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What the hell have I done?


When the Beaver was growing up, Mr. Cleaver's biggest parental worry was whether the poor kid was queer or just extra tidy. These days, there's a whole slew of new problems.

  • Fifty toddlers drown in buckets every year
  • More than a quarter of boys living in cities are arrested before their 18th birthdays
  • One in 600 children has Down syndrome
  • One in 100,000 mothers will kill their children this year.
  • Every year, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome inexplicably kills 6,000 American babies less than a year old.
  • One in 10 kids eventually becomes drug or alcohol dependent
  • Almost two-thirds of kids currently between the ages of 5 and 17 will die at a relatively young age due to lack of exercise.
  • The risk of conceiving a child with serious abnormalities surpasses 5 percent when parents reach age 35
  • Seven toddlers in 1,000 are seriously injured by chains every year.
  • At least one in 2,000 babies will be born with genitals that aren't clearly male or female
  • One percent of pregnancies are "ectopic," or occur in the fallopian tubes, resulting in miscarriage or death
  • Infant mortality rates increase by more than 50 percent when the mother smokes.
  • Mothers with STDs may give birth to blind, retarded, brain-damaged or stillborn babies
  • About one in every 800 new mothers fall into a suicidal depression loaded with fantasies of harming their children
  • Nearly one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage
  • Cesarean sections are expected to account for 40 percent of births by 2001
  • As many as 3 percent of fetuses die as a result of a badly administered amniocentesis
  • There's a 14 percent chance a baby will be born seriously premature, resulting in hospital bills totaling as much as $200,000
  • About 10 percent of American fathers are caring for a child they think is theirs
  • A newborn boy has a 25 percent greater change of dying before his first birthday than his twin sister
  • There is a one in 100,000 change that a woman will have conjoined twins.
  • Roughly 70 percent of school kids find it far easier to buy drugs than cigarettes.
  • One in 100 kids will develop schizophrenia later in life.
  • The majority of parents claim to have been happier before they had children.

Source: FHM January-February, 2001

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Families with babies and families without babies are sorry for each other. - Edgar Watson Howe

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