Tubes For Tots
by Kaz Kozalak

Any time there is some sort of tragedy involving children there are almost immediate cries that “more should be done to protect our children, because if it saves just one life, it will be worth it.”

A typical approach to this is the move to make trigger locks on guns mandatory. The reasoning being that this will inhibit the ability of a child to accidentally (or on purpose) shoot someone. That sounds good, but it doesn’t go far enough.

My proposal would make it mandatory to not only make gun trigger locks mandatory, but would require that bullets, gun power, cartridges and primers be disassembled and stored separately under lock and key. Sure. This would mean that, in an emergency, it might take you an hour or two to open all the boxes, assemble all the pieces, and finally load your gun. By this time your house might be fully cleaned out by robbers. A sadistic robber might replace your cool collection of records with recordings by Yanni.  But, “if it saves just one child's life it will be worth it.” Your life and property mean nothing if it means protecting the life of one child.

There are more dangers that we need to protect our children from. One law requires that all children wear bicycle helmets to protect them if they fall while riding their bikes. That’s a good idea, but it doesn’t go far enough. Falling from bikes isn’t the only time a child is at risk from head injury. Children frequently fall in bathtubs. I propose that helmets be mandatory for children anytime they are in a bathtub because “if it saves just one child’s like it will be worth it.” This may be inconvenient and add an additional cost to your bath time (especially if you have more than one child) but “if it saves just one child's life it will be worth it.”

If you think about it, children are “at risk” just about any time of the day from head injury. A slip on gravel: Head injury. Having their brother, sister or playmate accidentally hit them with a blunt instrument during playtime: Head injury. A fall out of bed: Head injury. So I propose that all children be required to wear protective helmets twenty-four hours a day, because “if it saves the live of just one child it will be worth it.”

One other frequent tragedy involving children is drowning. In order to prevent accidental drowning, I propose that all children be required by law to wear scuba diving equipment while near swimming pools, lakes, rivers, canals, the ocean and sewerage treatment plants. This may be inconvenient and expensive, but “if it saves the life of just one child it will be worth it.”

Undoubtedly, there are many needy children whose parents can’t afford scuba diving equipment. Even a needy child should have at least a floatation device like a tube to protect them from drowning. In order to help out children in need of floatation devices, I propose starting a new organization called “Tubes For Tots.” Every summer, collection boxes can be set up in shopping malls and other popular places. Anything that can float will be better than nothing. Even that old blow-up doll you might have under your bed will help. Is giving up your blow-up doll too much to ask to save a child? “If it saves the life of just one child it will be worth it.”

Guns, falls and drowning are not the only types of violence that face our children. Sometimes children are punched, kicked or bitten by siblings or other children at school. In order to protect our children from being punched or kicked at school, I propose that while at school, all children be put into straight jackets and leg shackles. I also propose that all children at school be required to wear hockey masks to prevent biting. This may all be very inconvenient, expensive and look kind of weird, but you will get used to the sight of your children in straight jackets and shackles if you just recognize the great service you are doing for them by protecting them from harm. Instead of calling these items by their traditional, negative sounding names, they will be renamed “violence reduction equipment.” That will have a much more positive effect on your child’s self-esteem.

Many children are injured in automobile accidents. Mandatory child seats are now the law. That’s a good idea, but it really doesn’t go far enough to protect our children. I propose that, in order to further eliminate children’s injuries while in a car, all speed limits be dropped to ten miles per hour. Sure, this may be inconvenient and cause your morning and evening commute to be extended to three or four hours each way, but “if it saves just one life of a child it will be worth it.” Reducing the speed limit may cause the ice cream in your trunk to melt, or cause your granny’s medication to go bad from the heat in the car on her trip back from the drug store, but granny’s life is expendable. It’s children we need to protect at all costs.

In order to remind us of the value of our children, a prominent place should be set-aside in every city for honoring our children. It should be a large statue made out of gold, and all of us should be required to go and worship before it.