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Screeching brakes... but too late... Tommy is crippled for life.
August 5, 2010 11:27 AM   Subscribe

"It's great to be alive!" - Parents! Traumatise your children into safe behavior with this Official Safety Booklet. You'll never hide in a pile of leaves again.
posted by Artw (67 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
'Don't play in abandoned ice boxes - they are death traps!'

Unless your field of study is archeology.
posted by NationalKato at 11:32 AM on August 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


I miss this style of illustration. But you'll take my hiding in leaf piles when you pry it from my cold, flat, truck-squashed fingers!
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:34 AM on August 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


are all these images in the public domain?
posted by saulgoodman at 11:38 AM on August 5, 2010


The 1950s were a dangerous time period for children and senior citizens, alike.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:38 AM on August 5, 2010


What -- J. Walter Weatherman wasn't available?
posted by Madamina at 11:39 AM on August 5, 2010


I think what's interesting about this is that it advocates caution as opposed to advocating not doing stuff; it doesn't say don't ride your bike, it says pay attention. It says you shouldn't play with matches, but it also gives advice about how to act around bonfires and how to prevent fires from becoming dangerous. It's advice about how to be careful, not just a diatribe against leaving the house.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:39 AM on August 5, 2010


> DO BEWARE OF STRANGERS

Pictured: Walt Disney getting a little too friendly with one of the Mouseketeers.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:40 AM on August 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well... you CAN leave the house, but you will most likely be instantly killed. Or lose an eye. If you don't like having both eyes that much just go ahead and do it.
posted by Artw at 11:40 AM on August 5, 2010


I suspect that these scare tactics are not looked upon favorably in today's parenting environment.

Pfffft. The tactics are different, but in my opinion parents are more paranoid than ever. "Stranger danger" and all that.
posted by Gator at 11:41 AM on August 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is fantastic. The hell with bicycles; I am going to take up something safer like agoraphobia.
posted by everichon at 11:44 AM on August 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Police Officers are your friends" is certainly more optimistic than the current common view on the matter.
posted by Artw at 11:50 AM on August 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, at least there are no spooky monks out to drown children like in Great Britain...
posted by PontifexPrimus at 11:51 AM on August 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


are all these images in the public domain?

Generally, and under U.S. Copyright law, works created by government agencies (which would probably include local police departments) belong to the public domain.
posted by applemeat at 11:51 AM on August 5, 2010


Polish a floor and then put a rug on it. You might as well set a man trap...
posted by Artw at 11:55 AM on August 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Gashlycrumb Tinies crossed with Mad Men. Thanks for posting!
posted by codacorolla at 11:56 AM on August 5, 2010


I found a few pamphlets like these at a junk shop and brought them home to scan. Judging by the sideburns depicted, I think they were from the 70s and probably not out of copyright. Anyways, while scanning the doorbell rang and there was this guy there asking if I bought a bunch of safety pamphlets from a shop just a few hours before.

"Yeah," I said, "And I'm scanning them right now to put on the Internet."

"Don't do that! I'm the original artist and I won't get any royalties! I need that money for my medicine!" he yelled.

I tried to shut the door in his face, but he lunged forward and wedged his shoulder in the frame. We struggled for a bit, but I finally got the door shut. Suddenly, the guy started screaming in pain! I looked down and his arm had been chopped off! It was laying at my feet!

I started screaming too.

"AND THAT"S WHY YOU DON'T SCAN PAMPHLETS!" the one armed man shouted through the door.

I hate my dad.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:57 AM on August 5, 2010 [50 favorites]


Metafilter: another healthy boy is crippled for life.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:59 AM on August 5, 2010


What the hell was in that jar?
posted by Artw at 12:01 PM on August 5, 2010


Generally, and under U.S. Copyright law, works created by government agencies (which would probably include local police departments) belong to the public domain.

Thanks! Do you know if the fact that these are scans has any bearing on their status? I'm curious because I might like to re-purpose some of these...
posted by saulgoodman at 12:02 PM on August 5, 2010


Scanning Around With Gene: Fair Use Goes to the Movies
posted by Artw at 12:04 PM on August 5, 2010


I only recently realized that the panicked "don't get inside a refrigerator!" reactions are completely obsolete now. They used to have latch handles because the seals were great. Now seals are better (or we care less) so the door doesn't latch. It's fine to get inside a fridge.
posted by DU at 12:07 PM on August 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


What the hell was in that jar?
posted by Artw at 2:01 PM on August 5 [+] [!]


