That’s what’s often written on plastic bags, lest parents let their tiny tots put them over their tiny heads.
It seems, though, that the tots aren’t the only ones with tiny heads, and that we have to remind parents that other things aren’t toys, either. On Monday, NPR had an item about parents who give their mobile phones to their toddlers, and are then surprised when said toddlers don’t treat the devices with the respect due expensive and vital electronic equipment.
A one-year old puts the phone in her mouth. Well, yes: that’s what one-year-olds do.
An 18-month-old speed-dials 9-1-1. When the police arrived, mom jokes with them: “I pointed out my youngest and told the officer, ‘There’s the culprit. There he is. Take him. I need some sleep,’ ”
A three-year-old deletes vital data from the phone, and other children send empty email to the entire address book, or simply throw the phone across the room or drop it in the toilet.
NPR meant this as a light-hearted item, but I have a different view: Hey, parents... what are you thinking?
If your two-year-old thought your Swiss Army knife looked cool, would you give it to her? Or, “Here, little Johnny, have one of my cigarettes. Shall I light it for you, or do you want the lighter too?”
I don’t care how much they want to hold your phone. Don’t give it to them until they’re old enough.
You have to wait until they’re at least four.