Media consumption among children increased significantly / less exercise: Risk of injury to children rises / Children often not as well protected as assumed by parents
Mobile phones, game consoles or computers: the leisure activities of today’s children differ markedly from those of earlier generations – according to a representative Allianz study, 42 percent of parents think so. The Dialego Institute determined how 1,000 mothers and fathers with children aged between 0 and 17 assess their children’s everyday lives and the associated accident risks. In response to the question as to what has changed in children’s leisure behavior compared to earlier times, parents say that their children are less likely to travel in nature or the neighborhood and more likely to use consumer electronics. Media consumption is increasing significantly among children over the age of 10. Because children play less outdoors than before, almost one fifth of parents (18 percent) assume that their children’s accident risk has decreased. A further 58 percent believe that there have been no changes since then. But rather the opposite is the case: the lack of exercise leads to a loss of motor skills – which in turn results in a higher risk of injury. Wolfgang Dremmler, head of the junior team at FC Bayern Munich, also observes this: “Compared to in the past, it has become much harder to win children with well-trained motor skills for our junior teams. The number of injuries among our players is also rising. This could have something to do with the fact that children today play or romp less outdoors – but sit more in front of the screen and therefore their coordination deteriorates.” 25 percent of parents also see a high risk of accidents in sport at school and in clubs.
Football is often only played on screen. Photo: Fotolia/ Sergey Ryzhov
Only felt well secured
If something worse should happen, eight out of ten parents (84 percent) are most concerned that their child receives a lifelong pension benefit. Half of the parents say they have accident insurance for their child. However, this usually only includes a one-off capital payment and no monthly pension for long-term security. Only twelve percent have child invalidity insurance, which pays a lifelong monthly pension after serious illness or accidents. “One possible reason for this inadequate coverage is that most parents are unclear as to which insurance covers which benefits in the event of an accident,” says Frank Sommerfeld, member of the Board of Management of Allianz Versicherungs-AG. In the survey, for example, one fifth of parents (20 percent) mistakenly believe that statutory insurance covers salary losses in the event of prolonged illness of their children as a result of an accident. A further 12 percent of parents believe that there is a one-off lump-sum benefit in the event of disability from the statutory insurance, which is not the case. In addition, almost one third of parents believe that this benefit cannot be covered privately.
Parents want more information
On the other hand, more than 50 percent of parents of infants (0 to 3 years) would like more information from independent institutions such as health insurance companies, doctors and kindergartens to protect their child. Therefore also Wolfgang Dremmler says: ?The clearing-up of the parents over the security of their children is for us a large request. Especially because something can always happen during sports and contact sports such as football always involve a certain risk of injury”. If the child is in a sports club, the majority of parents (69 percent) are convinced that the club’s insurance will cover their child in the event of an accident. However, this is only partly true: the insurance depends on various factors and is usually only intended as a basic provision after an accident. On the other hand, only private supplementary health and accident insurances offer optimal medical care and comprehensive cover for permanent damage. “In order to become again to 100 per cent healthy and fit after a sport accident, the treatment by specialists and the following Reha is over a longer period in a recognized mechanism not only for our professionals of large meaning, but straight for all children in the new generation teams, which have their whole life still before itself, says Wolfgang Dremmler.