The Facebook page ‘Breastfeeding Mama Talk’ recently posted a picture of a baby’s car seat with a sign reading: “No Touching. Your germs are too big for me!” In an attempt to spark a debate, the parenting hub then asked followers whether they would post a similar sign. Shockingly, it worked ⏤ a debate ensued and nobody could agree as to whether the sign was pretentious or smart.
Naturally, the germophobes and parents who are super fearful of germs making their baby sick made their support known. At the same time, there were a lot of commenters who wrote that parents fretting about germs are just being over the top. Given Kim Brooks’ new book, Small Animals, about parenting in the age of fear, they may have a valid point. American parents today are paralyzed by fear.
“Good Lawd how did we all survive… We were touched, handed to strangers in the grocery while mom dug through her purse cause we had no baby carrier, no car seats…” wrote one commenter.
Still, not everyone was so decent about it. Another commenter begrudgingly wrote that parents who worry about germs are turning their kids into “a bunch of weak fruit loops,” their rationale being that kids need germs to develop their immune systems. While that bit about immunity is true, shaming a parent for not taking a risk like that with their child, especially during flu season, seems foolish.
The parents of immunocompromised children were a bit more understanding though.
“My son was born with major heart defects and undergone surgeries… Pretty sad you even have to post a sign these days cause people just don’t have common sense.”