Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer Safety

This week I have been feeling like the world is covered in danger with nowhere safe to let my baby play. That probably sounds like the ravings of an overprotective mother. And it may very well be just that. But maybe not.

Wesley is now very mobile. I like to give him space and time to explore outside. I trust his abilities and feel comfortable spotting him as he climbs up playground equipment, races down hills, explores the many treasures in the organic garden. But I have worries.

Sunburns and Herbicides.

After 12 glorious months of happily wearing a hat at all times, Wes has finally started throwing off his hat. I always thought "put a hat on that baby" when I saw a hatless child. But, *educational moment* they don't always keep them on. They slam the hats to the ground. They twist and knock themselves sideways trying to take the hat off if it's fastened on. What to do with my little walking bald-as-can-be redhead?

There is no way to keep him in the shade when he's walking. Should I slather his head with SPF? Just let go? We typically try to stay out of the sun during the heat of the day and wear sleeves when possible, but morning and evening sun are often intense, and he sometimes needs to run off energy during the day.

I'm aware this is just a phase and that eventually he will wear his hat again...also that this is a phase of mega-worry for me and it will likely pass, too.

Then there are the poisons.

I can hardly believe how many neighbors I've seen spraying herbicides along the edge of their lawns right before or after we've walked by. It makes me cringe to think of letting Wesley walk on the sidewalks. He does touch things along the way. He sometimes tastes things. Or smell flowers. Or blow on dandelions.

This week the city sprayed Round-up at all the schools. Posted signs about herbicide on the playing fields. I am for some reason shocked that such a "progressive" community is managing the land that way. To spray it at schools? To not connect that what quickly kills plants is harmful to the delicate tissues of our children? To plant permaculture landscapes at the community center directly across the street from the sprayed elementary school?

I've become wary of our parks as I see suspiciously cleared weedless circles around all the trees. The trees that Wes walks up to and hugs on a regular basis. My child is hugging poison-drenched trees.

It makes me sick.

1 comment:

  1. Melissa, Google the more recent research on herbicides, then expand this with the results in a letter to the editor to the Press Democrat and the Petaluma paper. We all need to squack loud about this kind of spraying, which, as I understand, is illegal now in Canada.