It’s Not All Mary Poppins



Here we have the components to turn a Klean Kanteen into a sippy cup. (Yes, they’re plastic, but I figure the water passing through a mouthpiece of plastic for an instant is better than the water stewing in plastic for hours. (And yes, you’re right, there is absolutely no good reason to spell those words with ‘K’.))

Apart from the spelling errors, they look innocuous enough though, don’t they? Ha! Like me, you were fooled. Possibly like me, you thought those little sticky things on either side were only to hold the container together. Shows what we know! Those little sticky things are WARNINGS.

warning label

actual life-sized warning label

If, like me, you were to (finally) notice, get curious, and peel back the tiny cover of that small label, you would find the following hysterical scare-mongering information:

For your child’s safety and health WARNING!

For my child’s safety? And health? I’d better keep reading! Only Bad Mommies ignore advice to ensure their child’s safety and health.

To enable you to better share the joy I experienced whilst reading this thing, I will reproduce it in the same format as best I can: very, very tiny and no paragraph breaks.

Before first use, clean the product. After every use, take all items apart, wash and rinse thoroughly. Sterilize using a Philips AVENT Sterilizer or boil for 5 minutes. This is to ensure hygiene. Always use this product with adult supervision. Continuous and prolonged sucking of fluids will cause tooth decay. Always check food temperature before feeding. Keep all components not in use out of the reach of children. Before each use inspect all items. Throw away at the first signs of damage or weakness. DO NOT warm contents in a microwave oven as this may cause uneven heating and may scald your baby. Wash your ands thoroughly and ensure surfaces are clean before contact with sterilized components. DO NOT use abrasive cleaning agents or anti-bacterial cleaners. Excessive concentrations of detergents may eventually cause plastic components to crack. Should this occur, replace immediately. Dishwasher safe. Food colorings may discolor components. For hygiene reasons, we recommend replacing spouts after 3 months. DO NOT allow child to play with small parts or walk/run while using bottles or cups. Drinks other than milk or water are not recommended. Magic Spouts are not suitable for hot, carbonated, or pulpy drinks. DO NOT use cups with spouts to mix infant formula as this may clog the non-spill valve and cause components to leak. Always ensure the valve is properly assembled. Magic Cups should only be used as an aid to help children progress to using ordinary cups.

There. Cross-eyed yet? Count your blessings. My WARNING!! label was a quarter that size. And my eyes, they are not so good with the fine print any more, even worse at the flipping back and forth between tiny print and large. (“Your next glasses,” the optometrist intoned at my last visit, “will be bifocals.”)

Where does one begin with such a wealth of information?

Should one be insulted that they suspect you don’t know that you should be washing your child’s drinking gear? Or perhaps I one will feel more like a living-on-the-edge rebel, because, though one cleans them daily, one only dismantles those damned things once a week? Should one diligently seek ways to carve out an extra twenty minutes a day for “Sippy Cup Inspection and Maintenance”?

Wash them? Don’t put lumpy goo in them? Throw them out when they’re broken? No carbonated drinks? (Carbonated drinks? As in pop? Helloooo… these are sippy cups. For toddlers.) How stupid do they think we are?

Silly question. They think we’re idiots.

Either that, or these are very, very dangerous sippy cups. And if so…

You’re planning on giving this thing to your toddler? Seriously? Put the sippy cup down, ma’am, and back away from the shelf. Please leave the store quietly, sir.

Oh, and before you leave, hand over the child. You’re obviously too stupid to be in charge of one.

September 14, 2009 - Posted by | food, health and safety, Mischief, random and odd | , , , ,


  1. Ah, yes, but you have to remember that this product is most likely from my country, the United States of America, where we slap comprehensive warning labels encompassing every possible scenario onto every product, in the likely event that someone will use said product incorrectly and then sue the manufacturer. So it’s not you, Canadians – it’s us. Either Americans are so stupid we can’t be trusted to properly use sippy cups without extensive instructions, or we’re just too quick to sue. Or maybe a little of both.

    Honestly, I am so sick of warning labels on everything in this country. And warning messages in commercials. And people’s greatest fear – that if they leave their child alone for two seconds without smothering parental supervision that child will be abducted (never mind the child in question is 13 years old). Sigh.

    While it’s certainly true that you have a far more litigious society than we do here in Canada, I don’t think you need take all the blame. That label was dutifully printed in French, too, as per Canadian requirements. And we here in Canada share the obsession with risk avoidance at all costs — including, it would seem, the cost of common sense and a teeny bit of perspective.

    Comment by Kiera | September 14, 2009 | Reply

  2. Case in point (from last Friday, no less!):

    Parents sue Dunkin Donuts over son’s hash brown burn

    Oh, good grief. There should be some kind of law against frivolous, time-wasting, court-plugging lawsuits. Isn’t there? (The term “barristry” springs to mind.)

    Comment by Kiera | September 14, 2009 | Reply

  3. Sadly, I have seen cola in both infant bottles and sippy cups (yes, being given to an older baby and a toddler).

    There are good mothers, and then there are others.

    Siiiiigh. I know you’re right. I once had a client who used to send her child to daycare once in a while with a zipper bag of Smarties “for breakfast”. But I can pretend, no?

    Comment by Diane | September 14, 2009 | Reply

  4. I use Klean Kanteens for the children in my charge. They have graduated now to the “Sport Tops” but used the sippy lids for a year or so. I did take them apart and handwash them nightly but, …I’ll let you know if I notice any retardation or mutant growth… LOL. Come visit the blog! I’ve been up to no good!:-)

    You weren’t sterilizing them daily? Bad, bad, bad… In my own defense, every Friday night the bottles get completely dismantled and thrown into a sink of bleach solution to soak for a couple of hours. Not only does it disinfect the bottles, but my sink stays shiny, shiny clean!

    Comment by Cole | September 14, 2009 | Reply

  5. I’m with Diane–I’ve seen a mom in the park give her toddler her own diet coke and a bag of shoestring potato chips.

    What’s a kleen kanteen? Is it a metal water bottle?

    Oh, I know those parents are out there. I just prefer to imagine they’re not, and everyone is as appalled by that idea as me… Yes, a Klean Kanteen is a stainless steel water bottle. I have half a dozen of them in different colours.

    Comment by Bridgett | September 14, 2009 | Reply

  6. I have a friend (and she’s a good one) who gave her children Coca Cola in their toddler sippy cups. I could say she was a brainless twit, but she’s not. She’s a doctor who graduated at the top of her class, is fantastic company and has lots of common sense. Except when it comes to parenting 😦

    Fortunately she chose to put her babies in care while she worked 🙂

    One of my closest friends has about as much sense when it comes to kids, too, and yet somehow we remain good friends. What I’m wondering is: what kind of medicine does your friend practice? I’m hoping young mothers aren’t coming to her for advice.

    Comment by Maisy | September 15, 2009 | Reply

  7. I knew someone who gave their toddlers coffee in their sippy cups. Granted, it was a very small amount of coffee and lots of milk, but do kids that little really NEED any caffine? These two sure didn’t!

    Comment by June | September 15, 2009 | Reply

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