Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Nail in the Coffin...

...of our old friend, Common Sense.

Doctors Urging for a Safer, Choke-Free Hot Dog

It almost leaves me speechless. I, for one, didn't give my kids a hot dog that wasn't cut up until they were nearly five. Maybe making them wait so long is a little paranoid, but I knew (as I suspected most parents did before I read the above article) that hot dogs were a choking risk, ranking right up there with bananas, apples, and anything else kids love enough to try swallowing whole simply because in their minds a bigger mouthful of something yummy tastes better than a smaller one. Even Her Nibs, when faced with a trayful of itty-bitty pieces of something she loves, will try cramming as much as she can into her mouth.

Many choking incidents happen under the watchful eyes of parents, which is why parents should make it a priority to learn -- and obtain certification in -- CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, and first aid well beyond Bactine and a Band-Aid. This article doesn't state whether the family who tragically lost their child possessed any of these skills, but the child's chances of survival may have improved dramatically if they had. Even if I hadn't spent several years in emergency services, learning these skills would have been a pre-parenthood priority. It would be more effective than strongarming companies to spend countless resources (passed on to the consumers) to reinvent the food equivalent of the wheel. I guess we'll have to redesign the hot-dog bun as well.

The other side of this argument might be "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Okay. If that's the case, I think it's safe to assume that what's inside the average chemical-laden hot dog is probably more harmful than the silly thing's shape. Still, if doctors insist that the hot dog get a facelift, why not make your expert recommendations to the end user instead of the manufacturer? Why assume that the average American is incapable of handling the matter? I guess we're too stupid to effectively wield a knife and fork despite claims that we are an obese nation.

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