Monday, October 22, 2012

Keep Your Children Well

First, a thank you to Crosby, Still Nash and Young for the inspiration for the headline. I am, an old rock n’ roller and proud of it.

Everyday, we do a tens of things to keep our children safe from doling out vitamins, attaching mittens to snowsuits to teaching then to cross with the green and making sure they’re strapped into their car seats or seat belts properly, but there’s one thing America (and maybe the world) does that just plain makes no sense for the good health and welfare of our children: we let them run around everywhere clad in just diapers.

Now I’ve never been blessed with children of my own, but I’ve put in many, many baby sitting hours for friend’s children, cousin’s children and I’m godmother to no less than 6 children who call me Almost Aunt Karen and I take that responsibility extremely seriously.

Why, if you feel you the need to wear jeans, a t-shirt, sock and shoes, do you think your infant or toddler needs just a diaper. Babies skin is thinner than ours and more vulnerable to the sun. Perhaps I’m a nervous Nelly, but I think they need more. Now I know first hand what a pain it is to change diapers and I know how frequent an act that is with little ones. You go to the grocery story, you need to change a diaper. You go to the gas station, maybe yes maybe no. The dry cleaners, probably. Walmart or Kmart, you’d be wise to place a bet with Vegas if they’ll take your action. It’s just part of having a baby. They pee and poop a lot. You probably pee and poop just as much, you just have developed the muscles and the sensitivity to pay attention to the the early warning signs and you can make it to the restroom in time. At least I hope that’s the case. If it’s not--and this no laughing matter--see your physician; there are medications that can help.

But what to do about these near naked little ones running through Ross Dress for Less and Home Depot? My instinct is to grab them up in my arms and put them inside my sweater but I know that won’t endear me to their parents who obviously think it’s OK to let their baby out of the house dressed in probably a 20th of the clothing they’re currently wearing.

If you skip down to my bio you’ll see that I’ve been an advertising copywriter for 25+ years and once, for a bond insurance company--created a commercial very similar to the second paragraph of this article. Every scene showed parents doing all the things we do daily to keep our children safe and well. We even used the song “Keep Your Children Well.” Upon testing--and big Madison Avenue clients--test what’s for lunch, participants cried upon seeing the commercial. Did the bond client buy the spot? Nope. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young wanted a $100K for the rights to the song. This was 20 years ago. Think about the songs used today for commercials and what the cost of their rights might be. Dummies. When people cry, you produce and run the spot. There’s no better response.

So what do I have to do to get you to cry and realize your baby is freezing and despite all your other fine efforts, you’re putting him in danger?

Clothes for babies and toddlers are both adorable and relatively cheap. You can even get great stop barely used at garage sales and thrift stores. I recently saw a baby wearing what I would guess was a “twosy” with an adorable stuffed bunnies head mounted on the shoulder looking right at the baby acting as a built-in toy.

My advice is to recognize how vulnerable our little ones are and embrace how absolutely adorable you can make them look with the proper wardrobe. I once bought my Nearly Neice Lila a tiny motorcycle jacket. Almost Aunt Karen became the hit of the party and Lila ended up with her picture in Allure magazine 1990 as best dressed baby.

If you love your baby -- and I know you do -- err on the side of safety and modesty and dress them at least as well as you.

Author Bio: Karen Boyarsky is an advertising copywriter with 25 years experience. She blogs on myriad topics. You can follow her on Twitter @ boyarsky_kareni. She’s got lots to say on lots of subjects.

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