Monday, September 20, 2010

The Wrong Dangers?

Lisa Belkin, NY Times columnist, debates whether parents are focusing on thee wrong dangers, in her article Keeping Kids Safe from the Wrong Dangers:
we seem all the more determined yet befuddled when it comes to the safety of our children. For instance, the five things most likely to cause injury to children up to age 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are: car accidents, homicide (usually at the hands of someone they know), child abuse, suicide or drowning. And what are the five things that parents are most worried about (according to surveys by the Mayo Clinic)? Kidnapping, school snipers, terrorists, dangerous strangers and drugs.

Since I agree that driving is the most dangerous activity we expose our kids to, I essentially agree with the following:
“The least safe thing you can do with your child, statistically, is drive them somewhere,” said Lenore Skenazy" ...yet every time we put them in the car we don’t think, ‘Oh God, maybe I should take public transportation instead, because if something happened to my kid on the way to the orthodontist I could never forgive myself.’ ”

However, I cannot agree with the following logic:
... last week’s link between teenage football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy... So far, there is only one case... you can’t really make a recommendation based on one case. So it’s up to a young player’s parents to decide.

It isn't one case, it is several. Tau proteins do not magically enter the brains of 18-year-old athletes, and they do not magically enter the brains of former NFL players. Rather, they represent a reaction to repetitive, unnatural forces to the head.

Do you think former NFL player Matt Bowen is worrying about the wrong dangers?
I can deal with (the headaches) now, but 10 years, 20 years down the road? That's when I can tell you if it was worth it.

Was it really worth it? Back when I was still playing football, I would say yes. Sharing a locker room with players such as Brett Favre, Marshall Faulk and Kurt Warner is special.

But now, as a husband and father who has headaches at the age of 35, I can't give you an answer. I'm too scared.

Shouldn't parents be concerned that their kids may not be able to be parents themselves?