There is so much for parents to worry about when they're raising a toddler; sharp corners and electrical sockets, heavy objects, glass--anything that isn't nailed down, really. But The Bump, an online community created by the founders of the popular wedding planning site The Knot, thinks that mothers of seventeen-month-olds need to add pit bulls to that list.
The Bump bills itself as a site aimed at giving "first-time parents the lowdown on fertility, pregnancy, birth, and babies with stage-by-stage advice, stylish ideas, local resources, and interactive tools." In a monthly informational email sent to subscribers, the company sent an email to mothers of seventeen-month-olds, which included the following text:
"By now your toddler has tons of new tricks, like opening every cabinet door in the house, chucking his toys across the room, stripping off his diaper, and shrieking like a banshee. You might also find that he is either terrified of dogs and strangers or shows absolutely no fear at all. Either way is fine, as long as you offer support and supervision -- and steer clear of pit bulls."
Pit bulls are no more dangerous than any other type of dog, but spreading fear and misinformation can be. Insinuating that moms should "steer clear of pit bulls" could lead to a perception that it's perfectly acceptable to leave a child unsupervised with other breeds and types of dogs, which it isn't. And by perpetuating breed myths, The Bump could cause family dogs to lose their homes.
Tell The Bump to issue a retraction to the subscribers who received the email. Pit bulls, toddlers, and their parents deserve better.
Photo credit: Jennifer Lee