25 June 2008

Summer Fun?

A typical wellness check at the pediatrician goes something like this (with my silent smart-ass asides, kept to myself but aching to be set free, in italics):

Doctor: How many people live in your house?
Me: Five. Twenty if you count the voices in my head.
Doctor: How many pets?
Me: Two cats. But someday, when I'm a loony, old widow, I'll have 600 cats... and one litter box.
Doctor: Does anyone smoke?
Me: No. Unless you count the smoke coming from my ears when I have to clean up toys... again!
Doctor: Are you the primary caregiver?
Me: Yes. And sometimes it's Cinderella or Lightning McQueen or even various Alaskan crab fishermen.
Doctor: Are there any guns in the house?
Me: Yes. Water, bubble, and the bullet-shooting kind.
Doctor: Are the guns locked and secured?
Me: Yes. If they weren't, I'd shoot the mailman every time he rings the doorbell while the kids are napping.
Doctor: OK! Let's take a look at this little guy...

What irritates me most about these questions are that I'm never asked the following:

- Do you own an above- or in-ground pool?
- Do you employ sensors indicating someone has entered the water of your pool?
- Is the pool fenced-off?
- Is the gate of said fence locked?
- Do your children take swimming lessons?
- Do you own a kiddie pool?
- Do you empty said kiddie pool after each use?
- Do you supervise your children in the pool?

I'm upset these questions are never asked. If you visit the CDC 's WISQARS Injury Mortality Reports page, and search for the statistics related to accidental firearm deaths versus accidental drowning deaths in children aged 0 to 9, for the year 2005, you get the following:

- Accidental death due to firearms: 38
- Accidental death due to drownings: 678

I'm just sayin'.


Miss Britt said...

That's a good point.

And what's with the drill on how many people, animals, etc. etc. etc.?

Avitable said...

I didn't know pediatricians asked any of those types of questions. And in addition to sensors for your pools, they also have gates that keep little kids out.

Willie G said...

Swimming pools are just so... so... uhhh... what's the word?? Heh, I'll make one up, non-constitutional. You can stir the pot with guns. Guns have a sense of "I told you so" evil.

Pools, not so much.

Bucky said...

We empty our kiddie pool after each use. And we remove the ladder from our above ground pool after each use.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Britt - Dude, you got me. It drives me nuts. That and the "do they sleep on their back" question gets me every damned time.

Avitable - Oh, those and many more. Gates are cool.

Willie G - You know, how can you protest that brightly-colored happy-looking kiddie pool of mine? When compared to a .40 caliber compact Glock, the pool is cute and fun. The Glock? Not so much. You're right. It's easier to question the guns and not the pool.

Bucky - So do I. Good for you, hon!

Molly's Mom said...

I totally agree with the left out questions! Our next door neighbors had one of those cheesy blow-up pools (that could fit about 350 toddlers) last year, UNFENCED. I thought for sure that there would be a township ordinance against that, but apparently not! We just hover over the M whenever she's outside; I'm sure that won't give her a complex in the future.

Cricky said...

I've never been asked those type of questions. Maybe he's worried about you and PPD with all the talk of guns...he was just trying to get a body count for when you explode?

Expat No. 3699 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Molly's Mom - Dude, unfenced? That's just great. I think I'd have to pop that sucker...

Cricky - Weird. Every pediatrician's office must be different. HA! Body count... awesome! :) No before we knew I had PPD, that question was asked. Even when the twins were two days old and could only squirm we got asked the gun question. Maybe it's an Atlanta/deep south thing? Don't know.

Expat No. 3699 said...

Had to delete my previous comment. My fingers were a little dyslexic while I was typing.

Fifteen voices in your head, hmm?

In addition to the 6' fence around our yard, our pool is fenced with a locking gate. Always better to be safe than sorry.

Your kids look so cute in their kiddie pool.


Not Afraid to Use It said...

How about asking about stairs? And if they are gated? There are a million other questions to ask, but I guess bc of living in GA they ask the gun question. No one EVER asked us about guns in Tahoe. And we had bears in our yard.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Linda~ - Dude, I have those "can't type days" too. Yeah, just 15. More may show up later! And that's awesome that your pool is secure. :)

NATUI - Seriously? Why only ask about one aspect of safety and not others? I don't get it.

Don Mills Diva said...

That's an excellent point.
Just stumbled across your blog and I love it - your grandpa's picture in the header is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I've read those stats before. Crazy how we don't think of things that way.

What I wanted to comment on was the doorbell ... we disconnected ours entirely. So did our neighbors. One of the best things I've ever done. (We have a ranch, though, so that probably helps us get away with it.)

Robin said...

Accidental death due to firearms among people who don't have firearms in their house: 0

Just playing devil's advocate.

.:| Melissa.Mizladytaz |:. said...

How many people live in your house? WTF?

Um. What do those questions have to do with the basic health of your child/children?

Now, if he's schooled you on things that pertain, health/life wise, to those questions he asked you. Ok. But. He didn't! So, what was the purpose?

Sounds like statistics or a survey of some sorts, to me. Which I find an invasion of privacy. But, he's a DOCTOR, not some Gov't keeper of statistics on who has cats, guns, who smokes, etc.

Now if he'd asked you about the frequency of colds, ear infections, allergies, general aches and pains, I could understand that! That's what he's SUPPOSED to be askin!

I dunno. *shrugs* I was never asked any of those kinds of questions by my kid's doc when they were growing up!

But, you're SO very right about the swimming pool thing!

Heather said...

Huh. I was never even asked the other questions at a well-check up. The question of how many people live in your house..that's odd??

Donna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna said...

Aah, yes, do you have guns in the house ... yep, but I don't think my kids are going kill anything with them anytime soon being muzzle-loaders and all. Oh, you mean the shot gun ...

We also get asked if there's lead in the house ... should we be locking the round (musket-like) balls up too?

Of course, during pregnancy we get asked "do you feel safe at home" ... with my smartassedness, I could have fun with that one.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Don Mills Diva - Thanks for stopping by! Glad you liked Grandad's pic. :)

M - I'm thinking about disconnecting the damned thing. Better than disconnecting the mail man. :)

Toasty - True. But then I have to worry about the neighbors' firearms. Of course, they're worrying about mine. It's just a vicious cycle.

Melissa - Seriously! They ask me these friggin' questions every. time. we. go. You'd think they'd write the answers down. I don't get it.

Queen of Shake-Shake - I know! I can't figure that out, either. "Yeah, we live on a commune with 30 people in one building."

Donna - Shotgun! HA! You're too funny!

Ok, Where Was I? said...

I had no idea it was so high. And I've never once been asked about swimming or the pool.

Mention of the doctor made me think of the first time we met with a new doctor and he asked my oldest what was something healthy he eats. I'm pretty strict with their daily veges and fruits, but did he say that he ate carrots almost every day? No, he said waffles with "lots and lots of syrup." Excellent.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

OK, Where Was I? - HA! Don't you just love it when they're honest AND embarrassing as Hell? :)

Vonda said...

Wow look at that cool pool! And yes the crazy questions from the Doctor's office! I was asked some crazy ones today at the 2 week check up...arghhh....

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Vonda - The questions are just ridiculous. And? When you guys visit next? If it's warm? Ella Rose will have to take a turn in that pool!