Every year hundreds of thousands of children are seriously injured by hazards in their homes, schools, and communities. In an effort to reduce those numbers, our governments have established laws and guidelines to adapt our environments so that most hazards are controlled for our protection.
Yet, in spite of these worthwhile steps, from year to year we have not seen a significant reduction in the number of children admitted to hospital for treatment of serious injuries.
The main reason for most serious injuries is that the person injured either did not recognise the hazard, or wrongly believed that the hazard could not or would not harm them. By having every hazard in our lives legally controlled, and by wrapping our children in “bubble wrap”, we have contributed to a generation which does not have a properly developed sense of risk and safety. In other words, health and safety is no longer common sense.
Even though it is good to have laws to protect the innocent and the ignorant from harm, our children are not going to be properly protected until we once more raise them with the common sense of safety. To do this we must return to basics: teaching our children to identify hazards around them, how those hazards are controlled, under what circumstances those hazards could hurt them, and how the likelihood or severity of harm can be minimised.
Let’s Go Hunting for Danger Monsters introduces children to the ten main types of hazards, and asks you the adult to work with the children to identify those hazards at home, in the garden, at school, and in the community.
Depending on the age of the children, we recommend that you work through the hazards at a suitable rate to help them absorb and reflect on all the information, e.g. one Monster a week.
The reason we call the hazards Monsters is to help children make the connection that a hazard is something which CAN hurt them, and WILL hurt them if it is not properly controlled. The goal is not to make children afraid of hazards, but to arm them with both respect for each hazard, and a measure of common sense to enable them to minimise risks to themselves wherever they go and whatever they do.
Realistically, we cannot always be there to protect our children from harm. Even if we wrap them in cotton wool and sterilize every surface they come in contact with, too soon they will be teenagers and young adults having to face the hazards alone. If we will not train our children to protect themselves from hazards, we put them in the position where they are more likely to be seriously harmed, permanently disabled, or even killed.
Disclaimer Please note that the resources and information provided on this site are general in nature. It therefore remains your responsibility to ensure that it is suitable for you and your children to apply.
This site and the Danger Monsters book were developed by Promote Safety. There are many free resources on their web site too which you can look through for ideas for talking to your kids about Danger Monsters.
Click on the Promote Safety image to open that site in a new window.