So your kid’s a klutz. Or a daredevil, or daydreamer.

You're not going anywhere, kid. Pic: AFP

How many times have you had to rush to an emergency ward to check that sprained ankle, bruised knee or bump on the head?

When it comes to young children - especially those adventurous types who reckon they can climb higher, run faster and balance better than anyone else - hospital visits seem to be an inevitable part of parenting.

Child protection experts beg to differ. The Australian Institute of Family Studies, in a new report on what it refers to as “supervisory neglect”, says every accident can be prevented.

Parents just need to supervise their children properly.

The federal government’s family research agency has advised child protection officers to “not be too quick to classify a child as `accident prone’.”

Children with multiple accidental injuries should be classified as “high risk of neglect”, it says.

So now, on top of the gut-wrenching guilt that comes with carrying a crying child into an emergency ward, parents have to cope with acute paranoia as well.

Pity the mother of a rambunctious toddler who falls off a trike while she is trying to cook dinner, even though she has told him over, and over, and over to stay in the sandpit.

Or the father whose daydreamy daughter keeps getting bruises, walking into furniture or tripping over her own feet.

Child protection authorities need to be prosecuting genuinely neglectful and abusive parents, not persecuting the caring yet frazzled mums and dads who are doing their best, without eyes in the backs of their heads.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEST.

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    • Craig Minns says:

      06:16am | 07/09/12

      Spot on, well said.

    • Ken Oath says:

      06:23am | 07/09/12

      What a load of bullshit. When is the government going to stay out of people’s lives. Let kids have fun, get some life experience and some war stories too.

    • Jad Jones says:

      09:23am | 07/09/12

      In what way has the government got into anyone’s life here?  An agency has written a report.  Agencies write reports all the time.  It doesn’t mean that the government has suddenly taken up a ‘three bruises and you lose your kids’ policy.

      Your response is an over-reaction.

      If the government do respond to this report with legislation equating accidents with child abuse, then they are intruding too far.

    • Louie the Klutzy Fly says:

      06:58am | 07/09/12

      Agree totally.
      And what if the accident prone kid is the youngest of 4 rambunctious kids? Try supervising one of those 24/7.
      And what if, that accident prone kid is still falling off roofs, bikes, down stairs, over small dogs regularly, in their middle age?
      Maybe Louie’s mum should be interviewed right now.

    • aliburch says:

      07:02am | 07/09/12

      My brother - not abused by his parents - was always in the hospital from his “high risk” taking adventures - starting at 3 years old with a fall over a third storey balconey. At 50 years (yes fifty) he still ends up in hospital after falling off his bicycle or skateboard or football or ........

    • Ash says:

      10:29am | 07/09/12

      Well that’s what you get for standing on a football. Bound to injury yourself.

    • S.L says:

      07:17am | 07/09/12

      My 7 year old just recieved his first skateboard (not from me) so I’m expecting a lot of bark coming off in the future.
      If any childless DOCS worker with hairy armpits tries to stick their bib in while my son is waiting for treatment in casualty they will end up as a patient too!

    • Al says:

      08:58am | 07/09/12

      S.L - so you would be fine with a non-childless DOCS worker with shaved armpits to “stick their bib in while my son is waiting for treatment in casualty”?
      The other option is to insure your son wears the apporpriate safety equipment, in which case anything more than a bad graze will be unlikely (still possible to break bones of course due to way they land ect) and so will a trip to casualty.

    • Nick says:

      09:48am | 07/09/12

      All that will do is add to their concerns that you are an abusive person who can’t control their temper.

