Popping the Bubble Wrap
Popping the Bubble Wrap

Episode 1 · 2 weeks ago

S1E1 - No Bubble Wrap

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Welcome to the first episode of Parachute’s Popping the Bubble Wrap podcast.

Are you the person who worries in your family? Are you the one who’s trying to keep everyone safe? This podcast is for you!

When we think about preventing injuries, we might think, BUBBLE WRAP! Keep everyone safe by wrapping them up and away from any harm. But that’s not the best way to prevent injuries. You don’t have to stop living to stop injuries.

Injuries aren’t inevitable and their impact overall is a lot greater than most people know. Did YOU know that injuries are the Number One cause of death for Canadians ages 1 to 44? Those people fell, were poisoned, were in a motor vehicle crash. Surprised?

So how do we change this? By embracing proven ways to prevent serious injuries. You wouldn’t jump out of a plane without a parachute. Think of this podcast as the parent’s parachute. The good news is that almost all injuries are preventable – you just need to use the right parachute.

  • Injuries are the No. 1 cause of death but there are known solutions to prevent them.
  • Children can be safe at home, at play, and on the road / move.
  • Parents know their children best, what they are capable of and not capable of, and can use this to balance safety and FUN!  

Listen and subscribe to Popping the Bubble Wrap on Apple, Spotify or wherever you catch your favorite podcasts!For more please visit www.parachute.ca 

Popping the Bubble Wrap is produced by Story Studio Network. www.storystudionetwork.com/ 

This is ss n Story Studio Network. Hi, my name is Pamela. If you're selling and I'm the host of popping the bubble wrap, are you the person in your family who worries about the safety of others, about buying safety products and using them? Are you yelling? Yes, that's me. This is the podcast for you. Raising a child or children can be a hair raising undertaking, and keeping them safe as a priority parachutes. Popping the bubble wrap podcast explores what you really need to think about as a parent or caregiver and provides easy tips on prevention strategies. No bubble wrap here, though. When we think about preventing injuries, we might think bubble wrap keep everyone safe by wrapping them up in a way from any harm, but that's not the best way to prevent injuries. You don't have to stop living to stop injuries. Injuries aren't inevitable and their impact overall is a lot greater than most people know. Did you know that injuries are the number one cause of death for Canadians ages one those people fell were poisoned were in a motor vehicle crash. You surprised? So how do we change this? By embracing proven ways to prevent serious injuries. You wouldn't jump out of a plane without a parachute. Think of this podcast as the parents parachute. The good news is that almost all injuries are preventable. You just need to use the right parachute. Joining me today are Jenna, Mandy and Stephanie. Thanks for being part of parachutes popping the bubble wrap podcast. Thank you. There are different places where injuries can occur, at home, at play, on the road, and I know you all can think of examples in your own families of the types...

...of injuries that you want to avoid. Maybe we can start with Jenna. Can you tell me a bit about your family and what types of things that you worry about the most? Sure. So, in our family we have our daughter and twin boys and we're now in that kind of preteen tween stage. So we've moved on from those little toddler tumbles that you worry about and now it's more those bigger you know, I'm worried about broken bones. I'm worried about, you know, having to navigate the systems if something does happen, and you know a lot of it is that the uncertainty around what my kids will get up to is they have more independence and we're not necessarily right there to see what happened, to know how it could have been prevented or how best to deal with it, whether it's, you know, a minor scrape or something really serious. There's that, yeah, that that extra worry that comes with them gaining some independence. What they can do changes quickly, yes, and what they think they can do right. Mandy, can you introduce us to your family and some of the things that are on your mind about, you know, preventing injuries? Absolutely so. I am mom to too. I have a daughter who is five and my son is three, so a little bit younger than Jenna, and I'm in the stage right now where my concern is their awareness of what's going on around them as well too. So, you know, playing on their bike and noticing whether a car is coming or, you know, jumping off of something. Um, my daughter is very confident with her physical ability. She always has been since a very young age. UH, so I quickly learned that bubble wrapping her wasn't going to happen. I needed to figure out how to, you know,...

