Saturday, December 22, 2007

Caution - PSA

Ok. I normally would put something like this in my private, personal journal,...but, the more I think about it, the more I think it should go here.

P4 is a huge "Thomas" the tank engine fan. He plays with the engines, cars, and tracks every day. And, he's quite fond of re-configuring the track. At some point, someone bought him a box of the "cheap track" that Target carries. It's different from the R2 (Thomas) track in that it has a "ball-joint" set-up for joining pieces of track together. By comparison, the R2 track fits together like a puzzle. So...Owen (P4) was building a new track and he decided that the track fit on his fingers. He was putting it on and spinning it like a New Year's noise-maker. However, somehow, his finger got stuck. I mean REALLY stuck. It wasn't hurting him, but it wasn't coming off. I tried everything I could think of to get it to come off (olive oil, baby oil, petroleum jelly, ice,...). And, about five minutes after we took THIS picture...

...his finger turned purple.
We got a craft saw out of the garage and he FLIPPED OUT!
In the end, I called the fire department. I was really concerned that if I left it on, the time it took to get to an ER and get triaged, he was going to have serious circulatory damage to the finger. And, it was swelling...meaning, it was becoming more stuck with each minute.
When the firemen got here, the medic scanned the room and said, without even looking at Owen, "Is it the Target track?"
Apparently, this is a known problem. He said he'd seen four, three-year-old boys with this exact same issue in the last six months. I told him it was and he said, "It's never the R2 stuff...only the cheapy stuff." In one case, a child had to have surgery to decompartmentalize the tissue that had been damaged!
They used some sort of EKG transduction gel (and two grown men manipulating the track) to get it off. It was a ten minute job. Oy!

This is not what you want to see in front of your house as a result of playing with a toy!

I called the company who manufactures the track. I never got a return call.
So, I want to warn all the parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents out there: be careful with this track. I know it is tempting to buy the cheapy stuff. But, unless you want to have this experience, I'd shy away from it. If you see your little one sticking fingers in the end (which is tempting), intervene. I'm throwing all of our cheap track away.

30 comments:

Janet said...

I didn't get mine from Target, I got the huge set from Costco, but that's the track we have.

I've never had an issue with it, but then my son has a melt-down when the track comes apart accidentally.

I'll keep it in mind for when he realizes he can make new shapes with it, though!

lesliepear said...

I'm confused - do you have a photo of the ends to show the difference.

I'm glad P4's ok. My son never tried that fortunately

Atheist in a mini van. said...

You're confused? Well, I guess I could go take more pictures, but...I'll just point you to the differences. Both Brio and the Imaginarium brand use these ball shaped connectors.
This is the stuff that caught his finger.
http://www.hobbyplace.com/images/maxim/50451x.jpg
Rather than a flat cut, puzzle type end, it has kind of a ball on the end.

While, in contrast, the R2 (official Thomas track) has this sort of connector.
http://www.toy-train-table-plans-store.com/images/thomas-train-tracks-wood-switch-T-track.jpg

See the difference?

Jacinda said...

I have a question for the atheists. I am Heather's friend, Jacinda and also a SDA. If I may speak bluntly I dare say you have been rather rude to her. My reading on this blog illustrates two things. Heather has not communicated well and you are a defensive lot.

I am not acquainted with the rules of atheism. Atheists, the lot of them, object to intolerance so why give it. But, I very much wish to understand what colour your spots are on political issues. Which party do atheists follow?
What is your position on abortion?
Is it right and proper to make a childrens film about atheism?

erin said...

Jacinda,

If you're admitting that Heather has not communicated well, do you think that may be the reason for the defensiveness? I'm not an atheist, but I don't see that anyone was defensive or rude.

michelle said...

I'll bite because I'm getting tired of completely normal subject threads being hijacked in the comments section:

Jacinda,

It seems like you fundamentally misunderstand what atheism is: the lack of belief in any god/gods. Period. So the only "rule" to be an atheist is lack of belief in a deity. Atheists can be Republican, Democrat, socialist, anarchist...their political beliefs are not necessarily connected to their lack of theological beliefs. Making a children's movie "about atheism" would be like making a children's movie about that empty spot in my yard.

