world’s largest toy company is a “ritualistic” pander to a culture so obsessed with hypothetical dangers that it refuses to let its children grow up, says a top sociologist specializing in risk and fear.
Frank Furedi, a professor at the University of Kent and author of Politics of Fear and Paranoid Parenting, said Mattel’s recall of tricycles, balls, toy cars and high chairs is a near-farcical overreaction to the two dozen reported injuries over the past decade. It represents a “failure of conviction,” he said, and is a perverse development in an industry already overrun by warnings that children must not put toys in their mouth, around their neck, or otherwise play outside the rules.
“It’s actually not about health and safety. It’s about reputational risk. It’s impression management,” he said. “It doesn’t matter whether something is safe or not. What really matters is how something is seen.”

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