Texas has the most child drowning accidents of any other state, and Arnold & Itkin has been covering this topic as the summer months heat up. In the last month, we’ve discussed how adult cellphone use is linked to child drowning. However, many parents don’t consider one thing about children when it comes to pool safety: studies have shown that children are naturally inclined to place themselves in dangerous situations.
Why Children Place Themselves in Danger
According to psychological research, children play with risk to learn about survival. Risky play is seen in all mammals. Adolescent goats jump down dangerous slopes and leap high into the air. Monkeys swing between branches that are too high and far apart for their comfort or safety. Chimpanzees allow themselves to fall from branches and catch a lower one just before they would hit the ground.
Why do these creatures do this? For survival. Mammals risk injury so they can learn to regulate fear and anger. Scientists refer to this practice as the emotion regulation theory of play. Through risky play, a young mammal can learn how to deal with fear when it’s a situation they cannot control. By risking their own life purposely, they learn how to protect themselves under pressure.
Emotion Regulation Theory of Play & Drowning Accidents
Mammals like to take risks, and humans are no exception. Scientists have segmented the risks that children take into six main categories: great heights, rapid speeds, dangerous tools, dangerous elements, rough and tumble, and getting lost. When it comes to pool safety, the most important type of risk associated with humans is referred to as dangerous elements, such as deep water. So, when a child inexplicably walks toward a body of water, they could be entertaining an urge that is at the deepest core of who they are.
Because children are naturally prone to approaching bodies of water that could harm them, adults must take every step to ensure that bodies of water such as pools, lakes, rivers, and ponds are inaccessible to children without supervision. To protect children from themselves, they should never be left alone near water; pool fences create barriers that prevent accidents when no adult is nearby or watching.
If your child suffered because of a drowning accident, call Arnold & Itkin today for help. Our drowning accident lawyers are ready to talk when you call (888) 493-1629.