May I suggest that if the atheist responders to Heather seem defensive (I do not concede that they have been) it may perhaps be because Heather is a bit offensive in her approach?

The Music Won't Stop said...

My son has those tracks. We've never had a problem with them, except for breaking and turning into lethal weapons. I go through the collection (we had a friend give us a TON of track, and then relatives who kept sending more) and weed out all the broken pieces. He used to stick his fingers in the holes, but his fingers are so skinny they never got stuck.

I'm glad your boy is okay!

The Music Won't Stop said...

I am not acquainted with the rules of atheism.

There are no "rules of atheism". We are not a religion or party or anything of that sort. An atheist is just someone who does not believe in a deity.

Atheists, the lot of them, object to intolerance so why give it.

What was intolerant? She asked questions, they were answered. She was the one who threw around words like "rude", "snotty", "elitist" when she was given answers she didn't like. From what I've seen, everyone here welcomes debate. But I've also seen that some of us are just plain tired of the same old arguements. She brought nothing new to the table, and nothing that hasn't been said before.

But, I very much wish to understand what colour your spots are on political issues. Which party do atheists follow?
What is your position on abortion?


You'll find atheists in every party, on every side of every issue. What makes you think all atheists would gravitate to one side or the other? Why do you think that?

Is it right and proper to make a childrens film about atheism?

Is it right and proper to make a children's film about Christianity, Islam, Zues, the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Filmmaking is an art like any other art, and the artist(s) can create whatever they wish. It's YOUR decision whether or not to view that art.

What is an "atheist" movie anyway?

Carlie said...

Oh, jeez. I got heart palpitations just seeing the picture. We had a bad incident once with child #1 and one of those orange cones that are used for soccer (there was a hole in the top). Luckily the plastic was thin enough that we got through it with a box cutter, but it was touchy. For some reason that's one of the injuries that just make me totally flip out. Bleeding is a breeze, broken bones no problem, but fingers stuck in places... no. My poor children have heard me scream at them not to put their fingers in there so often I've probably passed on the paranoia to them. Poor little possum. I'm glad it turned out ok.

steelcobra said...

I have a question for the atheists. I am Heather's friend, Jacinda and also a SDA. If I may speak bluntly I dare say you have been rather rude to her.
I'd say we've been rather polite and reasonable in response to her statements, especially considering that she thinks a troll like john wasn't so bad.

My reading on this blog illustrates two things. Heather has not communicated well and you are a defensive lot.
Well, it's hard to not get defensive when someone who clearly misunderstands atheism tells you what you are. As for not communicated well, this is the internet, and the more expansive and eloquent your vocabulary, the better people understand you.

I am not acquainted with the rules of atheism.
There is no evidence of a god. That is all.

Atheists, the lot of them, object to intolerance so why give it.
Because most of us were raised as theists and can use hindsight to see the ignorance and intolerance we used to have.

But, I very much wish to understand what colour your spots are on political issues. Which party do atheists follow?
Personally? I'm an unaffiliated moderate. Who thinks the current two-party system is dragging our country down by forcing people to vote for one extreme or another. But that's me. Just as there are both liberal and conservative christians, atheists are varied in their political beliefs.

What is your position on abortion?
What is your position on things that kill people after birth?

Is it right and proper to make a childrens film about atheism?
Why does it matter? Most atheists realize it on their own anyways.

Poodles said...

OMG! Poor little guy! Glad it turned out ok.

lesliepear said...

Some of the learning curve pieces have the ball connector - like this cargo station

http://www.trainsgalore.com/Cargo-Drop-Station---Rare-P933C0.aspx

But the problem we have is the ball unscrews sometimes and gets lost in the box of tracks.

Saurian200 said...

Jacinda,

have a question for the atheists. I am Heather's friend, Jacinda and also a SDA. If I may speak bluntly I dare say you have been rather rude to her.

We haven't been. We haven't treated her any different;y then we would anyone else, theist or atheist.

To be blunt, Heather has been VERY oversensetive.We have disagreed with her and explained why and asked her questions of our own, and for reasons I can't begin to understand she has taken that as a series of personal attacks.