...let her explore, let her learn, let her be adventurous and have fun, but how to keep her safe and what I needed to worry about and didn't. I see moms that come around her all the time gasp when she does something and I don't because I've gotten comfortable with it. But right now it's it's helping them understand what's going on around them, making sure that they recognize what they're able to do and their surroundings, uh, and keeping them safe in that way. So, you know, encouraging them to wear their helmets when they're supposed to, but not not worrying when they follow their bikes and don't hurt themselves as well too. So, you know, scaling back that that reaction to jump or to get scared when they're uh, when they fall or they hurt themselves, and trying to prepare them, and myself as well too, for, you know, what I really need to worry about with them, and right now it's really, you know, trying to combat what they think they're able to do and what they are able to do and being aware of the surroundings around them. Stephanie, I'm sure some of this sounds familiar to you as well. Um, what the types of things that bring you Um, you know, pause for thought in terms of their safety. Well, like Mandy, I have a three year old boy and a six year old girl and a three month old. Now, the three month old he's not getting into too much lately, but the six year old has really started to climb trees a lot lately and she wants to go higher and higher and she is extremely confident. But my heart I do the internal gasp, I call it, where I'm not letting her show I'm showing her that I'm nervous because I don't want to put that on her right I want to let her experience these things herself. And then her three year old brother wants to do everything she's doing, so I have to kind of you know, I'm within arms reach of him, just because his footing isn't quite as sure as the six year old, Um, but I'm still letting him do these things because I want him to build the confidence that he sees his sister have. Yeah, you know you've touched on a couple of things, um, that you know make you know, the assessment of the potential for injury.

Important is around that child development piece about the changing ages and you know how, in especially when they're really young, they cannot do something one day like crawling or walking, and then the next day they can. So their ability changes and I'm sure you turn around and think, oh my goodness, hot how did you learn how to do that already? So what are some of the things? What are some of the strategies? Um, and I'll just open it up to to all of you, Um, that that you've taken. You talked a little bit, Stephanie, about, you know, for one of your children, keeping within arms reach, other letting them go a little bit farther. How do you how do you decide how you will approach each of the kids, because I'm sure they're different in terms of their personalities and their abilities and things like that. I think you just watch their confidence levels. I mean, if you see fear in their face, then you can be that encouraging person who they're telling them, hey, you're doing a great job, or do you feel a little bit nervous right now? You know, maybe maybe we come down one more bridge, or maybe we aren't going to go on the great big slide today, but we'll go on the middle ground slides or you know, there's you know your own child, after watching them so much that you know their confidence level. For me, that's at least how it is. Absolutely I think I I had learned very quickly with Amelia and my daughter that I had to trust her judgment a little bit. Uh. And you know, when things go wrong, one of my biggest tools is talking about it afterwards. So an example I can use as she decided once she was going to hop up the stairs like a bunny and rolled about halfway down there, and so she I was right behind she was totally fine, but talk to me afterwards about, you know what, what could we have done differently, you know, and maybe maybe the stairs are not the right spot to hop up there, uh, but also giving her a little bit of freedom to make some mistakes and figure out, you know, what her body is capable of doing and giving her the opportunity to reflect...

...on those things. So, you know, we don't we don't hop up the stairs anymore. Um. But as you said about your your son two is three. It's it's a fun age three. Yes, he's he's right behind her. He wants to do it, whether she's fallen down the stairs or not. He's like yeah, let's let's go, and he is his his abilities are different and I've had to learn quickly that what works for one doesn't work for the other. But also, like you said, not not hindering his his ability to learn and explore the same way that I allowed her to. So kind of taking a step back and saying like, while I'm having that internal gas and being like, Oh my God, I'm not okay with this, stepping back and being like okay, if you think you've got this, let's let's go. Yeah, it's good to find those kind of moments to where you can find that that transition piece right of saying like, you know what, before we try the big slide, did you see this one over here? This one looks awesome and it just happens to be a little bit smaller. We don't have to say that last part. We just know like Oh, let's let's try ourselves here, see how we do, and then we convince both of us that sure, yeah, we could try the big one this time. Or maybe that's something that you know. I used to do that a lot at the playgrounds with with the kids when they were younger. was kind of judge what other kids were there and it was much easier to let my little kids kind of explore their freedom, if we managed to visit a playground when it wasn't busy and full of bigger kids, because then you knew that they had the space and the room and if they got scared it was going to be easier to go and help them if you needed to, rather than, you know, the few times that we were in busier playgrounds and they kind of take off and you could see just how tiny they were next to the bigger kids. And you don't know those other kids. You don't know if they're going to be the kind that's going to help or they're the kind that are just going to elbow yours out of the way. And so, yeah, finding those little kind of like transition steps, I found was was really useful and I'm still trying to do that now...

