26 May 2011

Things for parents to worry about

According to a report on NPR (http://ow.ly/2zOp5) parents worry about the following the most:
1.   Kidnappings
2.   Drugs
3.   Terrorists
4.   Dangerous strangers
5.   Drugs

Yet, according to NPR, what they really should worry about are:
1.   Car accidents
2.   Homicides
3.   Abuse
4.   Suicide
5.   Drowning

According to Christie Barnes, the author of The Paranoid Parents Guide, parents worry a lot about things that are really not likely to happen.  Perhaps the prevalence of immediate news these days has something to do with it; we can get information immediately about events.  While this may be helpful, often it is unfiltered and some of the information is not correct. 

While certainly there are bad people out there doing bad things, we need to keep things in perspective.  The chances of a child being kidnapped or hurt by strangers are relatively low; interestingly, there is a greater likelihood of danger  from someone known by the child.  There is a greater likelihood of a child being killed by a family member than by a stranger. 

Barnes recommends the most important things a parent can do to keep a child safe – have him/her use a helmet when riding a bike and seatbelt use serve as the greatest preventer of children being hurt; yet how often do we still see children who are not buckled in and riding in cars?

Concern and worry are natural in today’s world – and in some ways have always been; but we need to worry about those things more likely to happen.

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