Not to mention she has responded by making baseless accusations against us, questioning P-Momma's parenting and whining.

Many of us have come to the conclusion, thanks to her ignoring of many of our responses to her and refusal to accept the things she has read, that she has not come here to learn about us but rather to just reinforce beliefs that she already has. We find that very disrespectful.

My reading on this blog illustrates two things. Heather has not communicated well and you are a defensive lot.

We are not defensive so much as frustrated. Atheists have to deal with things like this all the time and we get tired of it.

You say that she has not communicated well. Did it occur to you that that might be at the heart of the problem. We are not psychic. We can't always tell what she meant to say. We can only respond to what she did say.

I am not acquainted with the rules of atheism.

There aren't any. Atheism is just the lack of belief in any god or gods. Nothing more.

Atheists, the lot of them, object to intolerance so why give it.

We haven't. We may have been a little short with her but that had nothing to do with her being a Christian, or an SDA or a whatever.

If we have any problems they are with her behavior, not who she is.

But, I very much wish to understand what colour your spots are on political issues.

You're trying to put more into atheism then is actually there. Like I said, atheism is just a lack of beleif in any god or gods. Beyond that, atheists disagree wioth each other on pretty much everything.

Which party do atheists follow?

I assume you mean in America. (On the internet you can have people from all over.) In America, most atheist seem to favor the Democratic party because it, in general, is perceived as more atheist friendly then the Republican party.

However there are republican atheists who can't stand the democrats and there are atheists who belong to numerous third parties. There are also atheists who don't favor any political party. So, often it depends on the atheist in question.

There is no one party that all atheists agree with or are a part of.

What is your position on abortion?

There are atheists on all sides of this issue. In my experience, atheist more often fall on the pro-choice side, but there are still many pro-life atheists as well.

Is it right and proper to make a childrens film about atheism?

No more or less proper to make one about anything else. Also, I would argue that the Golden Compass (which is what I assume you're talking about) is more anti-authoritarian religion then it is pro-atheism. (Those two positions are not neccessarily the same.)

Saurian200 said...

P-Momma,

(((Hugs)))

Sorry to hear about what happened to P#4. Glad everything tunred out all right.

I'm going to talk to my brother about this because my nephew also likes Thomas the Train and I can see my brother buying those tracks for him.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Glad to hear the little fella still has his finger. It will make a good story for his 21st.

Mephitis said...

Responding to Jacinda:
J: I am not acquainted with the rules of atheism. Atheists, the lot of them, object to intolerance so why give it.

Atheists are not an affiliated group - the only thing that connects one atheist with another can be lack of a belief in god(s). Atheists are individuals, rather than a group sharing any common goal.

J: But, I very much wish to understand what colour your spots are on political issues. Which party do atheists follow?

Atheism is not party political. There is no political stance that atheism dictates. In the same way that Christianity does not naturally indicate political leanings, (or at least not here in the UK). I am a leftie and so are those of my friends who are Christian.

J: What is your position on abortion?

Personally I am pro-choice. I know other atheists who are more of the pro-life persuasion.

J: Is it right and proper to make a childrens film about atheism?

I think it would make a terribly dull film if that's all a film was about. There's no god, the end. OTOH, if it's got ice bears and ideas, I think it would make an interesting subject. I can't see what could be improper about considering or showing ideas.

tsteele93 said...

I don't know how to say this politely, but I'll try. Have you considered that maybe you aren't "using the highest standards of common sense" here?

I mean, we are talking about a small piece of wood, with a hole in it. Looking at the pictures there appears to be an opening at the end, so it isn't even a complete encasement. A good screwdriver in the opening and a twist should have opened the hole a little bit.

And hacksaws aren't generally for wood. A wood chisel would have easily weakened the wood.

Gosh, I can think of at least a dozen ways to get that off a kid's finger without involving the fire department.

Well there, I hope that I wasn't too mean, but I just can't see how you blame Target because you couldn't find one of at leat a dozen ways to remove a small piece of wood from your child's finger.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

I don't think you're being mean, but I think you're speaking without the facts necessary to come to the conclusion you've come to.

