Sun | Jul 25, 2021

Over-the-top gender-reveal parties are dangerous

Published:Tuesday | June 22, 2021 | 12:06 AM


Gender-reveal parties have become a growing trend since Jenna Myers Karvunidis held one in 2008, ahead of her daughter’s birth. However, these grand celebrations are quite unnecessary and potentially dangerous.

In 2017, for example, Dennis Dickey, an off-duty patrol agent in the US, pulled a daring stunt at his child’s gender-reveal party. He fired at a Tannerite-laden target which exploded, revealing the child’s gender, and subsequently igniting over 45,000 acres of grassland that extended to the Coronado National Forest. Dickey had to pay over US$8 million in restitution.

Another party in Iowa ended in a fiery and deadly explosion in 2019. Pamela Kreimeyer, a 56-year-old attendee and the grandmother-to-be, was struck and killed by a piece of shrapnel from the gender-reveal contraption used.

Still, other persons, like Mike Kliebert who precariously wrestled a 10-foot alligator for his child’s gender announcement, continue to engage in over-the-top stagings to herald their children’s birth.

Knowing the dangers of these events and the complications that can arise during pregnancy, I would suggest that safe and responsible festivities come after the baby’s birth and the mother’s recovery from the delivery.

Focus on nourishing and nurturing the foetus for now and avoid the fanfare, which can also be quite expensive for family and friends who must make multiple purchases for the different occasions.

Do not buy into the illusory social media hype and be sidetracked. A healthy baby and a safe delivery should be the focus right now; all else is secondary.