The average dad suffers 22 injuries a year – because of the kids, it emerged yesterday.
From accidental kicks to the face to bad backs from being a human climbing frame, the wear and tear on Britain’s dads was revealed in a study of 2,000 parents.
In fact, the average dad of school-aged children experiences 22 injuries per year – eight of those while playing with the little ones.
And dad also bashes his shin three times on something the kids have left lying around the house and steps on a toy or plug four times a year on average, results showed. Nearly a third of dads in the South West even felt that to walk across a toy covered floor was the most dangerous aspect of being a parent.
While those with cats or dogs can expect to trip over or have the family pet get under their feet a further four times per year. And four times a year dad stumbles on an item of clothing or other belonging that’s been left out, while the dreaded prospect of an accidental hit to the crotch faces men with young children twice a year.
Yesterday Clive Allison, Head of Member Recruitment and spokesman for new family-focussed insurance brand There®, which commissioned out the research, said: “Every dad wants to be able to play with their kids and make the most of enjoying those early years before the children quickly grow up. Clearly that comes with a few inevitable knocks and injuries when playing around outside or on the sofa or even trying to keep up with them in a football match. More often than not a knock or bash to the shin can be shaken off but the results show more serious injuries can happen and have even led to dads taking time off work which can cause families problems financially.”
The study also found a fifth of dads have had to take time off work because of an injury picked up after doing everyday activity with the family. In these instances, the average time a dad in the South West was off work was for 8 days, most likely through injury to the back results showed.
There’s no let-up for dads as just under a third have been head-butted by their young child while a quarter said play-fighting with the kids regularly saw them tweak something.
Other areas of parenting where men have had a brush with injury were when having to play goalie kicking a ball around with the kids or when climbing trees with them.
And a young at heart one in five have picked up an injury doing something which they confessed ‘I should know better than to attempt at my age’.
Few dads have illness cover in place to protect in case they are too ill to work. In fact dads are much more likely to have insurance to protect their mobile phones, pets, and holiday bookings than to protect themselves. Less than 10% of dads polled in the South West had any illness cover in place and fewer than half had life insurance, with a fifth saying they just never had time to sort it.
But when quizzed on how long the family could cope if the breadwinner was no longer able to work, results showed the average family would struggle to pay the rent or mortgage after only three months.
Clive Allison added: “Sometimes it’s best for dads to know your limits when it comes to trying to keep up with the children. Inevitably having fun with the kids and that desire to get involved in the games wins out and sometimes the wear and tear take its toll. Given the bashing that dads get in their ‘line of duty’, it’s surprising that so few think about how they would manage if a more serious injury were to happen. In fact the research shows that they’re more likely to financially protect their phones and pets than they are themselves. We know that insurance drops down the priority list because it can be full of jargon or complicated and life just gets in the way. So our new There-in-one plan offering life and Too ill to work cover, is deliberately quick and easy to put in place with much less jargon or small print. And as the cover can be set by the customer to meet their budgets, it makes it easier to protect the life a family values. Having the proper protection in place to help ensure that the family won’t be put under financial strain should an illness or injury mean they’re unable to do their job for a number of months, can really help give peace of mind”.
DAD’S 22 PARENTING INJURIES
3 x back pain while playing
3 x bashing shin or elbow on a toy/coffee table
2 x balls or whacks to the crotch
4 x treading on a toy left out
3 x accidental knocks to the face
3 x trip over the pet
4 x tripping over child’s belonging
Source: The research was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of There® surveying 2,000 UK parents of 2-16 years olds. Carried out online October 2014.