Roughhousing can be dangerous
May 29, 2012 11:54AM
Updated: July 1, 2012 11:34AM
Dear Annie: I’m a 58-year-old woman, and I’m concerned about my year-old granddaughter.
When she was merely 4 months old, my son-in-law would toss her up in the air and then catch her. Her head was completely unsupported. When she was 5 months old and the temperature outside was in the 40s and rainy, he refused to put a coat on her. When she was 6 months old, he put her on his shoulders and bounced her around the grocery instead of securing her in the car seat. When she was 11 months old, he admitted that he had tossed her on their bed so she would “bounce.”
My daughter has told me that he does things that make her heart stop. I believe he enjoys the attention and likes to upset my daughter. I consider him to be somewhat unbalanced.
Would this be considered child endangerment? I had composed a letter to her pediatrician, but friends and family urged me not to send it for fear that child protective services will be called. Yet, if I know these things and do nothing, I’m as guilty as he is.
I don’t want to lose my granddaughter or my daughter. Am I overreacting?
Dear Grandma: Your son-in-law’s behavior is questionable, but we don’t believe it’s enough to call CPS. The problem is, he doesn’t seem to understand the boundaries of acceptable risk. First talk to your daughter. She should make it clear to her husband that he must be more careful. Please tell her also to discuss this with her pediatrician, and you should not hesitate to let the doctor know about your concerns. Perhaps a professional can talk some sense into her husband before he unintentionally causes irreparable harm.
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