Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Worry about this, instead

According to a story on NPR, parents worry about all the wrong things when it comes to protecting their children from possible causes of death.Quoting from the story:
"These worries that we have are so rare," says Christie Barnes, mother of four and author of The Paranoid Parents Guide. "It’s like packing a snow shovel in case it snows in Las Vegas."
  Ms Barnes surveyed a number of parents and found that these are the things that they worry about for their kids:
  1. Kidnapping
  2. School snipers
  3. Terrorists
  4. Dangerous strangers
  5. Drugs 

But here is the list of causes of childhood mortality:
  1. Car accidents
  2. Homicide (usually committed by a person who knows the child, not a stranger)
  3. Abuse
  4. Suicide
  5. Drowning
I don't want to make light of anything that others worry over.  We all have our own demons.  But milk-carton evidence aside, you really don't hear of many children being kidnapped, and the snipers, terrorists and dangerous strangers are pretty much held at bay by the defenses we have in place...the armed forces and the police.  As a non-parent, but someone who loves kids, I don't know the best way to direct them to a life free from drug dependency, except to show them pictures of Sid Vicious
Sid:He didn't get the joke
or Alan Wiggins.
So much talent, wasted.
Teach the kids to deplore wastes of talent, of life itself.

And parents can allay their fears of the things that really harm the children by driving safely, protecting them from abusers (and believing them when they say they are being abused) and getting them psychological help as needed.  Again, I'm no expert, but no one balks at taking the kid to the doctor when they have a sprained wrist or ankle.  There is help available for their sprained soul, if needed.

And number 5 - drowning - I just read this summer that the old saw about not going in the water for half an hour after eating is not valid.  Great!  We are all entitled to lots of half-hours in the pool, creek, bay or ocean.  Adult Swim!

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