    • Kipling says:

      10:43am | 07/09/12

      Curiously enough, I need to clarify, are you referring to a female FACS (please try to get your acronyms right)? Not all FACS workers are female - I have been in and around the child protection industry for a couple of decades, I assure you, you would not find it quite so straight forward making me a “patient” too. There are a broad range of workers with wide ranging knowledge and skills in many areas of life. Sure, not all are good at what they do. To make physical threats or to (stupidly) believe you can carry them out without recourse or with impunity demonstrates a concerning level of ignorance as to what providing care and protection for your child should look like.
      All your statement would do in effect is set off major alarm bells and that my friend can and often does only end badly for the children in question.
      It may surprise many here (particularly those who could be bothered to read and comprehend) that removal is not seen as a positive outcome by many working in the field.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      10:43am | 07/09/12

      @S.L. I’m sorry but are you threatening violence towards another human being? No wonder our world is going to pot if people like yourself. Perhaps you should be investigated anyway as you seem to have a violent streak.

    • Anne71 says:

      12:27pm | 07/09/12

      S.L.,  So what happens if a hairy-armpitted DOCs worker with five kids sticks their bib in? You’ll accept their opinion Because They Have Kids And People With Kids Are Always Right?

      Like I always say - it’s one of life’s great ironies that you have to have a licence to keep a dog, but any idiot is allowed to go forth and multiply.

    • Reschs Monkey says:

      12:57pm | 07/09/12

      .....and what happens when junior turns 17 and receives his first motor vehicle (not from you of course). Will you be expecting a few limbs to come off?

      ...and if some childless police officers with hairy armpits attempt to arrest junior for negligent driving occasioning injury or death, will you belt the living crap out of them?

      The sensible and caring parent would do their utmost to ensure that risk and injury to their child is minimised by providing adequate supervision and education, as well as supplying suitable clothing and safety gear in the first place? S.L. on the other hand, is only interested in political point-scoring.

    • Arcadia says:

      06:59pm | 07/09/12

      Sorry, but what does the state of a DOCS worker’s armpits have to do with anything at all???  Your casual threats of violence seem more inappropriate than the hairiness of anyone’s armpits!

    • Al says:

      07:42am | 07/09/12

      I think that this proposal has been reported in a way to give ait an alarmist spin. As far as I can see it is:
      1) To try and identify children who may be being abused/neglected.
      2) Once identified a full investigation etc would need to occur before any charges were laid (or child removed from parental custody, or at least there would need to be ‘substaniated reasonable belief of an imment risk to the safety of the child’ and even then risking the costs of compensation if they were not latter upheld).
      Whilst I don’t agree with the huge interference in our private lives by government bodies, I just see the reporting around this as alarmist exageration.

    • acotrel says:

      08:55am | 07/09/12

      Of course you wouldn’t sue a promoter of an activity if you kid got injured ?

    • L. says:

      09:11am | 07/09/12

      I agree with Al..

      This story can be summed up as.. “All aboard the Outrage Bus’..

    • Al says:

      10:42am | 07/09/12

      acotrel - sorry?
      Was this meant to be for me?

      If so: “you wouldn’t sue a promoter of an activity if you kid got injured ? “
      It depends:
      1) If the promoter was negligent AND the likelyhood of injury foreseable.
      2) If I actualy had a child.

      I think this is mainly due to you not understanding what ‘imment risk’ means.
      Whilst there may not be an ACTUAL imment risk, as long as they can show a ‘substantiated reasonable belief of an imment risk’ (see that word ‘substantiated’ that means some evidence even if not actualy proven by the legal system, not just heresay. And ‘reasonable’, do I need to explain that?)

    • Hmmmmm says:

      02:46pm | 07/09/12

      Al wrote.
      “If so: “you wouldn’t sue a promoter of an activity if you kid got injured ? “
      It depends:
      1) If the promoter was negligent AND the likelyhood of injury foreseable.
      2) If I actualy had a child.”

      ^^ Above is the issue - if you agree to let your child go to X activity. Then it is your responsibility to know about the X activity and the risks associated. Not anyone elses.
      If I sign my kid up to a motorsport but do not check the track condition, cars safety, instructor quals and he plants it into a wall, thats my fault.

      Remember they are YOUR kids. You dont get to LOAN them out to someone else and then SUE when something happens.

      ( Well you do but thats the problem…....)

