Monday, July 24, 2006

Shocking: Parents are Over-Protecting their Kids

Our cotton-wool kids
Most parents in their late thirties and forties will remember the great summer of ’76: Elton John and Kiki Dee were at the top of the charts, the weather was so hot that the Government appointed a Minister for Drought, most kids had a Chopper bike. And in that year a total of 668 children (0 to 15 year-olds) were killed on the roads in England and Wales, either in cars or as pedestrians.
Now let’s compare that with today. In 2004 (the most recent figure available from the Department of Transport) the number of 0 to 15 year-olds killed was 166 — a reduction of 75 per cent. Such fatalities and serious injuries have been falling consistently since the 1970s, thanks largely to better car safety features, child seats and road design. Nevertheless, many parents are convinced that the roads are more hazardous than in their day because there is “more traffic” and “people drive faster”.
The fear of a third person attacking or killing children has increased dramatically. Thirty years ago around half of parents would cite stranger danger as a serious fear: now it is more than 90 per cent.

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