Thursday, February 12, 2009

Safe Homes for Infants & Toddlers Act

You heard it here first: there is a sequel to CPSIA in the works. I'm calling it the Safe Homes for Infants & Toddlers act, and I endorse it wholeheartedly.

Retroactivity under CPSIA doesn't go far enough. Sometimes parents don't sell or give away their child's used toys, clothing, books, and care items; they save them for their future children and sometimes their grandchildren. It's not unheard of for so-called "heirlooms" and "hand-me-downs" to be in families for 20 years or more. Safe Homes for Infants & Toddlers would ban this practice so that not only will lead-ridden toys, clothing, and books be removed from retail and thrift stores, they will also be removed from homes!

But how, you ask, will we enforce a law that requires parents to buy all new stuff for their kids? Easy-- we will send CPSC inspectors into people's houses! How will we know parents are using stuff that's too old? Neighbors! Neighbors know everything. If they see you come home with a baby and not a crib, they'll know to turn you in. But, you object, how will we overcome the simple fact that there are millions of homes with children in them and only a hundred CPSC inspectors? That's a piece of cake-- we'll use mathematics! Applying the highly technical concept of a p-adic metric, we can definitively state that this will be a sufficient number of inspectors. The use of p-adic metrics in politics is not new; a similar metric is being used right now to prove that the new stimulus plan will not lead to massive inflation.

Another drawback of CPSIA is that it only bans lead and phthalates. Safe Homes for Infants & Toddlers goes even farther-- it bans boron, germanium, and elements 57 through 71 (also known as the lanthanoids). The first two are to be banned because nobody ever needs them anyway*; the lanthanoids have been proven to react violently with most nonmetals, and who thinks violent reactions are something we should model for our kids? These elements are required to be expunged from all extant copies of the Periodic Table of the Elements as well, for safety purposes.

Ultimately, I hope the Safe Homes for Infants & Toddlers act will make things safer for all our children. If you don't believe more regulation can make our kids safer, then you don't know S.H.I.T.!

* I fully expect to receive objections from uninformed "mommy bloggers" telling me that boron is found in Borax, which is used as a cleansing and deodorizing agent for homes and cloth diapers. To which I respond, "Who wants to wash cloth diapers anyway, you granola-crunching freaks?" Besides, Borax is not the same thing as boron. Boron is an element, while Borax comes from grocery stores; everybody knows that.

Labels: ,