Yes. Hacksaw was the wrong word. It's not what we grabbed. What we brought in from the garage was a small, file-like saw that my husband uses on his model train boards. I said "hacksaw" and I should've checked to verify the tool's name. So, for that, you're most likely correct.

However, unless you've actually held this track in your hand and studied it, you have no idea. This wood is thick. At the point where his finger was stuck, it's at least an inch thick and it's hardwood. Also, I used to be a search and rescue medic. And, as I said, the point at which we called the fire department was the point at which I knew my son was about to lose circulation in his finger. How would you suggest we have used a chisel and screwdriver on a riggling, upset, stressed three year old? And, how would you suggest we'd have prevented injury to the finger using such methods? Look at the photo. It wasn't stuck on his index, thumb, or pinky. So, there was no way to get the wooden track flat on any surface. Sorry, but I'm not going to hack away at a 1" thick piece of hardwood that's set askew on another surface. What would happen if he moved?
Yes, it has a hole in the end and it's not a complete, closed circle. But, please look at that picture closely. Note that it would be impossible to simply slide the finger towards the end of the track and have it come out. The open space is less than a quarter inch. Also, note that I said his finger began to swell and turn blue. This is a normal physical response when dealing with an entrapment.

Could we have chiselled it off? I don't know. I do know that I would've been exceedingly worried about trying to hold a child still, BY MYSELF, and chisel the wood off his finger. I'm not even sure that would've been physically possible.

Finally, I can only guess that you didn't really read my post. I'm not blaming Target. I'm asking the company who manufactures the track (Brio) to take a look at their product and see if it could be re-made in a safer manner. Four children just in this area suggests a larger consumer issue.

And, in the absence of your dozen ways to get it off, I had to do what I had to do to get another set of hands in the situation. As I said, due to the swelling, I did not have time to take this child to the ER and wait for triage.

When the fire department got here, they were concerned that his finger was going to need surgery. That's how bad it was. They were also concerned that any attempt to cut through it or break away the wood would also break his finger. It took all of us, some really slick gel, and some needlenose pliers to get it off. In your absense, we did what we thought was best.

I don't have a problem with you sharing an opinion, but I think your oversimplified solution missed a few key realities. I wanted my son to be able to use his finger someday. ;)

FSMismyhero said...

Trying to Look at this from Heather's point of view. I do not think that she knew what she was getting herself into when she decided to take on the Atheists. (and yes, I believe that was the intent, I don't buy the "I'm curious" bit at all) I think she tried to confront us like we were another religion where who wins depends on who knows their own mythology better. As Atheists, we have the advantage in these types of arguments because the burden of proof rests on them to prove their assertions. I do not think she expected us to ask for proof, or challenge the teachings of her church. Having said this, I have to ask Heather: Are you offended by what we said to you, or is it really that you are upset that you do not have valid answers to our questions? I do not expect you to answer this but I would encourage you to think about it.

And I am SOOO tired of people thinking that we are an organized religion with a set of rules and guidelines to follow. These are the trappings of religion and we don't need them. We get our morality first from being a human being and also from family, role models and philosophy. You can't package an atheist in a box, perhaps that makes theists uncomfortable because they don't understand it, but that's the truth.

suzy's zoo said...

Tsteele93,
I am a pediatric intensivist (meaning: I take care of the sickest children). I can't even begin to tell you how appropriate calling the fire department was for this case. As Chris theorized, taking him to the ER or using "tools" to get it off could've ended in a serious injury. You should only try to remove an object with the tools you're suggesting when it's your only option and you can reasonably restrict the child's movements with a papoose board or other means (preferably sedation). There are several nerves and large veins under that particular digit that would leave him maimed if your screwdriver slipped. Having seen the swelling post removal, three days later, I can say that Mike and Chris did the right thing. Even if it could've been removed by a different tool, I don't recommend parents perform such removals on their child for emotional reasons. It's better to recognize you need help and obtain it. IIRC they also called the non-emergency line and explained the injury to the medic. The medic accurately assessed the injury and responded appropriately.
Suzy

Jacinda said...