    • marley says:

      03:00pm | 07/09/12

      “Of course you wouldn’t sue a promoter of an activity if you kid got injured ? “

      Well now, that kinda depends on the activity, doesn’t it?  Where I come from, kids start playing ice hockey pretty young.  Hockey’s a contact sport, the ice is hard and the skate blades are sharp.  Guess what - kids fall down, they get knocked into the boards, they get hit by sticks or pucks, they get bruised and they sometimes bleed. 

      Would I sue the promoter?  Hell no.  It’s hockey, not tiddlywinks And while you can mitigate the risk of serious injury by dressing the kids in pads, mouthguards, helmets, etc, you cannot eliminate it.  The only way to eliminate the risk is not to let your kids play hockey.  Its your responsibility, not the promoters, to decide what level of risk your kids should be exposed to.

    • Tubesteak says:

      07:48am | 07/09/12

      They’re right. Every accident is preventable.

      This includes car accidents, workplace accidents, tripping over when I’m out on my morning run, accidently bumping into someone in the supermarket.

      It’s all preventable.

      But humans aren’t perfect and it’s inevitable that these things will occur. Only a numpty would think otherwise and try to classify these things as some form of serious neglect.

    • acotrel says:

      08:57am | 07/09/12

      You should read the ‘guide to managing risk in motor sport’ from Standards Australia.  I helped write it.

    • Jasmine says:

      11:45am | 07/09/12

      Every accident that is not prevented is….. an accident.
      Scientists should work on developing foresight in the human brain as a matter of urgency.

    • acotrel says:

      03:03pm | 07/09/12

      Can you define the difference between an incident and an accident ? It is difficult to sue God, but you are not immune as a promoter especially if you have no insurance cover.

    • LaDiva says:

      03:24pm | 07/09/12

      @ Jasmine

      Like in the film Minority Report.

    • Emergency Physician says:

      07:49am | 07/09/12

      Storm in a teacup.  Multiple emergency department presentations has been a reason to think about neglect for many years.  The vast majority of the time, you consider it, decide it’s not and that’s game over.

    • Elle says:

      08:04am | 07/09/12

      This has certainly been my experience. Multiple repeated trips into emergency with my daredevil son who has a file as thick as my arm. (No files at all for my more peaceful daughters.) Doctors have questioned and assessed situations. And then simply helped heal when they realise I am just another parent just juggling it all.

    • Hairy-armpitted Social Worker says:

      10:25am | 07/09/12

      Thank you. It would be neglectful *not* to at least look at why a child is repeatedly injured. This is just poorly thought through article designed to provoke a response.

      Which I’ve just fallen for. Damn.

    • daf says:

      07:49am | 07/09/12

      Half a dozen metres of cotton wool should do the trick, add a few layers of shrink wrap to keep it clean, ear plugs to protect them from bullies, don’t forget the sunnies and 30+ ... sorted !!

    • Bob Stewart, the Elder says:

      07:56am | 07/09/12

      Time now to work toward “Independents Day” says father of 8. Each one survived all attempts to do great damage to themselves and from time to time one another and the kid next door.

    • Ray says:

      08:00am | 07/09/12

      I understand both points of view.

      Eldest daughter was usually nursing an injury of some sort, youngest daughter almost never injured - both grew up pretty well, the elder being the most active in her community and (possibly) the ‘pick of the litter’.

      When a child has been abused over a period of time most people want to know how it could have gone on so long with anyone noticing and taking action.

      Possible the main thing that need to be addressed is a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ attitute of the investigative staff of many child protection authorities.

    • Fiona says:

      05:53pm | 07/09/12

      Are you serious? About 1 in 10 notifications to DOCS or whatever they’re called in your state is acted upon. That includes those notifications only considered to be a child concern report. If there is actually deemed to be a risk for harm, then the family is investigated, before a report is considered substantiated.
      BTW, those child concern reports. Nothing is done about them, unless DOCS receives more notifications.
      I think that hardly constitutes a “guilty until proven innocent” attitude.

