Won't anybody think about the children?

Via NPR,

Based on surveys Barnes collected, the top five worries of parents are, in order:
• Kidnapping
• School snipers
• Terrorists
• Dangerous strangers
• Drugs

Terrorists? Snipers? Really? What the hell is wrong with this country?

But how do children really get hurt or killed?
• Car accidents
• Homicide (usually committed by a person who knows the child, not a stranger)
• Abuse
• Suicide
• Drowning

Car accidents are definitely my biggest fear, so I guess I'm… realistic? That's depressing. 


  1. So how do you protect your child from your friends and associates?

    Easier to focus on the "other" than acknowledge the fact that your day care provider's loser brother-in-law is probably the one who will molest your children.

    Statistically, I'm the person most likely to kill my wife. So, she'd be safer if I left her, right?

  2. Anonymous10/9/10 07:20

    Wow. Both of those lists bother me in ways.

    Terrorists? Really? Was this survey taken in NYC or high urban populations? I can't imagine some parent is sitting in a field in Kansas watching the sky for terrorist activity. Wouldn't they be more afraid of the tractor?

    At this point, having a teenager, I'm more concerned for bad judgment on the part of my daughter, which makes car accidents and jumping off a bridge because her friends did my biggest concerns.

  3. Even if it is marginally "easier" to focus on the fantastical school sniper, it's not healthy, either.

  4. stardate06259412/9/10 15:31

    What the hell is wrong? In brief: read "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker. It's an oldie, but a goodie; I can really get behind a lot of what he says. In not-so-brief: what people decide to be afraid of is often shaped by The News, and they forget that The News is mostly concerned about profit. Therefore, only stories deemed "sexy" enough get a lot of air time. Kidnapping, school snipers, terrorists, and drugs are sexy. Drowning and abuse are not. Suicide is only sexy if it's part of a school sniper or terrorist story. Car accidents are way too common to warrant any attention at all unless there's a multi-car pile-up or some great visual footage of something unusual. As for stranger-danger versus non-stranger: people simply don't want to believe that someone they know could harm their child. Oh we silly humans! So willing to not see things as they really are, and as Safety Neal says, easier to focus on the "other" than acknowledge that we might have to change our own behavior or ways of thinking. (Jason: I wouldn't be depressed. Anyone who lives in a town like ours should be very aware of the importance of driving defensively. That's just being smart.)


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