Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Baby Safety (Or a Lack Thereof)

I have a little bit of a rant, my friends.  This isn't about people who endanger their children, though that could certainly be its own post.  This is about companies that endanger our children without thought of the consequences.

You know the scenario: You are out and about with your baby when you smell that telltale scent of 'diaper needs changing.'  So you go to the store's bathroom, pull down the changing station, and prepare to change that diaper.  Now imagine my surprise the other day when I went to secure the safety strap (You use them, right?  Concrete floors are hard.) and found that our local Wal-mart cut off the safety straps.  This was clearly not negligence, a simple lack of knowledge about broken equipment.  The straps were intentionally cut off close to the base, and I found this to be the case in the other bathroom.  I've found plenty of broken or otherwise unusable safety straps at other changing stations.  

Another common scenario:  Your family is going out to eat, and you request a high chair for your baby.  Many times this works fine.  But there have been cases where restaurants have had to search through their chairs to find one with working safety straps.  Now, I know that there are plenty of moms who don't use them.  I see it all the time, especially with older babies.  But when my daughter was six months, she didn't always sit up well, and at ten months, she likes to try to lean over and reach stuff she drops.  Darn skippy I use those straps!  We should not have to search through a stack of high chairs to find one that is actually safe.

I don't understand how companies can do this.  Aside from obvious lawsuits (it's only a matter of time for our local Wal-mart), these are babies.  How can you play with the safety of little babies just so you don't have to spend a few bucks on a new high chair?  It is truly sad.

I wish more places would copy our local La Siesta restaurant.  When I pointed out a broken plastic piece on a high chair, the waitress was horrified and took it to the manager immediately for replacement.  We haven't had a broken one since.  Much better than the server we had at O'Charley's who put two broken high chairs back on the stack without a word.

Anyone else run across this problem?


  1. my only thoughts is that maybe some idiot in the corporate office thought that the straps could somehow be misused to strangle a child, and therefore pose a danger, but I'm not a parent and I never will be so I don't have much input in this matter.

  2. I think one of the differences is that La Siesta is a local chain and Wal-mart and O'Charley's are both large national chains. There's a disconnect between the corporation and the customer whereas at La Siesta, they're probably more invested in providing good customer service. It's a reputation thing, I think. Wal-mart isn't going to care about what a single customer thinks of them. The nice people at La Siesta *are*.
    Write a letter to O'Charley's and Wal-mart. See what happens. The worst thing that will happen is that they ignore it and then you're no better off than you are now. Sometimes corporate offices will give managers the stink-eye if there's an unhappy customer or some purposeful neglect like this.

  3. Or even worse, the restaurants that don't even HAVE high chairs and changing tables! I'm so glad you're pointing out the broken ones. We HAD to use the straps with our daughter, who now can unfortunately wiggle out of them. My cousin bought a cheap and portable booster seat and left it in her car. She'd bring it in to every restaurant, that way she knew she was getting a clean and working chair every time.

    Following from vB!

  4. Or when they don't have a baby changing station at all!?!?! UGH!!! So frustrating!

    I'm stopping by from voiceBoks! Glad you joined our FUN and Supportive Community!!! Hope you enjoy the rest of your week.

    Feel free to drop by www.alwaysjustamom.blogspot.com!


  5. Interesting from the first comment. It could be strap strangling liability? You do always have to worry about being sued, unfortunately. Nice to find you through VoiceBoks:)