Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Burn Baby Burn
Another time I was walking past a Jewish supermarket. By the entrance there were two frum women chatting each other up. One was holding her baby and the other had her baby in a stroller. They were all in direct sunlight. Both moms were wearing hats and both babies (surprise, surprise) were not. The baby in the stroller was crying very loudly and was clearly uncomfortable, while mom stood there either completely oblivious or choosing to schmooze rather than tend to her suffering child.
This sort of thing is not an isolated incident. I see this type of thing every day. Jewish moms wearing sunglasses or hats while pushing their babies in a stroller, sans canopy, directly under the scorching sun. How can these women be completely oblivious to the immediate danger they are exposing their children to?
Come to think of it, is sun protection even an issue that frum people think about? Well, many parents take care of their kids the way they take care of themselves. One theory could be that since tznius is a thing that is so strictly enforced, one might erroneously assume that clothing offers proper sun protection, and since these Moms are always covered all the time, they don't worry about being sunburned. Ergo, they don't think about it, even when it comes to their kids. If you think about it, its not that crazy of a hypothesis.
If you want to argue How do you know that they didn't put sunblock on their child? Why are you so quick to judge? The answer is, it doesn't matter. Babies can get heat exhaustion after spending approximately 5 minutes in direct sunlight. This can precede or follow dizziness, vomiting, lethargy and unconsciousness, to name a few symptoms... and that's just the beginning. Longer exposure can result in second degree burns and heat stroke, or worse. Besides, if these women aren't sane enough to block the sunlight that's barbecuing their infant children, you really think they're gonna protect them with sunblock?
Its sad that people in the frum community don't give this much thought. They need to print information on the back of the Kemach cereal boxes regarding sun protection. There's a wealth of information on the bad effects the sun's rays can have on human skin. If you see a Mom with a lack of interest on the subject, educate her. Maybe then Chanie will realize her baby isn't supposed to be a shtickel crispy.