In elementary school we are taught the basics of math, history, language, science, music and other things. Even safety is modestly addressed, but in my opinion not near enough to ensure that everyone is on the same page, and to reinforce what is right even if a child’s parents are teaching them the wrong things. After all what good is it to teach a child about all sorts of things if they then go out, run across a street and get killed?
There should be a required intensive safety course for every child every year based on the knowledge that a particular age group,
from pre-K to 6th grade at a minimum, to give children the basics on how to take care of themselves and how to spot dangerous situations. The curriculum should be taught like any other subject, for one week a year and tested until each child knows everything they should know for that age. Every year the topics covered should be expanded to make them appropriate for the new age group.
Is this really necessary? We all know pretty much the statistics regarding deaths, and injuries, some of which are crippling, and compare those with things that are taking many more lives, is it really worth the trouble? I will never understand how that somehow justifies ignoring safety as a ‘concern’ and somehow we should all focus on the ‘worst things in life,’ but the truth is no one should ever die due to negligence with regards to safety. Why? Because if all people were behaving responsibly then there wouldn’t be any accidents, except perhaps due to mechanical malfunctions. As the world populations increase we will all be exposed to an ever increasing probability that we will have to witness some horrible accident resulting in serious injury or death, all which can be completely avoided. And that’s is truly the sad thing, that with care, we can all get to our destinations without the fear of an accident.
In the short term, the government could take the most serious offenders off the streets and put them through intensive training, but in the long term the only way to effectively deal with safety is to make it part of our academic system. It isn’t that hard to do, and doing so will not only help erase so much suffering, but also save countless billions in insurance claims and lost time.
Accidents are typically caused by at least one, if not more, people doing something risky, like double parking, passing on the wrong side of the road, jay walking, turning without using a signal, etc. With more empathy conditioning (concern for the other person), more training (repetitive responses built into our muscle memory), more understanding of social expectations (teaching of what is expected), everyone is capable of doing the right thing. Besides the practical results of less injuries and deaths, there certainly will be a savings in insurance payouts and premiums people pay, and the funny things is people will probably be able to get to their destinations faster and obviously with less stress.
Those who don’t learn about safety early have an increased probability of something happening to them as they get older. There is also an increased probability that they will affect someone else’s lives in a negative way.
And so Tommy has to wait a week before he learns what math is, but at least he has an increased chance to be here next week alive and well, to learn it, and a hugely proportional chance in the future to put it to use.