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Researchers Find that Autopilot Parenting Contributes to Injuries to Children and Minors

Research has show that many individuals complete tasks on autopilot – without thinking about them – and this may place children at risk of serious injury. According to the study created for the Child Accident Prevention Trust less than half of parents store cleaning products safely or move hot drinks away from children, simply not thinking of the dangers. The study surveyed 5000 parents and found that 25% could not remember stopping at traffic lights. Another 50% had to turn back to remember whether they had locked the door.

According to the researchers, much of the problem is that people have so much to remember, that many simply function of autopilot just to get through the day. Katrina Phillips, the chief executive of the Child Accident Prevention Trust, says that the study results actually show that parents can keep their children safer – simply by creating safety routines that become part of autopilot. When safety habits are second nature, parents will automatically do the safe thing, reducing the risk of injuries and accidents. There are many ways that parents can do this:

1) Make it a habit to put away cleaning products as soon as you are done cleaning. This way, there is less risk that a child will open the product. Store cleaning products high, where children cannot get at the items.

2) Get into the habit of placing hot beverages (such as coffee) in higher places, where young ones can’t reach. This will mean that children are less likely to suffer Florida burn injuries caused by hot liquids. After a while, it will become second nature to look for a higher shelf to set down your coffee.

3) Close the safety gate behind you quickly as soon as you walk through one. According to Dr. Pat Spungin, a parenting psychologist, repeating an action regularly allows it to become a habitual behavior. While learning the behavior may require some thinking at first, it will soon become a behavior done on autopilot.

4) Open windows at the top and push furniture away from windows. When opening a window, automatically secure it. Better yet, create safety features in your home – such as windows that only open at the top or windows that have installed safety bars which do not need to be removed – which do not require you to remember any safety precautions when opening a window. According to a study in Child Safety Week, 4,000 children are injured every year as a result of accidents involving windows. Falls usually prove fatal or result in serious Florida brain injuries or spinal cord injuries.


If your child has been injured and you believe the injury may be due to someone’s negligence or recklessness, call the Flaxman Law Group today to arrange for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. Our law team is located in Hollywood, Homestead, and Miami to serve the entire South Florida community.