Archive for the ‘taking a stand’ Category

Car Seat Alarm

After reading about two cases in the last week (Ontario and Alberta) of young children dying because of being left in a car in high heat, my brain has been reeling. Though this doesn’t happen often (on average 38 times per year in the USA, 4-6 times per year in Canada), it seems needless to me. There must be something that can be done to help this from happening (here’s a heart-wrenching article about this topic).
We have alarms in our cars for all sorts of things – door being open, lights being left on after ignition is turned off, and, most related, seat belts not being done up.
I assume the technology for the the former consists of some sort of pressure sensor, and beeps if there is anything above a certain weight in the seat AND the seatbelt is not done up. The one in my car goes off sometimes if I have my work bag in the passenger seat, so clearly the sensor is fairly sensitive.
It makes sense to me that this technology can also be used in the case of a child being left in the car. When the ignition is turned off, an alarm can sound if the pressure on the seat (i.e. baby/child) isn’t removed within a certain time limit (or something like this). This alarm would be heard both inside and outside the car, in case the parent/caregiver has moved away from the car quickly. 
I know there are some issues with this – many people sit in cars with the ignition off for many reasons – but there are solutions to that. The “car seat” alarm could be activitated for those who need it, or it could be turned on for only the seat in which the car seat is on. 
In this day and age where we can find any bathroom within a 20 km radius with our cell phones, this shouldn’t be that hard. 

Bayer (Maxidol) Response

Last week, I posted about the Maxidol commercial that was offending women across the nation. I emailed Bayer, and heard back from them today. This is what they had to say:
Dear Alyssa,

Thank you for sharing your concerns about our advertisement for Maxidol®. 

Over the past few weeks, we have heard from a small group of concerned consumers, such as yourself, and have taken this feedback to heart. After closely reviewing the matter, we have decided to withdraw our advertisement. This decision will take full effect by September 14, 2012.

At Bayer, we’re proud to help women live healthier, more empowered lives and sincerely regret if our advertisement suggested otherwise. We value the loyalty and opinions of our customers and hope that our actions demonstrate this commitment.

Sincerely,

Amanda C. RN*
Bayer HealthCare
Consumer Care

Well, shit — taking a stand does work sometimes! Kudos to Bayer for knowing when to own up to a screw up and actually fixing it. Hopefully I never see that ad again.
*Last name shortened for privacy.

NHL Boycott

With the NHL season looming, DH and I have made the decision that we’ll be boycotting the league this year (although they might be doing it themselves if things don’t get straightened out).
It’s a tough decision – we used to love watching hockey. But, in the last couple of seasons we’ve found it has really gone downhill with the lack of consistency with penalties (especially those involving headshots and unnecessary violence) and the “old boy” feel of the game commentary (calling players girls/pussies/gay because they don’t fight, etc.). Raising a little boy has really made us become more aware of how bad it is, and we don’t want that around him.
Even after a Calgary ruling to increase the age at which hockey players are allowed to bodycheck, junior leagues across the country are still allowing children as young as 11-12 years old to do it during a game (source: Winnipeg Free Press). This is even after a study came out that found hockey players younger than 13 were 3 times more likely to suffer concussions or major injuries if bodychecking was part of the game.
It’s now well-known that concussions are incredibly serious injuries. They are cumulative over a lifetime and can have troubling long-term effects:

There are an increasing number of retired athletes who have been diagnosed posthumously with a degenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).  Researchers at several centers around the country are studying this disease, its cause and progression.  The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy in Boston states that CTE is the only preventable form of dementia.  Ninety percent of confirmed cases have been in retired athletes. Athletes who have a history of multiple concussions have a higher incidence of dementia and dementia-related diseases later in life.

(source – emphasis is mine). In addition, it seems that concussions are much more harmful to a teenage brain, when it’s still deep in development mode.
Crosby’s concussion – a result from a hit from David Steckel during the January 2011 Winter Classic – seemed to be changing things in the minor leagues, but Steckel himself was not punished for the hit. Crosby ended up playing a few days later, even though he was injured, and suffered another headshot from Victor Hedman (also not punished). A year later, he was still not concussion symptom-free. Yet, even though it’s talked about in NHL circles, nothing seems to be changing. Hell, even one of the main page features on the NHL site is about the “biggest hits” from last season.
For us, enough is enough. We’ll stick with sports where unnecessary violence is taken seriously and penalized appropriately.

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