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Kidsafe urges parents to let children take risks
The Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia (Kidsafe) is urging over protective parents to let their children take acceptable risks while at play, suggesting that a risk adverse children risk a life of low self-esteem, obesity, poor co-ordination and stifled mental development.
Launching National Kidsafe Day, which is marked today (Tuesday 21st October), Sunshine Coast University Psychologist Dr Rachel Sharma said the long-term effects of children unused to risks would be a generation of “psychologically fragile" children lacking in confidence in their problem solving and with poor coping skills in the face of failure.
Dr Sharman explained “in today’s increasingly risk-adverse world, we are creating a generation of psychologically fragile children by withholding from them the opportunities to take risks, learn from their mistakes, innovate and problem-solve in the face of challenge and failure.”
Dr Sharman said “from a psychological perspective" children are stimulated by feeling in control of themselves and most preferred to choose activities that appealed to them.
She added “genuinely challenging play-based experiences is the beginning step on a much longer pathway, in teaching children how to confidently and competently negotiate life’s trials and tribulations."
Kidsafe NSW Project Officer Kay Lockhart said there would be “bumps and tears along the way" but children needed to be challenged.
Lockhart stated “we’ve seen that (over-protective parenting) has increased in recent years.
“We need to break those parents out of that and let them take those risks and challenges."
However, Ms Lockhart said there were limits and it was up to parents to establish what was an acceptable risk and what was clearly dangerous, adding “it might be about setting rules such as that tree is not safe to climb but this one might be okay."
Lockhart also highlighted the costs of childhood obesity, referring to a longitudinal study of Australian children found that being overweight at the age of four to five was associated with significantly higher medical and pharmaceutical costs for children in their first next years at school.
The aim of National Kidsafe Day is to increase awareness of unintentional childhood injuries and their prevention, as well as the valuable work of Kidsafe - the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia, in public education, advocacy and research into the causes and prevention of unintentional childhood injury.
The Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards will also be announced during National Kidsafe Day 2014.
9th August 2014 - KIDSAFE LAUNCHES 2014 NATIONAL PLAYSPACE DESIGN AWARDS
30th May 2014 - KINGS PARK EXPERT ADVISES THAT RISK IS GOOD FOR CHILDREN
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