Cotton wool culture is ruining our kids
(Or it might as well be). You know I’m a one for sensationalist headlines.
From: the Telegraph 04/09/12:
A "cotton wool culture" of over-protecting children has contributed to a decline in freedom for them to play, heath [sic] and safety watchdogs said yesterday.
They said that too often regulations were wrongly cited as an excuse when denying youngsters the chance to have fun outdoors.
Children needed to be able to be able to take part in activities such as climbing and playing conkers to learn about risk and grasp the realities of the world, the Health and Safety Executive said in a joint statement with the Play Safety Forum.
It comes in response to a "significant loss in freedom" for children over the past 40 years and proposes a more balanced approach which accepts children will often be exposed to risk and even danger when they play.
Play providers should focus on "sensible adult judgements" rather than an overblown fear of litigation and prosecution, the statement says.
The scourge of the personal injury claim you might say then. Oooh – contentious!
Kids need to learn from their mistakes. Over-shielding them from perceived dangers can be far more harmful than letting them break their leg falling out of tree. Far better they learn the lesson properly once, than carrying their naiveté into adulthood.
I recall a childhood friend who was forever walking into trouble (and being stretchered into A&E after all sorts of accidents which spanned the spectrum from football incidents to being nearly stung to death disturbing a wasps’ nest). Actually, I’ve picked a bad example as I haven’t had sight nor sound of him for probably 10 years or so. Still, I’m sure he’s fine.
Apart from a smashing my face when I tripped up as a toddler, and getting run over by a post van when I was 10 (other than shock, I was absolutely fine - ahem), I got off pretty lightly from childhood injuries (playground bumps, scrapes and scuffed knees aside). I like to think I had a good time, learnt from my mistakes and, you know, actually used that thing in side my head called a brain. I think all kids could do with a dose of that.
All kids need a few bumps and scrapes as part of healthy play. It’s just a fact of life.
In other news, you might be relieved to hear that the disease afflicting horse chestnut trees across the UK means there soon won’t be any conkers around for kids to play those dreadfully hazardous autumnal games with.
Still, with the conkers gone, they can get back to sniffing glue and perpetuating the STD epidemic.