Date of Award


Document Type

Non Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Early Childhood Education

Capstone Instructor

Barbara Schoenbeck

Second Reader

Nedra Robinson


child safety, qualitative study


A yearlong study of parents' perception of safety risks pertaining to their children who were entering kindergarten in 2002 or 2003 was conducted in Minnesota School District 834. Four hundred and ninety one parents took part, totaling 73.72% of the possible respondents. Parents were surveyed when they came with their child to School Readiness Screening as required by Minnesota State Law No.123-701-705. The population that responded to the survey identified itself as largely white, heavily female and suburban.

The survey found that parents' concerns varied in a pattern that was constant from month to month. There was statistical difference in perception from topic to topic. Observable dangers, regardless of the seriousness of the outcome received higher scores. Falls, both at home and on the playground and during sports, identified as high concern by the parents.

The parents answered perception questions on the survey at a lower rate for categories identified with high accident and injury statistics such as poisoning or being burned by liquids or appliances. Parents acknowledged the risk of auto accident injury while being a passenger in an automobile, but exhibited lower concern for pedestrian injury. Older parents answered with higher scores than younger parents. Education of the child was associated with higher perception of risk scores.


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