Tween: Child Development (9-11 Years Old)

  • Medical Author:
    John Mersch, MD, FAAP

    Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

How can parents ensure the safety of their preteen?

Preventable injury is the leading cause of death in this age range. Auto accidents account for 21% of all tween deaths, while non-auto accidents (bike, falls, drowning) collectively account for another 16% of deaths in this age group. Most parents are astounded to learn that 6% of all deaths in this age range are the result of suicide. Thus, almost half (43%) of all deaths in this age group are preventable. While peer pressure (for example, not to wear bike helmets) is a certain force, parental pressure ("no helmet, no bike") generally will prevail.

Any discussion regarding childhood safety must consider the pervasive and potentially corrupting effect of the Internet. Inappropriate web sites, social interactive sites (including Facebook and others), and general overuse must be addressed by parents. Limiting available content, hours of utilization, and time spent are all appropriate parental responsibilities.

Medically reviewed by Margaret Walsh, MD; American Board of Pediatrics


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