A viral post about winter carseat "chaos" is an important reminder not to judge parents.

Every parent has felt the piercing gaze—or received the unsolicited advice—of the world's Judgey McJudgersons.

While it shouldn't be the case, judgment seems to go hand in hand with modern parenting. What babies and kids eat, where they sleep, how they behave, what they wear, etc. appears to be fair game for every sanctimonious bystander's opinion.

I once answered my door holding a sleeping six-week-old baby in my arms, just to be met with the mail lady's tut-tutting admonition, "Ooooh, you're gonna spoil that baby." Thanks, Marge.


Parental judgment is an issue. And as one mom on Facebook recently pointed out, it's unfair because times have changed, the rules are different, and best practices are constantly being updated.

In a viral post, a mom reminds us that a small child without a coat likely means parents are simply doing their best to keep their kid safe.

Nicky Campbell recently took to Facebook with "a winter PSA" to the Nosy Nosertons who judge parents when they see a baby or toddler without a coat in cold weather.

"If you’re out and about and see a parent with a baby/toddler who isn’t wearing a coat, pleeeeease don’t assume that parent is some kinda monster who doesn’t care if their kids freeze," she wrote.

A winter PSA to anyone who hasn’t had a baby in the last 5(ish) years:If you’re out and about and see a parent with a...

Posted by Nicky Campbell on Tuesday, November 27, 2018

"New car seat guidelines avidly warn against children wearing coats in car seats—and this makes it really challenging for caregivers (particularly those with multiple small children) to get kids out of the house then in the car then out of the car again and into the destination," she continued.

This is the freaking truth. Bundling a toddler in a coat is a feat in and of itself. No one in their right mind is going to put on a toddler coat's to walk to the car, then take it off to put them in the carseat, then put it back on to walk into a store or school or wherever, only to take it off again when the kid gets too hot.

"Seriously it’s chaos," Campbell continued. "And since there’s not a great commercial product to solve this issue yet, everyone comes up with their own solutions. Some use blankets. Some use lots of warm layers/hats/gloves. Some (God bless them) do the coat-shuffle at every stop and decided their kid would survive the 12 second walk from the car into Best Buy without the bubble coat. So what I’m saying is, cut parents some slack. We’re trying. And we’re doing everything we can to make sure our kids are warm while maintaining what’s left of our sanity. Thanks 🙏."

Yes, it is actually less safe to put a child in a harnessed carseat with their coat on.

A lot of older folks—and some younger ones as well—seem to be under the impression that carseats and coats are a non-issue because we all survived our own childhoods. But tales from times when these carseat safety guidelines didn't exist aren't proof that it's safe.

The no-coats-in-carseats guidelines have actually been around for a couple of decades, but these kinds of changes take a while to catch on. Now we have visual proof for why they exist now, however. Check out this video that shows how much slack even a relatively thin winter coat actually produces (keeping in mind that in the force of a crash all of that padding will compress to basically nothing):

The bottom line is that we need to cut parents some slack and assume that most parents are doing their best.

Statistically speaking, the most dangerous thing parents do is put their kids in a car, so any way we can make it safer is a good thing. Kids aren't going to get hypothermia if they go without a coat in the cold for the minute or so it takes to go from a warm car to a warm store, nor are they going to be harmed by huddling under a blanket in their carseat as opposed to being strapped in in their coats. So if you see a wee one without a coat, relax and be thankful that their parents are conscientious about carseat safety.

When we know better, we do better. And by now we should all know better than to judge a parent unless they are actively, blatantly harming their child. There are a millions ways to raise healthy, happy kids, and we're all just trying to do our best out here.

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Little did he know that she would successfully become all three: an award-winning biomedical and mechanical engineer who performs cutting-edge medical research and has started multiple companies.

Bhatia holds an M.D. from Harvard University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT. Bhatia, a Wilson professor of engineering at MIT, is currently serving as director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, where she's working on nanotechnology targeting enzymes in cancer cells. This would allow cancer screenings to be done with a simple urine test.

Bhatia owes much of her impressive career to her family. Her parents were refugees who met in graduate school in India; in fact, she says her mom was the first woman to earn an MBA in the country. The couple immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, started a family, and worked hard to give their two daughters the best opportunities.

"They made enormous sacrifices to pick a town with great public schools and really push us to excel the whole way," Bhatia says. "They really believed in us, but they expected excellence. The story I like to tell about my dad is like, if you brought home a 96 on a math test, the response would be, 'What'd you get wrong?'"

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Someday, future Americans will look back on this era of school shootings in bafflement and disbelief—not only over the fact that it happened, but over how long it took us to enact significant legislation to try to stop it.

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Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign, is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

After the harrowing experience, he quit vaping, and began speaking out about his experience to help inform others and hopefully inspire them to quit and/or take action. "It shouldn't take having a seizure as a result of nicotine addiction like I had for teens to realize that these companies are taking advantage of what we don't know," Kinard said.

Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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