Happy Christmas to all!

erin said...
Jacinda,

If you're admitting that Heather has not communicated well, do you think that may be the reason for the defensiveness? I'm not an atheist, but I don't see that anyone was defensive or rude.

Even Heather can see she's not communicating good. I don't think that it's a reason to keep bashing her. Since you are a christian Erin, what do you think about possummomma? In less you know her in real life you can't know her better than me and Heather.


michelle said...
So the only "rule" to be an atheist is lack of belief in a deity. Atheists can be Republican, Democrat, socialist, anarchist...their political beliefs are not necessarily connected to their lack of theological beliefs.


In America I think atheists are known for there democratic or liberal views on issue.

Music said...What is an "atheist" movie anyway?
A movie where God is blasphemed or secondary in importantness.

Milo Johnson said...

Don't throw the track away, store it. There could be a product recall and you might get your money back.

Second, to the passive-aggressive little atheist-baiter, you seem to be operating under the assumption that the rest of us are required to respect your religious nonsense and treat it with some kind of dignity. We are not. It is foolish, primitive rubbish completely unsupported by any evidence and deserves whatever scorn is thrown its way. Deal with it.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Jacinda and Heather,

A merry xmas to you both.

We are not "bashing" heather, point out where you think we are and we can discuss it. I fear that the both of you may not be accustomed to talking about your beliefs with others that don't share them.

It is also very hard to perceive tone in the written word - so imagine that we are talking to you in the most pleasant tone possible and see if that alters your reading.

It does not matter if we don't know each other in real life, each and everyone of us puts ourselves forward in our written word. Erin has stated she is not an atheist (letting you know that she is an outsider and more objective)and that she does not perceive any rudeness.

Again, go back and give two examples of rudeness, and what you think would have been an appropriate response - we will discuss.

As to your definition of an atheist movie, your definition I think is too broad and movies commonly have multiple themes and competing and or complimentary ideas.

An atheist film would be one that promotes the idea that there is no God. A film that Blasphemes god would not for that fact alone be an atheist film. An Islamic film denying the divinity of Christ and promoting Muhammed as the last prophet would be blasphemous, no? There are also many films of which God does not feature in the story at all.

My Fair Lady, Annie, Bridget Jones' Diary, Escape From Sobibor. None of these has as a theme the idea that God is non existant yet each has something to say about the human spirit.

Your definition sounds like "everything that I don't like and think is evil and which I want to lump on Atheism, so that I can hate atheists".

The questions you ask seem to be focused on trying to fit Atheists into the box that you have labelled as"that which I don't like or disagree with", this is a first tentative step toward de-humanisation. and giving yourself permission to hate.

The truth is Atheists are human, some of us will be brilliant and put Jesus' works to shame and some of us will be complete and utter arseholes, most of us will sit in the middle, the same can be said of Muslims, Jews and Christians, the only difference is that we recognise that our actions good and bad come from a Human origin, while Theists pass responsibility onto god.

Enjoy your religious festivity, I will be enjoying time with those dear to me, without the need to waste time sitting in church being told how good I am for being a christian.

erin said...

Even Heather can see she's not communicating good. I don't think that it's a reason to keep bashing her. Since you are a christian Erin, what do you think about possummomma? In less you know her in real life you can't know her better than me and Heather.

Ah, I never actually said I was a Christian. I said I was not an atheist. There are a whole lot of things in between. Perhaps that sort of closemindedness is what causes you to perceive all atheists as rude?

And what do I think of Possummomma? As someone who has known her for YEARS (so yes, I do know her better than you and Heather), I think she is a beautiful human being. She has, in the past, gone out of her way to reach out to me in toughest times--DESPITE her own struggles with health and life in general. When my husband and I got married, she sent us a beautiful, handmade present. After my son was born, she sent us a thoughtful, handmade photo album. She is a mom who would do ANYTHING for her children, in a heartbeat. In short, she lives her life with the purest of intentions, something which I find admirable.

ShadesOfGrey said...

tsteele93 said: I mean, we are talking about a small piece of wood, with a hole in it. Looking at the pictures there appears to be an opening at the end, so it isn't even a complete encasement.

