General Question

jholler's avatar

How did our parents survive?

Asked by jholler (2389points) August 2nd, 2008 from iPhone

think about it…lead paint, no seat belts or airbags or crumple zones, no organically grown tofu, non-filtered cigarettes, toys with small parts…

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28 Answers

Allie's avatar

Haha, my mom tells me about toys that could easily have killed her and my uncle when they were little. Like metal-tipped Jarts, and the original glass Clackers.

AstroChuck's avatar

Oh man. I miss Jarts!

Indy318's avatar

good ol’ fashion elbow grease. A liittle cut here and there does the body good.

willbrawn's avatar

I think they had it better than us. People weren’t as insane and safety concious. Like come the human race has survived for thousands of years.

I think the problem we really have is the people who let’s say a hundred years ago would have been weeded out because of an accident or now free from harm. Eiter to better society or in some cases hurt it.

winblowzxp's avatar

Also, our parents weren’t dragged to the doctor or emergency room for every cut, scrape, and sniffle that they got. Our grandparents would have been horrible parents by the standards set today.

Seesul's avatar

Boy, do I feel old. For one thing, you had everyone in the neighborhood watching out for you. If you did something stupid, your mom would know about it before you got home and take appropriate action. Also, families typically had more kids. The older siblings watched out for the younger ones. I was the youngest and heard “horror stories” of stupid stuff people did and took head. My sister got her stomach pumped at the hospital, just for being next to someone with ant poison in her hand. My other sister got the same treatment for baby aspirin (not in child-
proof bottles). I heard about those, had no idea what stomach pumping was, but the thought of something like that kept me away from the danger of it.

I did have a personal encounter with a metal (unpadded) dashboard in a car without seat belts. A drunk driver blew a stop sign and my mother had to put on the breaks rapidly and I went flying. Mom’s version of a seat belt was her arm flying out to catch me. She still did that when seat belts came into play. My front teeth suffered for that one.

susanc's avatar

There were more knives and shards of glass and unhelmeted bike rides
available for us (I’m sure I’m in your parents’ generation), much more unsupervised
roaming in the world. But there weren’t as many environmental poisons. Just widespread
DDT. As willbrawn points out, that stuff only weeded out the weenies among us.

I still throw out my arm in front of fully adult passengers if I come to a hurried stop. By the time I was driving, seat belts were normal; doing it was a sign of adulthood, though. Can’t stop me now..

Seesul's avatar

The one I still can’t believe is that bubble stuff came in thin glass bottles. I had an aunt that was handicapped, so my grandmother would send us out on the porch with her and she’d supervise and hold the bottle for us while we had fun. Great memories, though, she could blow amazing bubbles, but then we’d get her giggling and it would pop in her face and we’d all laugh some more.

augustlan's avatar

Did anyone else play on playgrounds built on CEMENT pads? What genius thought of that? The school playground (a little better) was on a bed of gravel. I once sat on the edge of our bathtub for 2 hours while my mother picked out dozens of pieces of embedded gravel from my knees. Ouch.

jlm11f's avatar

i used to play with mercury when the thermometer broke. I turned out alright :P

augustlan's avatar

On a more serious note, I do feel bad for our kids today…never feeling the wind in their hair while riding bikes, never taking a nap on the passenger shelf of a moving car, no roaming the neighborhood, etc. However, once you “know better”, you’d feel like a horrible parent if you let them “live free”, and something terrible happened to them.

augustlan's avatar

@PnL…me, too. I thought it was the coolest stuff on earth!

jlm11f's avatar

@augustlan – it is!!! put it in a bowl and watch it merge and unmerge was fascinating haha

tinyfaery's avatar

I was one of those late 70s early 80s “latch-key kids”. Today I would have been in foster care due to child endangerment. My sister and I took buses and walked around our neighborhood at very early ages. I’m still here.

willbrawn's avatar

I truly think having all the injures and what not builds character. Future generations will in safety bubbles and never experience things. Totally drives me nuts when people complain about things.

Let’s think of how we can solve some of these issues. 1. Parents being involved and spending time with kids would help. 2. Neighbors actually speaking. Too many people watch tv and don’t communicate outside the home. It’s not ok to feel akward when knocking on a neighbors door.

Seesul's avatar

@will: I still consider the lady across the street when I was growing up, my other mother. I also cannot address her by her first name. I think things went down a step in the world when people started addressing their elders by their first name alone.

marinelife's avatar

Statistically, we were all awfully lucky to have made it through childhood:

Since bike helmets: “660 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2002 in Massachisetts. This is 9 percent fewer than in 2001 and down 34 percent since 1975.

Since infant car seats: “Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost 2,000 children age 14 and under are killed in automobile crashes each year, and another 280,000 are injured. Car seats reduce the risk of death significantly – as much as 71 percent for infants. The CDC estimates that 50,000 serious injuries would be prevented and 455 lives saved each year if all children under age 5 used safety seats.

