It's a moment no parent could ever be prepared for. You send your kid away to college, and months later, he is killed in a freak accident. This is the horrible reality facing Kevin Signo's family. The Baylor University college freshman died doing a backflip. A backflip. A simple, seemingly harmless move kids all over the world do every day. Stories like this are why parents are so paranoid about safety.
Signo was reportedly rehearsing traditional dances with the school's Filipino Students Association when the deadly accident occurred. His parents say he had just learned the moved. As he flipped, he landed on his forehead instead of his feet and suffered a fatal spine injury. It's just unbelievable.
The parents also talked about the fact that in high school, Signo had been an introvert. College seemed to really bring him out of his shell; he finally had a wonderful group of friends and seemed to really love the experience. There are so many reckless things that students do every day -- usually involving drinking. We try to warn our kids of the obvious dangers, but never imagine them dying while doing something seemingly so harmless, so normal. But even if we fear they could get hurt doing moves like a backflip, is there really a way to protect them from it? After all, this isn't like playing football.
Kids are natural daredevils. They want to scale walls, leap off of jungle gyms, skateboard down railings. Even the most cautious kids will take risks sometimes. As a child, I was particularly restrained when it came to crazy physical feats. I was so scared of getting hurt. Though there were times I worked up the courage to go for it. I remember one day doing a flip off the monkey bars and landing on my head. I wasn't hurt badly, thank God. My vision blurred a bit and my ears rang, but once that fog cleared, I walked away. I didn't go to the nurse's office because I was afraid she would tell my mom and I didn't want to hear the lecture about how dangerous that was.
Bottom line is, kids do stuff like that all the time and they don't want parents stopping their fun. To them it sounds too over-protective, a complete overreaction. So my heart aches for this poor family. Most of the time kids flip, tumble, jump, and more without a scratch. This is just one of those horribly bizarre accidents you pray never happens to your family.
See more of Signo's story:
What types of physical activities do you worry about your kids doing?