    • j says:

      08:05am | 07/09/12

      geez my parents would have been in all sorts of trouble, i grew up on a farm and am covered in scars for my adventures .... crashing a motor bike into a barbed wire fence, droping a burning stick on my food, crashing my pushbike (over and over and over again) falling out of trees .... hell i’m supprised i didn’t end up killing myself .....
      A kid isn’t a kid if it doesn’t have skin off it’s knees and covered in dirt .... i worry about children who are wrapped in cotton wool .... they end up being unable to deal with the real world.

    • Al says:

      11:07am | 07/09/12

      I am still surprised I never broke any bones when a child (I did recently, but definately not a child chronologicly anymore).
      Ridding motorbikes, running wild through the countryside (yes, I lived in the country), climbing (not just trees, I freaked a few teachers out while on ‘wilderness’ excursions by climbing up a cliff with no ropes etc), jumping into rivers without checking depth, hunting the list goes on and on and on.

    • Joan Bennett says:

      08:06am | 07/09/12

      People might stop taking their child to hospital if they do this.

    • Craig of North Brisbane says:

      01:52pm | 07/09/12

      Yeah, this was my thought too.  Neglectful parents, worried that they’ll be tagged as such if they take little Johnny to the emergency room once again, decide they won’t run the risk and tries to splint his broken leg themselves.

    • Peter says:

      08:12am | 07/09/12

      This is what the report actually says:-

      “In theory, if adequate supervision is provided, it is unlikely that a toddler will drown. However, while supervision may be seen as the panacea for the prevention of childhood injuries, competing demands for supervisors’ attention mean that it is not possible to supervise a child all of the time. Additionally, children are injured while being supervised and not all children who are inadequately supervised are injured. Ideally, in situations where a supervisor’s attention is momentarily diverted, other injury prevention methods intervene in the chain of events to prevent the injury. It should also be noted that supervision requirements vary according to circumstances. Logic suggests that environments with higher risks of injury will require increased supervision, such as around a body of water or fire. A child’s propensity for adventure (risk taking) means that some children are more likely to place themselves at risk, therefore different children in the same environment will require different levels of supervision. However, it is clear that there are circumstances when appropriate supervision is the only solution that will keep a child safe, for example when bathing.”

      That all sounds quite reasonable to me.

    • Cynicsed says:

      02:08pm | 07/09/12

      Gosh, how positively unreasonable and judgemental of them! Not.
      Nothing here that hasn’t been said numerous times before and all vey sensible, I agree.

      As others have noted, emergency workers have always been trained to be attuned to multiple visits to A&E. However, in the majority of cases it’s kids being kids. Even with the best will in the world no-one can prevent all childhood accidents. A few minor incidents make interesting stories to tell later on in life anyway! Haha!

    • acotrel says:

      03:15pm | 07/09/12

      Have you heard of the concepts of ‘hierarchy of controls’, and ‘residual risk’.  So you believe it is possible for a child t o enter cold water and die from the shock, you as the responsible person ending up sweating on the coroner’s report and checking your insurance policy ?
      HIH spelled the end of a lot of relatively harmless recreational activities. I’m amazed at what some people will sue over - its an Australian disease .

    • Cynicised says:

      04:36pm | 07/09/12

      Acotrel, honestly, sometimes it’s hard to work out what you’re on about. I assume however, you’re talking about contributory negligence in an insurance claim or law suit? As far as I’m aware, the test of “what would another similarly trained person do In your place” still applies.

      No-one is excusing slackness and stupidity here. Neither is anyone urging others to sue. Nor are we discounting the cost and impact of public liability insurance on organisations.  We are simply pointing out that supervision is necessary in dangerous circumstances, but sometimes not all the bases can be covered.

    • Nathan Explosion says:

      08:18am | 07/09/12

      I had to have my stomach pumped when I was about five because I ate Plumber’s Mate, the glue they use to seal pipes. In my defence, it did look a lot like honey…

      I was back about a month later when I shoved a polysterene ball up my nose and it went too far.