Pain.
posted by jtron at 12:08 PM on August 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


What the hell was in that jar?

Lucy Ricardo's hair dye?
posted by longsleeves at 12:08 PM on August 5, 2010


Pain

Satan
posted by Artw at 12:12 PM on August 5, 2010


I only recently realized that the panicked "don't get inside a refrigerator!" reactions are completely obsolete now. They used to have latch handles because the seals were great. Now seals are better (or we care less) so the door doesn't latch. It's fine to get inside a fridge.

I did kind of wonder if there had been some kind of downwards trend in abandoned refrigerators or something, as I hadn't seen anything about them for a while.
posted by Artw at 12:13 PM on August 5, 2010


When I was a kid, a skull and crossbones on a bottle of something poisonous was pretty effective at making me stay clear. I can't even guess why it is no longer used.
posted by digsrus at 12:16 PM on August 5, 2010


Thanks, DU. I always wondered what the hell was up with the panic about fridge doors growing up. I remember testing it every which way from the outside to see exactly what the mechanism was for preventing you from, you know, just pushing the damn door open.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 12:17 PM on August 5, 2010


It's fine to get inside a fridge.

I feel like someone needs to make a PSA about this. Really get the word out.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:18 PM on August 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


It now means "Pirates!" or "Hipsters!".

So now we get Mr. Yuk, who is crappy and will never be cool.
posted by Artw at 12:19 PM on August 5, 2010


Haha. When I was, I dunno, maybe 14 or so, the local grocery store had a poster contest for safety themes @ the pharmacy. The winner was some kid who drew this picture, and I'll never remember the picture, but the tagline was AWESOME:

"NOT EVERYTHING IN GRANDMA'S HOUSE IS CANDY!"

Yea, made of win. W-I-N.

I was just thinking about how to ask an askme about things you did as a child that, today, would be seen as completely negligent of a parent to allow. I couldn't figure out how to do it w/o it being chatfiltery though.
posted by TomMelee at 12:21 PM on August 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I caught myself the other day telling my daughter not to play hide-and-seek in fridges or microwaves or "anything that closes shut so you can't open" and warned her of all sorts of dangers in a stern voice I did not know I possessed. It was as if a thousand PSA's came out of me at once. *shudder*
posted by dabitch at 12:21 PM on August 5, 2010


Like Mrs. Pterodactyl, I'm happy to see that it focuses on caution to prevent horrible accidents rather than prohibition (mostly.)

If you want to get freaked out by bicycle safety, watch this film.
posted by vespabelle at 12:22 PM on August 5, 2010


I only recently realized that the panicked "don't get inside a refrigerator!" reactions are completely obsolete now.

I'm sure it's still against the law to leave a door on a discarded refrigerator. Even without a latch, if a refrigerator were laying on its back, the weight of the door could be too heavy to lift for a child hiding inside.
posted by digsrus at 12:23 PM on August 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


not a word about running with scissors, what were they thinking?

I loved the part about "many children are killed using wire on a kite", because 200 feet of wire is cheaper, lighter and easier to come by than a ball of kite string. I challenge people to find me ONE instance in recorded history of a child putting wire on a kite.
posted by HuronBob at 12:24 PM on August 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


How big are consumer microwave ovens these days?
posted by Artw at 12:26 PM on August 5, 2010


I remember testing it every which way from the outside to see exactly what the mechanism was for preventing you from, you know, just pushing the damn door open.

I think the idea was that you'd topple it over, with the door on the bottom, and your tiny childish pipecleaner arms and legs wouldn't be able to lift the whole fridge.

Kids, pay attention. Only climb inside abandoned fridges in case of nuclear testing.
posted by zamboni at 12:26 PM on August 5, 2010


I feel the need to regard each panel as part of a cohesive narrative. A lot of bad stuff happened all at once, it seems.
posted by anazgnos at 12:27 PM on August 5, 2010


I love the idea that all of these are showing violent results of exercising bad judgement, with the very first one being "Police Officers are your friends".

Here, I think the violence can be implied rather than graphically depicted.
posted by quin at 12:28 PM on August 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Artw: "What the hell was in that jar?"

