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Journal Article


Stanwick RS. Inj. Prev. 2015; 21(4): 289-290.


(Copyright © 2015, BMJ Publishing Group)






From time to time, conventional wisdom is subjected to scientific scrutiny and challenge with occasionally surprising results. Change came after a scientifically sound association was observed between sudden infant death (SID) and the old conventional wisdom of placing infants on their tummies to sleep. The resulting American Academy of Pediatrics Back to Sleep campaign was associated with a clinically and statistically large reduction in the rate of SID. ‘Conventional wisdom’ had been reversed and this feat is now celebrated as a major accomplishment.

The paper, 'Can child injury prevention include healthy risk promotion?' challenges 'conventional wisdom that the installation of scientifically proven energy-absorbing surfaces beneath playground structures reduces injuries.* The authors argue that safer playgrounds are an impediment to normal child development and active play. This view enjoys a following in the popular press and may appeal to the segment of society convinced that 'natural is better'––ranging from drinking unpasteurized milk to not getting immunized. t is healthy for conventional wisdom to be challenged. Those adopting the authors’ viewpoint can point to instances where some schools or playgrounds have suppressed all normal childhood play on the grounds of safety. But these authors have not indicated how much risk parents should be willing to accept to facilitate healthier play, that is, the amount of risk to be encouraged versus the severity of consequences, should things go wrong....

*Brussoni M, Brunelle S, Pike I, et al. Can child injury prevention include healthy risk promotion? Inj Prev Published Online First: 22 Dec 2014 doi:10.1136/injuryprev-2014-041241 doi:10.1136/injuryprev-2014-041241

Language: en


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