Can child injury prevention include healthy risk promotion?


To reflect on the role of risk-taking and risky play in child development and consider recommendations for the injury prevention field, a symposium was held prior to the November 2013 Canadian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference. Delegates heard from Canadian and international researchers, practitioners and play safety experts on child development, play space design and playground safety, provision of recreation, and legal and societal perceptions of risk and hazard. The presenters provided multidisciplinary evidence and perspectives indicating the potential negative effect on children’s development of approaches to injury prevention that prioritise safety and limit children’s opportunities for risky play. Delegates considered the state of the field of injury prevention and whether alternative approaches were warranted. Each presenter prepared a discussion paper to provide the opportunity for dialogue beyond attendees at the symposium. The resulting discussion papers provide a unique opportunity to consider and learn from multiple perspectives in order to develop a path forward.

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