The birth of jazz hands.
posted by giraffe at 12:36 PM on August 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


NOT EVERYTHING IN GRANDMA'S HOUSE IS CANDY
posted by jtron at 12:43 PM on August 5, 2010


There we go. Like a a terrible Rube Goldberg mechanism being set into motion, the kids exploded out of the schoolhouse, heedlessly.
posted by anazgnos at 12:46 PM on August 5, 2010


and, for you kids.. many old refrigerators had handles that were actual latches, unlike the magnetic seals on new units...
posted by HuronBob at 12:46 PM on August 5, 2010


Slightly related (grotesque edifying childrens' literature,) slightly OT: Anybody besides me remember reading a story in one of those waiting room kids' books (not Highlights -- it was a hard cover book, religious in nature -- maybe next to the Bible Story books?)

Anyway, this was a story about a little boy who was sick in the hospital. He was in great pain and very sick. He asked the nurse about a little boy who had been on his ward and who had also been very sick and the nurse told him that Jesus had come and taken him to heaven. She said that Jesus comes to the ward every night and takes children to heaven who are suffering too much.

He wants to know how he can get Jesus to take him since he is suffering so awfully and the nurse tells him to raise up his hand in the night. He's too weak to raise his hand so they build a little pillow ledge on his bed and he rests his arm on it. Sure enough, Jesus, in the night, comes, and takes him because, he is suffering so greatly.

The illustration of that poor little boy with his arm raised up by the pillow haunts me still.

And for years after reading it I checked my bed every night for signs of anything that might cause my arm to raise up and accidentally signal Jesus to take me in the night.
posted by bovious at 12:51 PM on August 5, 2010 [18 favorites]


I was just thinking about how to ask an askme about things you did as a child that, today, would be seen as completely negligent of a parent to allow.

"Dear AskMe, I am writing a story set in the 1950's in which the protagonist's childhood chum is horribly injured while doing some mundane activity that was common at the time. What are some everyday activities from that time that were really dangerous?
posted by TedW at 12:51 PM on August 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


In case anyone wants me to bummerize all this for you (you're welcome!), I knew someone wonderful, who died trying to get out of a walk-in freezer that wouldn't open from the inside. Freaks me out to think about. Not quite the same as an abandoned icebox, but, related.
posted by Erroneous at 12:56 PM on August 5, 2010


Gene Gable is awesome! I have been reading his CreativePro columns for years. He has a great gift for dry humour (as well as a great treasure trove of knowledge). Nice to see him spotlighted.
posted by Calzephyr at 1:19 PM on August 5, 2010


I notice they do not propose any equivalent alternatives to hiding in a pile of leaves.
posted by Iron Rat at 1:43 PM on August 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hiding in a pile of money becomes awfully dear
posted by jtron at 1:57 PM on August 5, 2010


Every random pile of trash or boxes by the roadside is most likely an IED.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:03 PM on August 5, 2010


digsrus: "When I was a kid, a skull and crossbones on a bottle of something poisonous was pretty effective at making me stay clear. I can't even guess why it is no longer used."

When I was a kid, the skull-and-crossbones was being fazed out in favor of Mr. Yuck. The theory being that the jolly roger would tempt children into drinking rat poison in order to play pirates. I vaguely remember Mr Yuck stickers getting handed out in first grade or so. This was cool because, hey, free stickers! But even then it seemed like a very silly line of reasoning, but you didn't rock the boat because, again, free stickers! (I think most of mine ended up on my bedroom door.)
posted by Drastic at 2:20 PM on August 5, 2010


Phased out, rather. Also, Mr. Yuk, not yuck. I think maybe I played pirates too often.
posted by Drastic at 2:23 PM on August 5, 2010


I used to wonder about the Mr. Yuk thing too, because hey, news flash: Kids LOVE gross stuff. Garbage Pail Kids, anyone? Or Madballs? Those little round containers of snot-green slime you could buy at the gumball machines? Of course, that could just have been a product of the early-80s grossification of youth, also known as the Cabbage Patch Pushback.
posted by Gator at 2:31 PM on August 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Canada's official labeling system still uses the skull and crossbones for poison. Flammable is a big ol' bonfire, corrosive is a skeletonized hand inside a jar, and explosive is some broken bits and junk with lines radiating from it. It's a very orderly system, with road sign shapes to indicate severity (triangle, diamond, octagon).
posted by evilcolonel at 4:14 PM on August 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think more people should've been forced to read pamphlets like this as kids. On a regular basis I find myself just aghast at the carelessness of even supposedly intelligent people.

