Magazine article USA TODAY

Don't Stop at "Don't Do That Again!"

Magazine article USA TODAY

Don't Stop at "Don't Do That Again!"

Article excerpt

Two kids climb into an empty shopping cart and launch themselves down a hill. If you are an adult, you can imagine what happens next; if you are six and trying to impress your little brother, not so much. What do you think mom and dad say when the showoff ends up in the emergency room? You guessed it: "Don't do that again!"

A study at the University of Iowa, Iowa City--published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology--has found that is exactly how most parents respond when their child lands in the emergency room if others--including siblings--are involved in the incident. However, if a child's injury is caused by some environmental hazard--a crack in the sidewalk or a hole in the road--parents are more likely to caution their children to be more careful and, if the child is older, help him or her understand why the situation was dangerous. The study also found that parents are far more likely to urge daughters than sons to be more careful in the future.

Researchers indicate it is these types of conversations parents have with their children after a serious injury that help young people internalize safety values, a process similar to how a child develops a conscience. …

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