Being Dad

Hard Knocks – In the Line of Duty

Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

A key requirement of fatherhood has always been durability and it turns out the average dad suffers an astonishing 22 injuries a year – because of the kids.

Bumps and bruises are inevitable when spending time with your little bundle of energy, but the exact wear and tear on Britain’s dads has been revealed in There’s study of 2,000 parents.

Big kids

All dads want to be able to enjoy playing with their kids and make the most of those early years before they quickly grow up.

Unsurprisingly, a high percentage of these knocks happen during playtime, when dads are laying down their lives to protect sofa castles, pretending to be a large animal or just trying to keep up during a football match. On average, eight injuries came while playing with the little ones, from accidental kicks to the face to bad backs from being a human climbing frame.

Triple-pronged nightmare

Leaving toys on the floor just seems to come naturally to kids and once again, dads are paying the price. The results showed that Dad bashes his shin an average of three times on something the kids have left lying around the house and steps on a toy or plug four times a year.

We all know the sheer agony of treading on a stray LEGO brick and this is reflected with nearly 40% of dads admitting that walking across a toy covered floor was the most dangerous aspect of being a parent. Bottom line, investing in some fun and accessible storage boxes should be a high priority for any new dad!

Risky business

As a dad, it can be difficult to decline when your kids ask whether you want to climb a tree with them or if they can have a pet; and based on this research, short of wrapping ourselves head-to-toe in cotton wool, a safe-haven for parents may not actually exist.

Those who own cats or dogs can expect to trip over or have the family pet get under their feet a further four times per year, while the dreaded prospect of an accidental hit to the crotch faces men with young children twice a year.

Other areas of parenting where men have had brushes with injury were playing goalie, climbing, being head-butted while play-fighting and one in five even picked up an injury doing something which they confessed ‘I should know better than to attempt at my age’. Does this sound familiar?

Safety net

Given the bashing that dads get in the ‘line of duty’, it’s quite surprising that so few think about how they would manage if a more serious injury were to happen, with the study showing that they are more likely to financially protect their phones and pets than they are themselves. This seems even stranger when a fifth of dads have had to take time off work because of injuries picked up after doing an everyday activity with the family.

Considering plenty of men now take the time to invest in insurance for our laptops and even online bookings; the results showing the average family would struggle to pay the rent or mortgage after only three months if the breadwinner was no longer able to work, definitely creates food for thought.

Although the list of injuries would suggest it’s best for dads to know their limits when it comes to trying to keep up with their children, spending precious time having fun and getting involved in their games – whatever types of wear and tear this may entail – will always win out.