Vorpal wrote:Peter F wrote:Such a sad story, but my first thought was not about the helmet strap. This could just have easily been an item of clothing. How do strangulation by helmet straps stats compare to similar incidents not involving helmets.
But no, my first thought was what was a 4 year old doing playing out without an adult? Seriously? This isn't a "wrap your kids in cotton wool" thing either. When I was 4 back in the late 70s I wouldn't have been playing out without an adult there. Kids of that age have no sense of danger and need adult supervision. I have a 4 year old and there is no way he would be playing out with friends without me or my wife or another adult being present.
How old before he is allowed to play out on his own?
My kids were allowed to play out once I was confident that they understood & could follow the limits set (stay in the garden; don't go near the street, etc.) They were within hearing, and I could see them out the window. My oldest did climb up & fall out of a tree once, though she was not seriously injured. My youngest was more likely to do something potentially dangerous when there was a parent around. I think that when we were there, he tended to rely on what we told him, and when we weren't he thought about it for himself.
How to keep children safe is a very interesting subject, as it involves two kinds of humans (adults & children) interacting and developing a relstionship that has to deal with not just human behaviour but (in the case of a child) rapidly changing human behaviour in which one is supposed to become as skilled as the other (i.e grow up).
It's also illustrative of risk compensation psychology. As you mention, "My youngest was more likely to do something potentially dangerous when there was a parent around". In practice, I discovered the same; and that children asked to deal with dangers themselves became far more reliable at doing so - and therefore safer - than those closley supervised, who never themselves learn any form of mental risk assessment before acting.
An illustrative anecdote.... (yes, I know, anecdotes) .....
A friend was extremely paranoid about danger to his children from cars, even though they lived in a cul-de-sac. He would scream at them and impose some form of punishment if they so much as stepped off a kerb into the road. As a result, they had no skill development concerning traffic.
Of course, they got older and eventually escaped the cul-de-sac for a wander about. Inevitably one gor knocked over by a car, basically because he had no skill at assessing the danger they presented, He didn't know how to cross a road. Luckily it was a minor hit albeit requiring some hospital treatment.
It's an old story, this one. Kids in cotton wool end up being in far more danger than the other sort as they grow up. They never learn to assess or deal with various dangers until one day they have to and can't.
The syndrome is central to the whole cycling helmet debate (and perhaps that of other safety aids in many domains besides cycling). There is no doubt that protection from harm via a device detracts from the user's ability to assess and deal the associate dangers themselves. If the device fails or ir awarded far more ability than it actually possesses.....