Monday, November 8, 2010

Real Worries vs. Fake Worries...and Ultrarunning

Via NPR, some things parents (and us grandparents) should--and should not--be worried about for the little ones.  Again it all goes back to science, and a basic understanding of probability and statistics.

Based on surveys Barnes collected, the top five worries of parents are, in order:


1.Kidnapping

2.School snipers

3.Terrorists

4.Dangerous strangers

5.Drugs

But how do children really get hurt or killed?

1.Car accidents

2.Homicide (usually committed by a person who knows the child, not a stranger)

3.Abuse

4.Suicide

5.Drowning

Why such a big discrepancy between worries and reality? Barnes says parents fixate on rare events because they internalize horrific stories they hear on the news or from a friend without stopping to think about the odds the same thing could happen to their children.

I used to worry about getting hurt or lost on the trail when I was out running.  I gotta say that in my years of back country running, I have never heard of such an occurrence resulting in death. 

No that it can't or won't, and I'm sure it's happened.  But all in all, this is a pretty safe endeavor.  The universe of participants is extraordinarily fit, and I'd say, resourceful.

  

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