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How do I keep my child safe while letting him take risks?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
While you know that kids are at risk of severe injury from accidents, the number one cause of death and hospitalizations among kids, you also know deep down that you're putting them at even greater risk down the line if you don't allow them to take risks and understand what consequences may mean. The key is to expose your child to developmentally appropriate risks and provide sufficient support until he masters skills. Think of providing safety as giving your child training wheels for life: You let him ride all kinds of metaphorical bikes but provide training wheels until he learns how to ride on his own. For instance, when he first explores stairs, you follow behind him; when she first jumps off the edge of a pool, you catch her. It's better to teach your child to climb the stairs with you as a safety net, so that if you are looking the other way and he sneaks over there, he's better prepared.
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.