Attention Paranoid Moms: You're Worrying About All The Wrong Things

paranoid parents guide

Like any mom, I worry when it comes to my kid's safety. Choking and child molestation are my two biggest fears. Let's just say my blender has had a lot of use, and whenever my daughter coughs while eating, I dial 911 (just to be on the safe side).

And since there's no real way to tell if someone is a molester or not, I've decided that the best way to protect my daughter is to never let her leave the house. Ever.

Unless she's choking.

While I exaggerate (a little), the fact remains that those are the things that keep me awake at night.

But should they be?


According to Christie Barnes, the author of The Paranoid Parents Guide (and a mom to four), parents worry about all the wrong things. Based on surveys she did for her book, the top 5 worries of parents are:

  1. Kidnapping
  2. School snipers
  3. Terrorists
  4. Dangerous strangers (I'm going to say child molesters would fall into this category)
  5. Drugs

But guess what? Those worries aren't legitimate. Here's how kids really get hurt or killed:

  1. Car accidents
  2. Homicide 
  3. Abuse
  4. Suicide
  5. Drowning

Barnes told NPR that parents tend to fixate on the horrific stories we hear in the news. While tragic, most of those things (terrorists at schools and kidnappings) are extremely unlikely to happen to our kids. Worrying about these random events can adversely affect our health and can make our kids grow up to be scared-y cats.

So what's a neurotic parent to do? Invest in helmets and car seats (or use seatbelts). According to Barnes's research, making kids wear protective gear and buckling them up in the car, cuts their chances of death by 90 percent and their chances of serious injury by 78 percent.

And that's exactly what I'm going to tell all those moms who stare at me when my daughter shows up at nursery school with her helmet on.

What things do you worry about most when it comes to your kid's safety?


Image via The Paranoid Parents Guide

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