Those curious little toddlers -- there's almost nothing they won't put in their mouths. If we get a bad reputation for being helicopter parents, maybe it's because we're trying to keep our kids from cramming their little mouths with disease-ridden crap. Case in point: A toddler was recently exposed to gonorrhea after putting a used condom in her mouth. Freakin' gonorrhea. And possibly HIV. From a mother-loving used condom the child put in her mouth!
Teisha Sanders says in December 2011, she was with her 3-year-old daughter at the playground of a Head Start daycare program in Jacksonville, Florida, when she saw her daughter pick up the condom and put it in her mouth. She immediately pulled it out of her daughter's mouth, washed it out, and rushed her daughter to the nearest ER for tests. The condom tested positive for gonorrhea, but so far her daughter doesn't have it or any other sexually transmitted diseases. Teisha has been getting her daughter tested every four months because doctors say it can take up to a year for STIs to show up in tests once you've been exposed. So she's not in the clear, yet.
Now Teisha is suing the Jacksonville Head Start program. The director says they clean and check the playground every day. But what a sad world we live in when a playground for preschoolers has to be checked for used condoms. Who are the geniuses having sex on playground equipment in the first place? I mean, forget asking these people to be tidy and throw away their condoms when they're finished using them. If you're sleazy enough to have sex at a children's playground, you're probably not thinking about some innocent little three-year-old discovering the evidence the next day.
And it sucks that this was at a Head Start program -- a program for low-income families who don't have a lot of options. Teisha's daughter was probably there so she could go to work every day, and the last thing a working mom needs to worry about is catching an STI from the daycare playground. In addition to not being cleaned, the playground is adjacent to a city park, and the gate between the two was open -- against Head Start policy. Amazingly, the program wasn't fined because this was a first offense. But I hope this motivates the director to get it together and protect the children so many parents depend on.
Do you trust your daycare center to protect your kids from putting potentially dangerous things in their mouths?
Image via brianteusch/Flickr