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In his highly acclaimed new book entitled, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell describes how major societal changes often happen suddenly and unexpectedly.1 Three rules of epidemics—the law of the few, the stickiness factor, and the power of context—interact to create social change. Social epidemics, when they create critical mass, result in the “tipping point”.
There appears to be early signs of an antichild safety mentality emerging in the popular press. After years as a virtually sacrosanct “motherhood and apple pie” issue, safety is now being ridiculed by a handful of reporters (law of the few) as overzealous and even misleading. A few examples published in the United States media illustrate my thesis.
In the Washington Post Magazine, Marc Fisher makes fun of airbag warnings, safety precautions uttered …