From birth, parents have a natural protective instinct to keep their children and family safe, but as they grow we lose more and more control as their children become more independent. Accidents will happen, but as safety ambassadors we can assist our children in their awareness and growth when it comes to being safe. During the summer months, parents have additional factors to consider with the warmer weather. Parks are open, swimming opportunities are more frequent and children begin to ride their bikes more.
So why do children at a young age have so many accidents? It’s because very young children are naturally curious and often absorbed in their own immediate interests and can be oblivious to their surroundings. Children learn more about the world they live in by interacting with the things around them through their senses. They love to touch, feel, taste and explore. Young children have a limited perception of the environment because of their lack of experience or development. They are not aware of the consequences of the many new situations that they will encounter daily.
Some of the most common reasons for children’s accidents are attributed to the following:
- Small physical physique – This may prevent a child from seeing above an obstruction or being seen by an adult. Bumps happen in groups at the park or at the swimming pool.
- Inquisitiveness – Curiosity and a “spirit of adventure” may lead a child into situations of danger as they might often do the unexpected as they attempt to learn how things work or operate.
- Bravado or horseplay – Boys are particularly prone to accidents as they are often more “physically” active. They also tend to show off, often over reaching their abilities, especially among friends. Many accidents are caused by horseplay during rougher play
- Inexperience – A child’s interpretation of a situation may be inaccurate. As adults who look after small children, we should be cautious not to expect too much of them or believe they are mature enough to be able to complete a required task.