...as they're getting older and it's like okay, well, sure, you can go this fire on your bike without me right there. You can do this much. You're, you know, finding those little those stepping stones and now that the kids are older, having those conversations like you're having Mandy two, of saying okay, great, so we're going to try this. Here's my expectation of what you're going to do, and if you meet this, then we can move on to the next step of you're able to do this next thing that might, you know, scare us all a little bit. That's like running ahead my daughter when she was in the you know, uh, my son was still in the stroller and she wanted to go ahead as well too. Uh. We had a lot of conversations without the stop signs or where to stop. So, yeah, okay, you run ahead, but you're gonna stop at the Stop Sign, you're gonna stop at the tree or or whatever these things were. So she still got the opportunity to, you know, run free and feel like she was a big girl. But then I also knew when I could like, you know, if I had to yell because we've gone past the stop sign or pass this Um. And it is funny too, because I feel like with my my my little guy, I'm like a little bit more. I'm not sure if he knows what he's what he's looking for when he's going there. Right. So how do I navigate them that he's not comprehending the same like a spatial awareness as well too. Right, definitely. All you all have more than one child. How different was it from the first child to your second or now even your third? Um Did you with for the first child? When are you just like, where's the bubble wrap? I need to keep this child safe? How has it shifted over the over the years? I'll jump in first and smnor older Um. And for us there wasn't a lot of time between having just one and then having three. Our daughter wasn't two yet when our twins were born, and I think that that actually kind of helped not have that will...

...wrap experience because I just couldn't. I had three of them to try to keep my eyes on. And, thankfully for us, you do. You see that personality come out pretty early, and our daughter is very mature in her thinking. She does have that sense of awareness of the space around her and even from an early age, I could trust her not to do too many things that she shouldn't do and I could give her a little bit more freedom and even get her involved in helping take care of her brothers. And you know, okay, we need to move these up, because babies will put that in their mouth and you know, those little things. She would understand those concepts where, even now that my boys are nine and our nieces coming over, I'm like, I don't know that they get that now there's such a different like each kid is so different, but I find a big difference between our daughter and our boys, and I don't know if it's you know, my my mother in law always says it has to do with gender. I don't know if that's the case, but definitely their personalities are so different and I have a lot more faith in our daughter's ability to look around and, you know, understand what it stop sign means. You know, we live out in the country. There's a stop sign at the end of our road, but when we go into the city I get very nervous around my kids. That's one of the times when I still feel very nervous, even though my kids are old enough that they should know these things. Like they don't see crosswalks enough to know exactly how you're supposed to use them, whereas you know, kids growing up in the city at a much younger age have that innatibility. And so there's there's those differences to that. Where you live really kind of impacts different things too. Yeah, what their experiences are and how familiar they are with those types of environments. You're right stuff me.

