Objective: To examine age and gender differences in children's perception of injury risk and to evaluate cognitive factors that relate to their appraisal of risk.
Methods: The participants were 120 children (6 to 10 years of age), who used a series of photographs, which depicted play activities that varied from no to high risk, to appraise injury risk.
Results: Children were able to distinguish varying degrees of injury risk. Boys rated risk as lower than girls, and 6-year-old children identified fewer risk factors and did so more slowly than 10-year-old children. For girls, perceived vulnerability to injury was the best predictor of injury risk ratings, whereas for boys it was judged severity of potential injury.
Conclusions: Children's appraisal of risk and age and gender differences in related factors highlight important components for injury prevention programs.