      Yeah, I was not the smartest kid…

    • I will survive says:

      12:18pm | 07/09/12

      My brother showed me how to stuff a small piece of Lego up his nose then ‘snot it out’ (blow it out) when I was 3. Of course, I just HAD to try it as well. So my brother helped me shove a whopping great piece of plastic up into my nose. I couldn’t blow it out/sneeze it out. So off to the doctor who had to wrench it out with tweezers. Mum was so embarrassed. Was awesome - I got an orange and a green jellybean for behaving so well when the tweezer action was going on.

      Swallowed a glass marble. Still there, apparently.

      Fell into a vat of molasses and couldn’t breath until dad cleared my nose.

      Got thrown and dragged by a horse at Nambour Show Ground back in 1981 - in front of a couple of hundred people. Good times.

      Same horse used to try to roll on top of me in the dam at our property. Didn’t help that I used her back as a diving platform to jump off of (poor thing!).

      Decided I didn’t like the colour of our white Labrador so painted her green with paint dad used to paint the fence. She looked purdy….and she survived.

      Forgot to hit the brake when learing to ride my bike - ended up over the handle bars and inbetween two trees.

      Fell out of our tree during a dare to join the local kids ‘Risk Your Life’ club. Lots of climbing, jumping, mud. Even better times.

      Got whacked in the nose a la Marcia Brady via a vigaro ball in grade 7. Sill have the bent cartlidge to prove it!

      Slid down the gravel of the ramp at the local SLSC because of slippery thongs (feet thongs btw grin)

      Hitch-hiked along Gold Coast between Surfers and Broady at 2am with a girlfriend. Got into a car with 5 blokes - all strangers. Not advised but we survived without harm.

      Shagged a couple of 1960s musicians and survived. 

      Lived in a house which used to be a brothel - an actual brothel (still had the love hearts on the windows) and had to deal with randoms turning up at all hours thinking it was still a house of hooking. Shared with two Cops, so that helped a bit.

      Rode pillion up the Bruce Highway on a motorcycle at 209 kph. No leathers.

      Got thrown by a camel in India.

      I wonder if the cotton wool brigade of kids will have these sort of things happed to them?

    • PsychoHyena says:

      12:21pm | 07/09/12

      @Nathan, my youngest did the polystyrene ball thing (beanbag popped), so we took him to the hospital and they pulled out three, he then sat up crying from having tweezers stuck in his nose and more polystyrene balls came out…. 8 balls later, we were done.

    • Fiona says:

      06:06pm | 07/09/12

      My son ate the beads from a bean bag at a friends when she was babysitting. He crapped floaters for a few days. At least they came out the other end.
      I will survive, I don’t know that I’d advise riding 200 odd ks down a highway. Leathers or not, if you come off, you’re just road splat. My husband nearly died as a teenager from half a brick falling off the truck in front of him and hitting him in the abdomen. He wasn’t going fast at the time.

    • Ash says:

      08:19am | 07/09/12

      I’m 32 years old with have two little kids & all i can say is that I’m probably injured more often than they are! I trip over things, bump into things, fall down things etc constantly.. i wonder who i can blame for this? Maybe DOCS can point me in the right direction? My kids come home with the usual number of bruises on the shins etc from school..hmm..maybe i should hold the school responsible?
      This is a joke! We as a society need to put out foot down & say no to de-facto - guilt driven parenting!

    • Mahhrat says:

      08:36am | 07/09/12

      Nobody should do anything, ever.  We should all just hide in our houses.  Then there will be no accidents.

      Of course, we’d all be rotting corpses inside a few days, but…

      Well, there is no but. That’s exactly the thing these risk-averse meddlers don’t understand.  Life itself causes pain.  You accept that risk travelling to work this morning.

      It also dehumanises kids.  Most kids understand that what they’re doing is silly and if they get hurt they get hurt.  That’s why mum and dad are there, to be the security blanket they need until they develop the maturity to risk manage themselves (which is all adulthood really is).