I'm I'm sure you have some some changes between tween, your first and your your three month old now. Oh, absolutely. I mean the first one, she I pretty much did bubble wrap her. It was like no, you can't do that, no you can't do this, and we lived in town, the city then, so you know it was even more like now I have a I live on an acreage and I let the three year old and six year old go outside and play together because I know the six year old is mature enough to say don't do that, because I have to nurse the baby on the couch right like. I have to take care of this little fella who can't do anything for himself yet. So I let the responsible six year old take care of the three year old. And maybe some people would frown at that, but I live in the country. I know that she is so responsible. He isn't, though. He likes to push his boundaries, he likes to push his limits. He likes to come in and say Ma is not letting me do this or not letting me do that, and I'll say, well, you know, she knows what you're able to do, so she's just making sure that you're safe. So there it was a huge difference and there is such a huge um learning curve for me with the first and then the second it was just kind of like, well, I'm just gonna let him do it because I don't have time really, you know, grab onto everybody all at once, and now with three, even less so. So I do let my six year old take care of the three year old outside sometimes, but you know, that's part of the childhood experience for them and I really hope that it helps him. It has helped him. It's given him so much more confidence to Um. So it's really neat to watch them grow and progress and and learn their own safety. They come in with bumps and bruises all over them and, like I was saying, she's now doing the climbing of the trees. So she comes in all proud because she's all scratched up and covered and bruises and she's like look, this is a new bruise today, like perfect, that is the look...

...we're going for right now. Yeah, you've hit on something really important, and that that the parachute, you know, promotes, is we're not trying to stop the bumps and bruises. We're not. You know we're not. Those are part of learning and growing and developing. It's the serious injuries, the ones that are fatal or serious and that we we know can be prevented and and don't really contribute to that development necessarily. Right, Mandy, this you're shaking your head and then it sounds very familiar. It does. And again, like Jonathan. I don't know if it's gender, I don't know if it's age, I'm not sure. My my gap was a little bit bigger. I had a little over two years between the two of them. But Amelia, from a very young age, was very confident in her body, very strong as well too. She we joke she's enjoyed core strength since she was a baby. She actually gave herself a belly button hernia as a baby because she was always trying to like crunch up. And so as much as I wanted to bubble wrap up points Um, I really wanted to make sure that I didn't, you know, hinder this ability and this confidence that she had. It was, it was, it's a remarkable thing. I really enjoy that watching and seeing that go and I always say I hope that doesn't go anywhere because it's, you know, it's such a great quality that she has, but it made me, as a mom, really need to look at that as a positive thing and try not to hinder it. So, Stephanie, the Trees, Oh my gosh, we have trees everywhere and she loves them. So, like you said, we're we don't want to prevent her from learning and figuring things out and getting bumps and bruises, because I think bumps and bruises are part of childhood to remember that time you you slipped into this or this, this bump from here. But giving them that confidence and, like I said, conversations as well too. So you know and I have a fenced in backyard and that's been a blessing because I do I feel comfortable letting them go outside. I let them in the backyard. It's completely fenced in at this point. But, like you said, Amelia has got it figured out. She's good. I don't I can be in...

...the kitchen cooking while she's outside playing and worry very little about what she's doing. Theodore is outside and it's a whole other ballgame. I'm like constantly looking over the window and still trying to like keep it in, but but very much hovering a little bit more with him, but trusting that she's able to do it well. I think, you know, this is really important for for other parents to hear your experiences, because I think they will, will share some of them and if they don't, I think you've given them some really good advice and good, you know, examples of how you've you know, you may started off in one way and as you learn about your child and what environment they're living in and playing in, that you know you can make adjustments and how important it is to know your your child, but also, Um, the environment that they're in and their experience with it. And and I think you've demonstrated so well that that the concept that we want to at across it. You know, you don't have to bubble wrap your kids. In fact, you know, injury prevention and bubble wrapping do not go together. There there are ways, you know, to allow kids to to really embrace life and all of the things that they love to do, Um, but while keeping them safe. So thanks so much for joining us today. I really appreciate your thoughts and your stories and thanks for sharing them with everyone. You're quite welcome. Thank you. Thank you. It's great to hear from you both as well. Make Parachute DOT C a your go to for up to date, evidence based information on injury prevention and safety, from preventing burns and squalds to winter outdoor safety. CHECK OUT PARACHUTE DOT C A. It's time to open your parachute. Dr Marianna Brasoni is the director human early learning partnership at UBC An investigator at BC Children's Hospital Research Institute. She Studies Child Injury Prevention and children's outdoor play. Her research looks at the influence...

