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How Safe Are Your Children?

Article By: MAmberConrad

Are you watching out for your children?

Submitted:Oct 4, 2008    Reads: 142    Comments: 2    Likes: 2   

How Safe Are Your Children?
I sit outside on the steps, a cup of hot tea in hand. The air is beginning to cool. My kids are riding their bikes up and down the driveway. Christina is chasing her sister. Laughter echoes in the neighborhood. They are sisters, true to their form. I know the love they have for each other, and I know the sibling rivalry all too well from having two sisters of my own.
Down the road, I hear a 4-wheeler revving up the engine. Within seconds, he's driving past our road, probably just under the speed limit -which is 25 mph. He wears a baseball cap on his head and wears shorts. He's only seven years old. I also notice that his parents are not outside.
Millions of questions pop into my head. Do they know that their son is outside? Do they know he's on the 4-wheeler alone? Do they know he's not wearing a helmet for the safety of his precious head? And yet, the most important question, Do they know how safe he is?
In these days, I see many small children under the age of 12 playing outside alone with no adult supervision. We teach our kids about stranger danger. We teach our kids about safety. But nothing beats just being out there with our kids.
Researchers at the University of Arkansas said that, based on 500 case histories of young people treated after ATV(4-wheeler) accidents, children younger than 16 should be barred from riding the vehicles. "ATV use by children is intrinsically dangerous because of the instability of the vehicles and the small size of children," they said in a statement. About a fourth of all U.S. ATV deaths - 120 in 2005 - involved kids under the age of 16. An estimated 40,000 small children were treated in emergency rooms that year for ATV-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The American Academy of Pediatrics also is on the record favoring barring ATV use by those younger than 16.
So, I ask you these questions: Do you know where your children are? Do you know how safe they are?


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