    • Bec says:

      01:56pm | 07/09/12

      If we stayed inside there’s be an outrage over the increase in obesity and vitamin D deficiencies from nobody going outside.

    • acotrel says:

      08:52am | 07/09/12

      In our motorcycle club at Winton, Vic. , we have kids as young as 8 years old riding motocross bikes.  We TRAIN them ! And always have first aid people ready to act.

    • James Ricketson says:

      08:55am | 07/09/12

      Am so happy that I grew up in a time when the local dump in Rosa Bay (yes, there was a dump in Rose Bay) was my playground and my body was forever missing bits of skin and covered in bruises. Mum’s remedy: a teaspoonful of Detol in a bucket of warm water, wash the wounds and back out to play. “Don’t forget, dinner at 7.” And off we went to lose more skin, get more bruises etc. It was as much a part of life as getting injured in footie games was. Not only do I pity the poor parents who have to put up with this new nanny state nonsense but I pity the kids who have to endure it only to become adults and find out that the real world is full of all sorts of hard knocks that no nanny state will or can protect them from.

    • Dominic says:

      08:56am | 07/09/12

      When my son was 3 he jammed his finger in a door and needed emergency surgery. A nurse was curious about his bruises on his legs and he said “fall down”. That was the end of it. I recall being miffed at the time but in hindsight, if that was some other kid being roughed about by a parent, I’m happy that the nurse wouldn’t turn a blind eye

    • Mike says:

      09:02am | 07/09/12

      In my younger days - early 80s in UK, we used to climb up trees, leap out of trees, play on building sites and jump rivers.  You’d end up with sprained ankles or wrists, but always got told “it was your own damn fault, don’t come crying to me”.

      No one got suspected of having neglected anyone, because you were all in “a gang of lads” and the older ones looked after the younger ones…if not, you’d hear about it when they got home.  You did stupid stuff like jumping out of trees or down stairs (at school or home) to prove to your brother or your mates how tough you were !

      The UK “child protection agencies” were obviously too busy looking out for us because they couldn’t or didn’t seem to be bothered with some of the broken families and latchkey kids that I grew up with on the council estate (despite knowing what went on), whose dads were in prison, mum had “another fella” and sometimes he would get drunk and smack the kids around.

      I couldn’t believe I was one of the few kids that hadn’t broken something by the time I was seven.

    • Aussie Wazza says:

      09:45am | 07/09/12

      You just have to think things through a bit better to totally eliminate accidents.

      S.L. You will find that removing the skate board wheels will help toward making it far more stable.

      For all Mothers: Some handy hints.

      Home schooling will (provided the child is kept indoors away from others) eliminate bullying. You can now get a university degree via the internet.

      Remove hard furniture from his/her room. A sleeping mat and small cushion will suffice. Quilded wall coverings and high windows help also. Stay with the child whenever they leave their room. Only soft toys please.

      At NO time should a child under 18 Y/O/A be allowed outside the house without supervision. A small yard, fenced, fully grassed and very important, NO trees or exposed soil will allow sufficient exposure to the elements, but only at dusk where there is no risk of direct sun exposure that may cause skin or eye damage.

      Teach them the middle east style of eating with their hands so as not to risk swallowing even a spoon and put all food through a blender to prevent choking on any unchewed lumps. Also buttons can be swallowed so must be removed from clothing.

      Keep children apart from each other. It takes two to have an argument or fight.

      For that matter, never argue with your child. This can have a negative effect on their self esteem. To prevent any reason for a disagreement keep them from T.V. and books from where they may gleen ideas alien to yours. Teach them right from birth that Mummy is always right and knows what’s best for them.

      Provide soft toilet paper.

      And especially with regards to that area of the body, never allow a male near the child. After insemination there is no real need for male involvement.

      All men are evil and you should instill this in your childs mind.

      I could go on and on, but by now you should have a fair idea of the track to take.

    • L. says:

      12:36pm | 07/09/12

      “At NO time should a child under 18 Y/O/A be allowed outside the house without supervision. A small yard, fenced, fully grassed..”