...of parents outdoor environments, as well as policies to promote children's outdoor play. Welcome, Marianna, to popping the bubble wrap podcast and thanks for joining me. It's a delight to be here. Pam, thanks for including me. There was a very interesting conversation with Um, the group of parents that you know are concerned about safety in their homes, at play on the move. You've worked with a lot of parents with similar concerns. which did you take away from their conversations that was consistent or different from what you know? The conversations you've had with parents about not bubble wrapping their kids? It was really consistent with what we've heard from other parents and and what we generally hear from parents is this struggle really to figure out that balance between keeping their kids safe and letting them take risks and and that's understandable. You know, we want what's best for our kids, but at the same time we have these fears around the things that can happen to them, and so sometimes it's hard for parents to, you let go and to let their kids try things out if they're afraid that that something's going to happen or that somebody's going to think that they're a bad parent for letting something happen. So it really heard those kinds of themes with the parents and and also heard the efforts that they're making to try and allow for more freedom amongst their kids, recognizing that diversity of what their kids are capable of. So it's not a one size fits all solution that they adapt and make changes depending on the child as well as where they are. You know, they feel safer in their backyards, for example, than they might say, in Um public playground or places like that, and so all of that makes sense. You know, there isn't one size fits all solutions and we have to take contexts and children into account in in our decision making. I love the parents that one of them talked about, you know, their internal gasp of like Oh my heart, of you know, when they saw their kids taking a bit of risk, doing things that maybe...

...weren't in their comfort level, but they were confident in their kids ability to assess what they wanted, that what they wanted to do. So I was I was pretty impressed with their approach, as you said, to you know, really knowing their kids and what they're able to do and, Um, you know, letting them have a little freedom well, and being willing to keep that gasp inside right and not let it out, because it can be so hard for kids to hear that or be careful, you know, and and how undermining that can be. Two kids who who think that they're just kind of tootling or a long trying things out, and then here from a parent be careful and feel like, Oh im, did I miss something? Don't they trust me to keep myself safe, and that sort of thing. So kudos to the parents for recognizing the importance of keeping those thoughts in rather than expressing them. One of the things that we struggle with is that you know, injuries are the leading cause of death for Canadians Age one forty four. So those all kids fall into that and we know some we know the solutions to to help keep kids safe, you know, whether they're riding in a car, playing outside or living in their home space. Can you talk a little bit about, you know, your experience in balancing, you know, as an injury prevention practitioner, of we know that this is a big issue. Um, how do we balance that, addressing that? And we also often get you know, when we're talking about injury prevention, there's US this assumption that what we want to do is have kids not do things, to bubble wrap them, but that's in fact is not the case. Right. So I guess there's a couple of important things to think about. First of all, as you point out, injuries are the leading cause of death, but when we dig into the injury statistics, Um, outdoor play is not one of those causes of kind of major serious or injury or death, and so our responses can be disproportionate to the threat. Actually the likelihood of...

...serious injuries very, very low, and play spaces in general are designed in such a way that they keep that likelihood down so we can really give our kids freedom in those situations. But then of course you have you know, you have kids in other situations. Maybe you're going on a walk somewhere else or in the forest or whatever, and so it's also important to think about different kinds of risks and hazards that are apparent in different situations. And so we encourage parents to think about themselves as is is, as a prepared adventurer, right. So wanting to go on those adventures and being open to those adventures and all of the wonderful things that kids get out of those experiences, but thinking ahead a little bit of preparation in terms of, okay, what do I know about this setting? What are the things I might need to be Um, careful or aware of in this particular setting so that, you know, I can take are of those things that might cause more serious injury so that my child can actually be free to explore and get out there Um and be able to just kind of test their limits and I don't feel like something serious is going to happen. Yeah, you know, that's a really good point and I think there's different levels of where we see prevention strategies coming in. You know, there's that that parent level of, you know, assessing their child and and knowing what their kid is capable of, and then there's the environment that they're functioning in, so whether that's a playground structure or the forest or walking to school or biking to school, and what they have to be aware of in those types of environments. When you think about, you know, who has control over some of these solutions? Um You know, what's your experience in working with places like municipalities or those that actually have decision and responsibility for the environment that kids are playing and, you know,...