As anyone who has had toddlers know, they can get into the darndest messes with whatever toy or non-toy they have. If the finger was turning an unnatural color, it's sure as heck stuck. As P-Momma said, unless you've actually looked at it, you just don't know.

Parents of toddlers have to be so watchful because toddlers have a huge sense of daring and much less common sense. P-Momma did the best thing by 1) calling the fire dept, and 2) notifying the manufacturer (who probably doesn't give a rat's *ss, but with enough consumer pressure may actually make their toys less dangerous).

So glad Owen's all right! (I can hear him next Thanksgiving saying, "and I'm grateful to have all my fingers..." ;) )

The Music Won't Stop said...

"A movie where God is blasphemed or secondary in importantness."

If God is blasphemed, then it's not atheist. It's anti-theist. Two different things. Look them up and educate yourself.

Secondary? As in...? Any movie were God is not the main character and all decisions and plot points don't lead to Christ? Any movie that doesn't mention God at all? I don't see anything wrong with that, and I also wouldn't consider them "atheist".

Just because you don't like it, don't make it wrong, sweetcheeks.

Ginny said...

I haven't read through all the comments, but I want to say that I think you handled the situation beautifully. Anyone knows that a screaming hysterical child is NOT the easiest person to deal with in a minor emergency. Glad his finger is okay!

amarullis said...

Jacinda- I think Heather and yourself have preconceived notions about atheists (actually all people in general, even those you assume are like you). Coming in with these firmly held ideas, you can never really understand or connect with others at the level required to understand that their honesty is not rudeness, but truth. PM took the time to address Heather's questions in a very open way. Heather did not respond in an open way at all.
Truly opening your mind to all of the possible ways people can live, feel, and do good in this world would make you more christian than most who proclaim to be christian. The truth in each person's heart is different, even those that have the same religion and attend the same church.
I have read and deeply studied the bible. I am acquainted with the rules. Why is it you judge atheists as you do? In the rules of your religion, you should not judge any person other than yourself.
When I was trying to find out if I could believe, the person who gave me the most support was a catholic monk. He told me that no matter what my doubts were, I was welcome to speak to him and attend the church. He opened his heart to me to show me the goodness that he believed came from his god. He never judged, only lived his life as an example of what was possible when you gave yourself over to god. Though I do not follow his religion, I try to live by his example, by being open to others. To me this is a core value that everyone should try to achieve.
I would also like to address your comments about the perceived political views of atheists. This is stereotyping, nothing more. As an example of how perceived views sometimes don't mesh with reality, I have know many gays and lesbians who were christians and several who were republicans. It is hard for me to understand how they could be a part of groups who oppose them, but they are individuals and have a right to believe or not believe as they wish.

Kate said...

Jacenta -- >Since you are a christian Erin, what do you think about possummomma? In less you know her in real life you can't know her better than me and Heather.


I know you weren't asking everybody this question. But. I want to answer.

I am a Christian. I know Chris in real life. She is a generous person. I've known her for six years and let me tell you what she has done for me.

When I lost a thirteen week pregnancy, guess who came to my house to comfort me. Do some cleaning and make four meals for the freezer? P-mom

When my daughter was born. Guess who organized a month's worth of meals for us to eat. Guess who showed up when I was at my wits end and needed an hour to relax? P-mom. She brought over some essential oils to put in my bathtub and then took my daughter for a walk while I soaked.

When my husband left town for a job thing, a bank error meant I didn't have any money to get through the week. Guess who sent a possum down to give me $200? P-mom.

When my mom died guess who hired a team of Merry Maids to come clean my house for the wake? P-mom. What makes it even more touching is the fact that SHE is terminally ill and had saved that money to get someone to come and clean their house.

I could list twenty similar acts to shore up what I already know -> Chris/Pmom gives of herself to make life better for others. I wish I could be half the woman she is.

Anonymous said...

You did the right thing in calling the FD. That's what they're here for. I'm glad everything turned out okay in the end. But I can sympathize with what you must have been going through.

May the FSM bless you.