      What..?? Grassed..??

      Have you not heard of Green ants or Bull ants..?

      You Sir, are a loose cannon..!!

    • LC says:

      01:10pm | 07/09/12

      I fear that, with the way things are going, we will see this happen within our lifetime. Don’t joke about it.

    • Mike says:

      01:48pm | 07/09/12

      “Provide soft toilet paper”.. but…but… the ink and chemicals in it might cvause a rash… or cancer… or further excuses for new product launches.

      Crazy man!

    • I'd Rather Think Of The Pets Than The Children says:

      03:52pm | 07/09/12

      But what about the ants? And the bird droppings? And the birds dropping the ants?????

    • ProfGold says:

      09:51am | 07/09/12

      Nice try at a beat up Natasha!  Al (above) hit the nail on your head: “this proposal has been reported in a way to give it an alarmist spin”.  I notice you don’t give a link to the paper. Is that because readers might actually read it and see your rendition of it for what it is?  Ken Oath’s description above, “a load of bullshit”, is spot on - but only if applied to your gross distortion of the paper, not to the paper itself.
      For those who like to check these things out for themselves, here it is:

    • Nick says:

      09:56am | 07/09/12

      What is wrong with ensuring that children who repeatedly turn up in casualty are noticed and aren’t dismissed as being “accident prone”?  Applied mindlessly it would be stupid, but my wife is a doctor and she is far from stupid.  She will look at the evidence and make a decision based on the situation at hand. How often do you hear retrospective soul searching about abused children who were repeatedly treated in hospital prior to their turning up in the news yet never received the help they really needed.

    • Ash says:

      10:37am | 07/09/12

      My thoughts exactly, Nick. I’d rather that the doctors/nurses take a step back and assess a situation to determine whether the child is accident prone or being abused/neglected. I don’t think parents with accident prone children have anything to worry about. Naturally this sort of thing could get out of hand and not all doctors would go about it the right way but the general idea is a good one.

    • Bee says:

      11:08am | 07/09/12

      Well said, Nick

    • BadMum says:

      10:04am | 07/09/12

      I’m taking the kids beach camping this summer and while they will wear hats and rashies they will not be wearing sunscreen….WHY? Because we just found out they are all vitamin D deficient…Quite common in Tassie apparently.

    • Kipling says:

      10:55am | 07/09/12

      Man, overall what a deliberately inept and poorly presented piece. Clearly there is no concern for protecting children from risk of serious harm considered in this article.
      Kids have accidents, it happens. however, when patterns appear to emerge this needs to be reviewed and investigated and of course acted on to try to prevent serious harm. That is all completely lost in this fear mongering crap piece of writing.
      For all of those who immediately jumped on the bandwagon of hatred for all things child protection, take a break from your highly productive and busy lives and do some volunteer work with Kids who have been demonstrably victims of chronic (pay attention to that word) neglect and/or abuse. You will know these kids, they are the adolescents you would no doubt want locked up because of their anti social behaviours, poor academic performances, promiscuity, high range drug and alcohol use, ongoing property damage, graffitti etc.
      Clearly, many here do not wish to provide the appropriate level of protection to children and yet, the children who have adverse behavioural reactions to the neglect and abuse that our society subjected them too should just be punished further.
      Look up the word civilization some time.
      FaCS (that is the correct acronym now for the agency formerly referred to as DoCS) is damned if they do remove and damned if they don’t. Meanwhile, the whole village is busy raising some idiots and neglecting and abusing others….

    • Sandra says:

      11:06am | 07/09/12

      This isn’t new - when my now 21 y.o. saw a physio as a toddler they commented on all the bruises on her legs. A question was asked and a satisfactory answer given (she has only been walking a short time and we are here to help correct mis-shapen toes) and we all moved on.  The Physio apologised for asking as she knew me pretty well and was sure i wouldn’t hit my child.  As others have said the momentary shock at being asked is small cost to ensure that a child isn’t being abused.

