Mental Floss

Bulletproof Backpacks

Miss Cellania

With all the books, supplies, and clothing children need for back-to-school, this year's hot item is the bulletproof backpack. Ballistic Bookbags were developed by two Massachusetts dads, Mike Pelonzi and Joe Curran, and the number of units sold so far has been higher than they expected. At $175 each, they cost about ten times what I spent on backpacks this year. Is the paranoia inherent in this type of product worth it? The advertising video for Ballistic Bookbags is enough to give you nightmares.

You can't put a price on a child's life, but the odds of getting shot at school are about one in two million. Statistically, children are less likely to be murdered at school than anywhere else they go. My prediction is that sales of this product will be closely tied to any other occurances of school shootings. I almost added "and how much publicity it will get," but we can assume that any school shooting will receive maximum national exposure. If you go by actual odds, the most effective thing you can do to save your child's life is to teach them to look both ways before crossing the street, and to always make sure they buckle their safety belt in a vehicle. Accidents (mostly auto accidents) are still the number one cause of death for children over the age of one.