The Provincial Injury Prevention Program supports a smart risk approach to injury prevention. The approach recognizes that risk is a part of life, and while not all risks can be eliminated, most can be managed. Taking smart risk means recognizing the risks of an activity and choosing to manage risk to prevent injuries. Children are vulnerable to injury because they learn through interacting with their environment, but many environments are designed for adult use and comfort. In addition, children are not yet developmentally ready to actively manage risks. It is important that parents and caregivers provide safe environments and adequate supervision, teach and enforce safety rules, and model safe behaviours for children.
Teenagers are often faced with making decisions involving risk but their ability to assess risks and future consequences is not fully developed. Parents and other adults can help teenagers learn how to recognize and manage risks by letting them try new things and making sure they understand how to stay safe while doing so. It is also important that adults also model smart risk taking for teenagers.
Advise clients to use the smart risk strategies (MyHealth.Alberta.ca) to reduce the likelihood of injury for themselves and those in their care. The smart risk strategies are simple, effective, and evidence-informed.