...moving about in? By and large, municipalities are concerned about this issue and they want to say support active transport to school and for kids to be able to engage in this kind of thing. But what we've seen over time is that there's been a kind of increasing focus on cars, you know, moving cars through cities and the prioritizing cars in the municipal planning. We're seeing to move away from that now, but of course we have all this infrastructure that is focused on cars and not people, and so parents have to think about what's the environment that their kid is interacting with. You know, parents are going to know that better than anyone and they're going to know their child and their child's capabilities better than anyone. So they really are in the best position to consider the factors of the environment and the kinds of supports they might need to put in place so that their child, say, can walk to school and kind of build their else towards maybe walking to school on their own. So it really it really depends, you know. Yeah, I think there's different levels of responsibility and being able to hear from parents and kids themselves. You know what what environments they are looking at. I mean I know you've done some work with with kids themselves about assessing you know where they go to play or why they go one place and not the other, and you know what their roots to school look like. You know that input is really important to understand how how children are interacting with their environment and that they're a stakeholder in this environment that they're living in. Absolutely we want to keep kids in their perspectives, at the center of how we design our cities. When we design cities with kids at the center, the cities are actually better for all of us. You know, all of us like living in it more. All of us um are able to appreciate our environments more and it's actually also more sustainable, you know, from a I'm at perspective Um. And so...

...we really do want to cent your children's perspectives and we also want to recognize that they are very capable and competent. We have this kind of tendency towards assuming that that we need to step in and kind of do things for them and kind of control and decide for them, and really we need to kind of step back from that realize that children are capable of speaking from those for themselves, even very young children, and we just need to provide the supports to make sure that their voices are heard. Do you remember some of the examples that the kids came up with with what what they'd like to see on their like roots to school or to the playground? Yeah, they talked about a few different things. So, first of all, they really wanted to feel safe with the people around them, right, so the idea of eyes on the streets. You know, lots of people on the streets and and that comfort with people on the streets. They wanted to see robust pedestrian infrastructure, right so not only sidewalks, which are, of course important, but calmed traffic, calm streets so you don't have kind of traffic moving at high speed. And then they also wanted interesting things to interact with or to go to, write, so little shops that they were interesting to them, or or even ways of getting around that supported play right, so not just kind of walking or biking, but maybe, you know, jumping or sliding or, you know, really letting their imagination shape the play. And they wanted places that they could hang out with with their friends, that they could play with their friends, that they could kind of feel like it was their own and reclaim as their own and put their stamp on it um so that they they had ownership and agency in that space. Yeah, their contributions are are really important because it's it's not necessarily the way that an adult, once we get once we get older and and some of that play comes out of our...

...own lives, that we we may not see the environment the same way that that kids do. So I think you know, because they are a big part of the people who are using the spaces and we don't often think about having or how to get their input. I think that's really important. So thanks so much for joining me today. I mean I think the conversation with our our parent group Um was really inspiring in terms of how they're how they're approaching their children and making sure really being aware of that balance that needs to take place and I hope that that conversation and our conversation today, Marianna has has given other parents some permission to, you know, keep the gas inside and to let their kids really enjoy and and take part in the world's around them. So thanks so much for joining me. Oh thanks so much, Pam. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. Popping the bubble wrap is a podcast of parachute, Canada's National Injury Prevention charity, whose mission is for Canadians to live long lives to the fullest by preventing serious and fatal injuries. We release episodes every two weeks. Next episode I'll be talking about the worst advice your parents gave. You. Help US reach parents and caregivers by sharing this link with your friends and family and giving us a five star review wherever you listen to your podcasts. For more information, visit us at parachute dot C A. Have a question right to us at popping the bubble wrap at parachute dot C a. You can also leave a message at six, four seven, seven, seven, six, five one two three. That's six, four seven, seven, seven, six, five one two three. Popping the bubble wrap is produced for parachute by story studio network and eye contact productions. This is story studio network.

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