A new survey from Life Education NSW has revealed that when it comes to health and safety, parents believe kids have it tougher now than they ever did.
A survey of more than 1000 Australian parents and found that the majority of parents believe obesity, bullying, resilience, online safety, illegal drugs and misuse of medicines are more of a concern for kids now compared to when they were growing up.
Some issues remained the same throughout the generations. Around half of parents surveyed thought alcohol misuse (47.4%), smoking (44.5%), and road safety (52.4%) were of a similar concern.
Parents were also asked to rank their top issues for preschool-aged (3-6), lower primary (7-9), upper primary (10-13) and secondary school students (14-17).
Key findings include:
- Overall, online safety and bullying are parents’ top concerns, with 80% of parents ranking these issues as ‘very important’
- Road safety was the top concern for preschool-aged kids (75.7% parents ranked it as ‘very important’)
- Online safety (87.1% ‘very important) and illegal drugs (85.9% ‘very important’) topped the list for the 14-17 year age group
- Parents in regional Australia were, in general, less concerned about these issues then their city counterparts, with the exception being bullying (89% of regional parents ranked bullying ‘very important’, compared to 85% for metro parents).
The majority of parents agree that schools and families were struggling to deal with these issues.
More than 80% said there was a need for more health and safety education, and almost 80% (78.9%) agree that teachers needed support to help deliver this education in schools.
Almost half of parents surveyed (46.8%) said they need additional support in the home.
Life Education’s Kellie Sloane said children today are growing up in an increasingly complex online world, and were facing different challenges compared to their parents.
“Although we are seeing some promising trends including a decrease in smoking and alcohol consumption rates among young people; obesity, bullying and online safety are growing concerns,” Ms Sloane said.
“Things have changed since we were kids: in an online world, bullying can follow kids from the playground to the home.”
Do you agree? What is your biggest concern for kids today?
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