Originally Posted by aran
CDC web site
:Number of average annual deaths per 100,000 people due to accidents (excludes motor vehicle accidents)
Year span.......< 1....1-4...5-14
What can you take away from these data? Either:
(1) gee, kids are safer now so we should loosen up. OR
(2) wow, all that safety consciousness has really helped, let's keep it up!
A previous poster offered a third option, that death from injury is far less likely to occur now or in the most recently listed year of this example than in the earlier years. Also general safety, emergency response and knowledge of first aid/CPR/etc... trained neighbours has increased. I don't know how many people were certified for such things in the earliest mentioned years, but now almost everyone has to have it here, at least, to have a job. From counselors to cleaning crew leaders to babysitters and grocery store managers. This training is so widely available and inexpensive (though out of range for many still, I do understand) that most people who endure an injury anywhere near other people, will probably receive immediate care before even medics arrive. This is a pretty significant social change and one that would definitely impact the statistical outlook, imo.
I have another option, too. What if the number of deaths has decreased due to children doing less on their own and little else has actually affected the stat? They aren't doing anything because they are not allowed to, but if they were, the stat would remain somewhat similar? Maybe we are all doing a better collective job of preventing deaths in children in all but the most dire and unavoidable cases. The reason I wouldn't lump this in with option 2 is that maybe even though we've managed to decrease deaths, we've also decreased the quality of life, development, and freedom of our children. I'm not concluding that we have, just that it is a possibility.
I disagree that children who do not have the opportunities to make decisions about where they will go and what they will do will somehow suddenly have the understanding necessary to do so at a later time, or that this is innate.
It would seem that no matter when the free-ranging starts, they will have the same lessons to learn. It is easily argued that this isn't so imperative at very young ages, but instead increasingly as children mature, rather than, 'well, you're crawling, so off you go! See ya later!"
So, my 3 oldest children free-range, but we have chosen to live in remote places where the range itself is very safe, if not counting the wild animals, but we choose the peril of animal encounters over the common perils of city-life. So, it would seem that I may be of two minds about this, but really, I've just found a way to manipulate my life to accommodate my ideals in this way.
I could easily have died on several occasions as a free-ranging child, and had multiple abduction attempts that could have ended badly- two of which would have landed me in the hands of criminals who were later captured but not before they had killed several little girls. I avoided them by running, learning to walk facing traffic, yanking my arm from the grip of a man (on several occasions actually) and choosing to take routes that I felt were safer.
HOWEVER!!! This free-ranging didn't even seem to give me the requisite wisdom to avoid such things later as a teenager and still even later as a young woman. I'm not even sure that now, had I not purposed to regain my instinctual awareness (which had been badly tampered with by my parents during my childhood), that I would be any better off free-ranging as an adult.
Otoh, I also know people who were very protected as children, very limited in their 'ranges' and they do seem to have a better grasp on dangers than I did, but they also had parents who protected them out of genuine concern which was evident in every other aspect of their upbringing. I was free-range, but in EVERY way, which meant some unenforced/able and incoherent rules and otherwise no guidance.
My children free-range within a large and safe perimeter and I am a very attentive mum, so they have freedom limited to what they each can handle, and presently our eldest has been maturing so quickly that his range has been drastically increased in the last few weeks, and they have the guidance they want and need as well. I err on both sides all the time, and that's because I'm a free-range mama and making mistakes and learning from them is part of the territory, no matter how free.
I guess I had no idea that there was a movement or definition for FR until this thread, so I'll happily count myself in the same way I do with HSers, Free-birthers, libertarians and whomever else with whom it may be possible to relate something of value to us, of whatever sort, and not feel obliged to justify it.
Free range to me can exist within a limit, but to be free
and not just range
, that limit should extend beyond the capacity of the child just enough to let him/her learn and grow without hindrance. I am confident that this looks different for almost everyone.