Since seat belts “According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wearing a seat belt doubles a driver’s chances of surviving a crash without serious injury, while children in proper car safety seats survive 90 percent of crashes. In total it has been estimated that safety belts save more than 14,900 lives annually, the NHTSA says.

megalongcat's avatar

Human’s are made of tougher stuff than you might think.

susanc's avatar

Marina love, can you find any research on adverse affects of, for example,
Agent Orange included in dish soap (I made that up, but hey) or antibiotics in the milk supply?
Might things like this partly offset the gains made by mechanical safety devices? Just asking, cause you know how to find things out – I only intuit.

marinelife's avatar

At your service, susanc. How about the huge increase in organic chemicals and the increase in what is called the body load?

Here is an excerpt:
“The world production of organic (carbon based) chemicals has increased from about 1 million tonnes/year in 1930s to 7 million tonnes/year in 1950, 63 million tonnes in 1970 and 250 million tonnes/year in 1985. It has been estimated that the annual production of organic chemicals will double every 7–8 years.

Many manmade chemicals are fat soluble and not readily broken down by metabolic processes, and because of this, can be stored in body fats and build up to dangerous levels. Predator birds, reptiles and mammals, including man, are particularly at risk, because persistent organic contaminants, along with some heavy metals, can build up in the food chain (bioaccumulate). Many are then passed on to offspring, either via the egg or via the placenta, at a particularly sensitive stage of their development. Mammalian offspring are potentially most at risk because further exposure to the pollutants stored in body fats occurs during breast feeding.

The potential effects of exposure to the chemicals, which are now found as contaminants in human body fat and breast milk are numerous. Some of the contaminants identified have the ability to cause cancer and some are able to impair the immune system. ”

stratman37's avatar

Speaking of holding your arm out when you slam on the brakes, anyone remember George Castanza’s Dad “Stopping Short” with the Korean nail shop owner in his car?

Man, I miss Seinfeld!

winblowzxp's avatar

If I ever reproduce, I may become the worst parent ever. My offspring will be riding bikes without helmets, their play equipment will most definitely be metal, and if they fall off the play equipment, I’ll be more than happy to take the 2 hours needed to pick gravel out of their knees.

We’re robbing children out of their childhood in the name of safety. I can’t count how many times I broke my arms from climbing trees…I grew up in the country, we had a lot of them. I also never put on body armor when I went riding my bike, I took some pretty nasty spills, but I got back up and kept on going. As said before, kids are surprisingly tough…they can scrape up their knees pretty badly on the monkey bars, and still get right back on them. It’s OK to let your kids get hurt while playing…it’s part of growing up, they don’t get bragging rights by how not injured they got whilst playing.

arnbev959's avatar

@winblowzxp: I’d rethink letting them ride bikes without helmets. Letting them go out and have fun without worrying about always protecting them is one thing, but allowing them to possibly kill themselves when there is a simple preventative measure is another. Picking the gravel out of their knees is fine, but what can you do when they crack their skulls open?

winblowzxp's avatar

Then why don’t we make them wear helmets 24/7? They can trip and fall walking to the bus and crack their skull, or they can fall out of bed and crack their skull as well. Having all this protection helps them physically, but it serioulsy dampens the learning curve. I’d be willing to bet that the kid who gets hurt badly from running into a tree on his bike w/o a helmet is going to learn not to run into trees faster than the kid with the helmet. If I did put my kid in a helmet to ride his bike, it would be one of the sturdy WWII style combat helmets which offer a much higher level of protection than styrofoam and 1/64” plastic.

jonno's avatar

Falling while riding a bike is usually way more dangerous than tripping and falling while walking. For one thing, you’re going about four times the speed of walking when you’re riding a bike.

winblowzxp's avatar

There you’re only talking about 4 mph, which isn’t even enough to set off an airbag. That kid that hits the tree at that speed has a higher probability of getting a knot on his head than cracking his skull. Also, if said child gets hit by a car, then he’ll have more than just head injuries to worry about.

However, the speed of the bike vs walking is moot for the fact that I was responding to the comment of the possibitly of being killed. I’ll say this, kids and bikes have no buisness being in the streets…period. The point that I’m trying to make is that you can’t substitute education with a helmet. Kids should use the sidewalks as much as they can, and in the event that they have to use the street, you as a parent should teach them how to deal with traffic. Armed with that knowledge, a kid should do fine sans a bike helmet.

marinelife's avatar

@winblowzxp Not to worry. If you want to be a Darwin Award winner, have at it. As to the bikes and helmets, it’s because children on bikes encounter cars.

winblowzxp's avatar

Which goes right back to education.

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