The Seanad passed a bill today to outlaw smoking in cars carrying children. It will, apparently, sail through the Dáil and become law. Thank God! It's about time!
But let's not be content with that. There's more we can do to ensure bad parents behave. So much more.
First, let's face it your kid only spends a short time in the car. What about the hours at home? We must ban smoking in the house so that no kid is subjected to all that second hand smoke where they live.
Next, now that they're breathing all right, what about getting them to eat right? We should outlaw, oh I don't know ... ice cream? Sweets? Cakes? Fast foods? Soda? What about ... all of it? Yeah, let's outlaw all of it. At least for children. Let's fine parents – and if they don't pay the fine, jail them – for giving goodies to their children.
Don't forget exercise. Let's fine parents who fail to get their kids moving. Parents should HAVE to send their kids out to run or bike (with a helmet of course – another potential fine).
Oh, and television. Any parent(s) who allows their children to watch more than 20 minutes of television a day should be fined, with stiffer penalties for repeat offenders. The state should ensure there are retina scanners in all video display devices so that the forces of goodness can monitor the parents, who are often too bad to monitor their children's television viewing /video game playing.
And, [related to the previous item] what about reading? Yes, let's fine parents who don't read to their younger children or who fail to get their kids to read when they're old enough. Reading is good for them, so let's force them to do it. Kids always enjoy reading once they get started (& once they have no alternative).
Oh, but let's be careful. We can't have them reading just anything. No, no, no. So much of what's out there is soooo unacceptable. Wrong ideas, etc. I mean, you have to get them reading, but don't let them read anything published before, oh, say, 2005. You just never know what dangerous ideas their young minds might absorb from some of that which for so long was passed off as literature. So, fines for any parents whose children are reading the wrong books.
I'm sure there are other measures we can take to protect our children from malignant parents. Let's get going. The State knows best!