Top 10 Mind-Blowers: Babies and Toddlers


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Babies Are Tough as Nails
Gustave Dore/©Lebrecht Music & Arts/Corbis

We've established that babies and toddlers are skull-windowed, sponge-brained, tooth-faced, psychedelic monsters intent of usurping our rule. But here's one final bit of mind-rending horror: They're tough as nails.

I'm not saying babies and toddlers are bulletproof or anything, but they're also nowhere near as fragile as we often believe. Remember, we birth them by squeezing their flexible skull through a tube of muscle and invading bacteria. In no time at all they're ready to endure a world of bumps and bruises.

Their bones are more flexible than ours and they boast more of them, making toddlers better able to absorb impact. Plus their extra fat cushions their falls and provides stored energy for lean times. They're even better suited to emotionally handle stressful times than adults.

As related by Steve Kux and Geoff Lee over at Sketch Science ("sketchy" as in drawings), children between the ages of 2 and 6 have one of the highest survival rates of any age group.

We could not stop them if we wished.


About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.