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Columbus, Ohio
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Why injury? It's this simple: more children die from injuries every year than from the next three leading causes of death combined. Nobody knows this because no one is talking about it. In the U.S., one child dies every hour from an injury that could have been prevented. Around the world, a child dies every 30 seconds as the result of an injury. You don’t need to have a child to know that we can do better.

 

The Downside of Digital Documents

End Injury

My son plays soccer. He loves it, and we love seeing him grow in his sport. As a high school athlete, my son is required to read and sign papers that describe the risks associated with concussions, how to recognize the signs and why it is important to report suspected concussions. As his parent, I am also required to read and sign the papers.

We used to get a paper version of the document, but now his school has everything online so we can look at it and sign it digitally. Super convenient, right?

Well, this past week, we had to sign the documents for the upcoming season. I went online, read the documents, watched the video that was linked to in the information, and then digitally signed at the bottom. My son did the same…or so I thought.

When I started talking to him about how interesting I thought the video was, I was surprised when my son said he had no idea what I was talking about! Apparently the site doesn’t require any of the links to be clicked on or scrolled through before allowing it to be signed at the bottom. That was really an eye-opener for me – he was able to just go to the page, sign the bottom, and close it without ever actually reading any of the documents.

Digital documents might be convenient, but they aren’t doing us or our children any favors. Yes, paper copies can be signed without reading as well, but at least we see something when we look at the documents to sign them. Now my son and I can both do what’s required without seeing any information at all, which totally destroys the point of the documents in the first place.

So what’s a parent to do? As with most topics in the teenage years, set a good example. Read documents before you sign them, and bring up the information over dinner, in the car, or any other time when you have your teen’s attention. Show them you take concussions and other injuries seriously, and they’re more likely to take them seriously as well.

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