Leaving coffee makers on until they boil down to nothing... driving without a seat belt... spraying heavy cleaning chemicals near food... leaving stove burners on when out of the house... leaving candles burning while asleep... daring people to do back handsprings near the office paper cutter... (OK, so that last one was me. I didn't think it through... but the handspringer was OK.)
posted by limeonaire at 4:20 PM on August 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I read that initially as "Office Safety Manual" and was hoping that it was a link to something that would traumatize my children into staying away from the cubicle life, I was more than a little dissapointed to discover "dick & jane" disaster porn.
posted by jkaczor at 4:21 PM on August 5, 2010


I like how some of them don't give much explanation for the injuries, just that one kid broke his leg, the other lost an eye. I was looking forward to escalation where children's limbs would just be snapping for no good reason.

Bobby stayed home and read quietly, but that didn't help him--his leg shattered into a million pieces. Jenny made Mother a nice cake--and then her eyeballs popped out. Even the family dog cried.
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:42 PM on August 5, 2010


find me ONE instance in recorded history of a child putting wire on a kite.

Don't challenge me like this!

1906 boy and mother killed
1930 2 brothers killed
1934 2 killed
1936 boy knocked out
1940 2 boys killed in the Bronx
1949 boy killed
1961 11 year old boy killed
posted by interplanetjanet at 4:43 PM on August 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


Romie brought out his kite, and instead of the traditional cord it was equipped with a new magnet copper wire, a wire as fine and lighter than string but far lighter.

I guess modern materials science makes it a less popular pick now.
posted by Artw at 4:47 PM on August 5, 2010


Bobby stayed home and read quietly, but that didn't help him--his leg shattered into a million pieces. Jenny made Mother a nice cake--and then her eyeballs popped out. Even the family dog cried.
posted by Kafkaesque 2 ¼ hours ago [+]


And then one morning little Georgie woke up to discover he was a Beatle...
posted by TedW at 7:09 PM on August 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's like Struwwelpeter, only not written or drawn nearly as well.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:51 PM on August 5, 2010


MetaFilter: it's okay to get inside a refrigerator.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:01 PM on August 5, 2010


Bobious: that is *exactly* the story that traumatized me. Yes, it was "Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories." Horrible morality stories.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:12 PM on August 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I went to Catholic school up until 3rd grade and we had "religion class." This class mostly consisted of reading poorly written modern parables for moral lessons. There was this one story that deeply disturbed me, I think it was from 3rd grade. It was supposed to teach us about forgiveness, I guess. During a fight over a toy a sister had thrown sand into her brother's eye blinding him in that eye for life. The brother was understandably pissed. But the Dad in the story during the drive home from the hospital, so ten minutes after the kid finds out he's blind in that eye for life starts yelling at him for being mad at his sister. WHAT?! Your daughter is clearly a sociopath in need of psychological counseling and you're lecturing your son for getting in the way of her reign of terror? Doing. It. Wrong. Way to enable the cycle of abuse Parable Dad.
posted by edbles at 5:33 AM on August 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's fine to get inside a fridge.?

It occurs to me that I could be drunk, and staying at my parents' place, when I read that.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:06 AM on August 6, 2010


When going through my old books at my parents house, I found a nice British Railway version of this given to me at primary school in 1991. It was written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake and is pretty nice.

For the most part, the images are from just before the inevitable horrific accidents, although there is one surprised looking head separated from a body leaning out of a train window.

On cursory searching, I couldn't find any free images barring the cover, and some people seem to be selling it. Is there a good way to find out if it is ok to scan and share? (in the UK, of course).
posted by fizban at 8:08 AM on August 6, 2010


Don't play in abandoned iceboxes—they are death traps!

Police are pursuing a suspect, Australian, last seen babbling nonsense.
posted by spamguy at 2:28 PM on August 7, 2010


"Dear AskMe, I am writing a story set in the 1950's in which the protagonist's childhood chum is horribly injured while doing some mundane activity that was common at the time. What are some everyday activities from that time that were really dangerous?

Lawn darts. Well, we played with those back in the '70s. I loved them as did my step-brother, but they're dangerous as hell. I believe they're gone now or have been totally neutered.

Bobby stayed home and read quietly, but that didn't help him--his leg shattered into a million pieces. Jenny made Mother a nice cake--and then her eyeballs popped out. Even the family dog cried.

It is illustrating the futility of all effort - no matter how small - to rise above the din of mediocrity, which is proper to teach. It's good for children to realize life is an existential nightmare.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:46 PM on August 7, 2010


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