Parents cannot weigh risks sensibly

posted in: Syndicated | 1

Parents are poor risk assessors

Parents are worried about all the wrong things when it comes to their children’s safety, Lisa Belkin writes in a New York Times column published Saturday. They constantly overestimate the danger of rare but highly publicized risks like school snipers, terrorists and strangers, when in fact the real risks to children come from car accidents, drowning and abuse — most often by people they know.

“It just goes to show how — and how poorly — we evaluate risk,” says Stier. “Because school shootings always seem to show up on the evening news, and even though such incidents are rare, parents tend to focus on such events.”

The most dangerous thing parents can do that puts their child at risk, according to the NYT article? Drive them anywhere.

ACSH newsletter, Sept 20 2010

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David Tribe is an applied geneticist, teaching graduate/undergrad courses in food science, food safety, biotechnology and microbiology at the University of Melbourne.