Yesterday I was invited to speak about the Living Better With Less concept at a women's rural group.
A science teacher (ex or current, not sure) raised concerns about teaching people how to make soap. She was concerned that lye was a very hazardous chemical to have in the home.
Despite reassurances that all the proper cautions and protective wear was covered off in the class she continued to rant about the danger.
So despite the reassurance, her ongoing concern clearly suggested that housewives and mummies were not capable of following process and procedure. She had no trust or faith at all that parents could keep hazardous substances out of reach of children.
This is the kind of over-kill and fear that has started to over-take common sense.
Inventions like the tamper resistant cap and mandatory obvious warnings and internationally recognised poison symbols mean our awareness of the way we store and handle such products have come a long way. I can assure you that anyone taking my soap making class was left in no uncertain terms about the cautions and warnings.
Because something is potentially dangerous I don't think it should be removed from the home all together just locked away safely. There is no evidence to suggest that a person without a degree cannot learn procedure or process.
Our playgrounds for instance are becoming so sanitised that I don't think kids are ever going to learn about tumbles, falls and the lessons of being careful. I can still remember the play rules; "don't walk too close to the swing", "one at a time on the trampoline" and "get smartly off the slide when you get to the bottom".
Danger lurks everywhere.
And not in such obvious ways as the chemicals in our home.
What about the dangers we can't see?
Salmonella is a killer that we can't see. It is only by proper practices and procedures that we prevent it.
So where is the line on dangers in the home?
Should we take the potentially hazardous food preparation role from parents and leave it solely in the hands of manufacturers or qualified chefs?
Of course not.
Our role throughout our lives is to learn and to teach, not to be frightened and wrapped in cotton wool.