There was a post circulating on Facebook this week from a father whose son was injured while riding on a lawn mower. Here’s the post. Take a minute to read Buddy’s story. We’ll wait.
Troubling, isn’t it? The anguish and guilt this father experienced could inspire sympathy in the coldest of souls. But what struck me about this post was Buddy’s response to a friend’s warning that kids and mowers don’t mix:
We hear sentiments like this all the time. This dad didn’t think it could happen to his family—and then it did. Why didn’t he believe the warning from his friend, who was an expert on lawn mowers and how dangerous they can be? When he did hear it, why did he dismiss it?
This was not written to blame Buddy; he sounds like a good parent who genuinely loves his kids and wants to do what’s best for them. In fact, he believed he was doing what was best by allowing his sons to do something together that created memories for everyone.
I do, however, think we can learn from this family. Time after time we hear from families who say “I didn’t think that really happened to people” or “I didn’t want to be one of those over-protective parents.”
We here at End Injury aren’t alarmists. We aren’t out to bubble-wrap kids. We want them to grow up, take risks and challenge themselves. We just don’t think the price should be broken bones, lost limbs, or worse. Lawn mowers, laundry pods, portable pools—all of these have the potential to seriously injure or kill our children, yet their dangers are often dismissed because people don’t think these injuries actually happen to people like them.
How can we change that mindset? We don’t have the answers yet, but we are hoping people will read this post and really look at why they make the decisions they do about safety for their family. We are guessing the Shoemaker family would go back in time if they could and make a different choice. Maybe being protective isn’t so bad. What choice will you make today?
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