    • Greg says:

      11:47am | 07/09/12

      Surely a truly negligent parent wouldn’t even bother taking the kid to hospital at all.

    • LC says:

      01:13pm | 07/09/12

      Due to mandatory reporting, it’ll be lucky if a child with abusive parents even attends school.

    • Mike says:

      11:57am | 07/09/12

      Speaking as a former youth worker and party who worked on the Children, Youth & Families Act, 2005 (and the 2008 amendments), I think this is an absolute crock of shit (sorry if i can’t swear on here).

      This is the kind of petty horse shit (again, sorry) that child protective agencies dream up to keep their agencies/departments… and of course themselves in the media.

      If we actually focused on the the children that needed attention instead of inter-departmental pissing matches, the fucking shit like this wouldn’t even BE an issue.

      AIFS: please, please, PLEASE pull your heads out from up your arses and focus on the youth that need attention, not little ones having a good time and learning from childhood experience.

    • LC says:

      12:48pm | 07/09/12

      We’re raising a generation wrapped in cotton wool. Even in the 80s and early 90’s, in my childhood, We played outside, we broke bones, we got injured. Shit happens, and sure, it wasn’t fun, but in the process we knew our limits, we knew at what point we were going too far.  We were able to recognize danger. It didn’t scar us mentally.
      But with today’s attitudes amongst parents, none of these kids know this anymore. They’re too busy in front of playstations and xboxes and the like, and on the rare occasion they’re outside, they aren’t allowed to climb trees or do half the stuff I did as a child. They don’t know their limits and have no sense of danger, and before too long they’re going to get behind the wheel. You think carnage amongst P-platers is bad now…

      Moronic stuff like this wastes the already heavily limited time and resources of child protection service public servants, efforts which should be put towards intervening in real cases of physical/sexual child abuse and neglect, which cause real, long-term physical and psychological damage.

      If I ever have kids, my fiancee and I have already decided that we’re letting them live and enjoy childhoods like our own. It’s not abuse, it’s not neglect, it’s letting kids be kids. And we’ll be damned if some academic with no life experience get in the way of it.

    • Millly says:

      01:58pm | 07/09/12

      I agree we are raising a generation of ‘cotton wool’ kids, but we are also raising a generation of kids that are neglected and abused by their parents.  Sorry, but its true.  AND its not just poorer less educated parents to blame, kids are left alone due to work commitments; parents have very poor parenting skills .... there seem to be two extremes of parenting: the helicopter parents .... and the ‘she’ll be right’ - kids aren’t gonna change my life” parents.

      People grumble about the authorities being over vigilant but give them a break… how often do we read headlines blasting DOCS for not doing enough to protect ‘at risk’ kids.  Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

      This is not about kids on skateboards… this is about kids appearing at casualty time and again with injuries that suggest poor parenting or poor supervision.  Hospital staff are not stupid, they are already taking note of these types of children.  This article is a bit of a ‘beat up’ I reckon.

    • hoolee says:

      02:54pm | 07/09/12

      in London, i took 2yr old to children’s emergency with a dislocated elbow. I naiively explained that I had grabbed and pulled his arm because he was about to run into a closing elevator (and would thereofre have been lost in a stange building/city).
      I was then questioned at length, and after a long time I realised that I was being interrogated to see what other “abuse” the child had suffered. What the? I put them back into place in classic Aussie fashion, and they then put his arm back into place.
      If such a suspicious culture developed here it would be rotten for the majority of non-abusive parents just doing their best every damn day.

    • Nick says:

      04:01pm | 07/09/12

      Certain types of injuries occur more frequently in children who have been abused or assaulted than in other children.  I don’t know how sensitive the hospital staff were but they were looking after their patient - your child.

      I took my young daughter to the doctor with what turned out to be a vaginal yeast infection - the interview was a bit uncomfortable and unbenownst to me the doctor ordered a range of tests for sexually transmitted diseases.  When I saw that had been done I didn’t feel like I was targetted as a potential paedophile, I just felt like the doctor was taking a sensible precaution in the interests of her patient.


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