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RoSPA Sense

A little bit of danger makes playgrounds lots more fun - Newspaper Edition - Times Online

PLAYGROUNDS must be made more adventurous with an added element of controlled risk if children are to get the best out of them, one of Britain's leading experts on play will say today.
David Yearley, of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, says that an over-concentration on safety in recent years has resulted in the spread of "boring" public play areas, which posed risks of a different kind.

It is when children become bored with spaces that they are supposed to play in that they turn instead to play in really dangerous places, such as along railway lines, river banks and on roads, Mr Yearley is due to tell the society's play safety conference.
Mr Yearley also said that over-cautious parents who continually reined in their children could be as much to blame as the equipment for playground boredom.

“As a parent, I want to protect my child from harm. However, if you protect them from any kind of risk, they never build up their ability to assess risk themselves. Then they fail to take that ability into adulthood for tasks such as driving that do involve risk assessment,” he said.

Around 40,000 British children aged under 16, out of a total of 12 million, are injured each year while playing. Playground accidents cause one child death every two to three years.

I have long held a belief that there ought to be a measure of how many kids there are with broken arms. When I were a lad every class had someone in plaster, now it is very rare to see one. My theory is that there is an inverse relationship between broken arms and kids having fun ( to a degree) and that the number is a good indicator of how fulfilling childhoods are. I would guess about 1 child in 30 per annum would be a sensible number to aim for.


Did you see this?

Youngsters at a Shropshire primary school are being banned from wearing open-toed sandals during the heatwave because they could stub their toes in the playground. Bishop’s Castle Primary School has introduced the ban for health and safety reasons, parents were told.

I can't remember how many truly-badly stubbed toes in 5th grade alone, the end shredded off and bleeding on the stonework of the sometimes wet school steps. And the 10 stitches from an unseen broken bottle, playing capture the flag, at night on the playing-field. What a great year, then I broke my arm in Junior High when we came back...
I found a guy's blog who's working at the school now, it looks exactly the same, nothing has changed in forty years.

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