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Kidnapping and Online Predators Rank as Biggest Concerns for Parents of School-Age Children

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 Child Health News J E 4
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WARREN, N.J., Aug. 10 More than two-thirds (67%) of parents of school-age children agree that today's kids are exposed to more risks than they encountered during their own childhoods, according to a survey of 654 parents by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. In particular, older students (from middle school to college) face a mix of traditional and emerging risks that can be difficult for parents to address thoroughly.

Half of respondents in Chubb's survey said that they talk about safety with their kids at the beginning of each school year.

"As a parent, I look for 'teachable moments' to talk to my children about everyday risks, but solely relying on those ad hoc opportunities to arise can leave children in the dark about serious issues," said Christie Alderman, vice president, Chubb & Son, and new products and services manager for Chubb Personal Insurance.

When asked which traditional and technology-related risks concern them the most, respondents most often named risks that garner national headlines, such as kidnapping and Internet predators:

"We found that when asked about the threats that concern them most, parents tended to focus on incidents that are more severe but far less frequent. It's also important to be aware of risks like bullying and sexting, which kids are much more likely to encounter," Alderman said. "Addressing these issues may not be at the top of your son's or daughter's priority list, but talking to your kids about taking precautions could help them avoid some pain and anguish."

To help parents protect their kids against these risks, Chubb has released a new guide to safety for the back-to-school season. The tips are designed to help parents of children from middle school through college take a more holistic approach to addressing both emerging and traditional threats that students face during the later school years. For a link to The Chubb Student Risk Guide, visit www.chubb.com/journalists/chubb12299.pdf.

Topics addressed in the safety guide include:

"Today's adolescents and young adults are growing up in a very different environment than their parents remember. Particularly with this age group, taking a more big-picture, preventative approach to safety can save families heartbreaks, headaches, money and time," said Alderman.

The telephone survey of American parents was conducted by Opinion Research Corp.

For more information on risk management for families, and to talk with other parents about back-to-school safety, visit Chubb on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ChubbInsurance.

The member insurers of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies form a multi-billion dollar organization providing property and casualty insurance for personal and commercial customers worldwide through 8,500 independent agents and brokers. Chubb's global network includes branches and affiliates in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia. Chubb is a worldwide leader in insuring fine homes, automobiles, yachts, antiques and other collectibles, and personal liability. Additional information on Chubb can be found at www.chubb.com/personal.

-- 38% rank kidnapping/abduction as the "traditional" risk that concerns them the most, above car accidents (30%) and harassment/bullying (22%); -- For technology-related hazards, parents list online predators as the top threat (38%), followed by identity theft (25%), cyberbullying (18%) and sexting (14%).

SOURCE Chubb Group of Insurance Companies
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