Parents encounter risks on a daily basis and for the most part, we’re able to decide whether to accept or avoid them (should you really drive to the grocery store with your gas tank empty?). But when it comes to the kiddos, parents can easily confuse “risks” with “hazards,” especially when it comes to play.
For a clearer comparison, Dr. Mariana Brussoni, a mom and Developmental Psychologist at UBC, breaks it down: “A hazard is something a child does not or can not see. A risk is a challenge a child can see and chooses to undertake or not.” As parents our job is to keep our kids safe from hazards and help them learn to safely manage and evaluate risk.
Take cycling for example, bike season is upon us and while there are both risks and hazards involved in biking, it’s one of the most important and memorable activities of childhood. It’s up to us as parents and caregivers to reinforce safety and help kids identify the right conditions where they can accept challenges safely and confidently.
Parachute, a charitable organization that focuses on keeping Canadians safe through education and awareness of predictable and preventable injuries, wants families to participate in Safe Kids Week by getting outdoors and biking together to help promote cycling and road safety in communities across Canada.
From making sure that both you and your child are wearing bike helmets that are properly fitted and worn correctly, to using designated bike routes and doing regular bike checks – being a cycling safety role model is as easy as riding a bike!
Make sure to check out Parachute for more tips on how to be a cycling safety role model, as well as additional resources for Safe Kids Week. Interested in hosting a Safe Kids Week in your community? Take a look at Parachute’s online toolkit and use their resources to raise awareness in about safe cycling and safe roads.
And tune back in next week when we’ll have some more cycling safety tips and ideas!
Parachute Canada Safe Kids Week: www.parachutecanada.org/safekidsweek