Fire and children: learning survival skills

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Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Forest Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1976 - Technology & Engineering - 14 pages
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A number of essentially healthy 5- and 6-year old children were studied to determine their interests in, anxieties about, attitudes toward, and reactions to fire. The relationships of particular personality characteristics of the children and the socialization techniques and teaching strategies of the mothers to the children's perceived attitudes about and observed performances with fire materials were determined. The findings suggest that fire play in very young children is common--more a function of curious, exploratory play than a function of psychologically driven, psychopathological behavior as might be true of fire-setting by older children. Similarities were found between personality characteristics of children with high accident rates and those showing a keen interest in fire. Educational programs emphasizing cautious use of fire materials need to be instituted early in a child's life as interest in fire frequently develops by the time he or she is 5 years old.

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