Let children learn by taking risks

UK Telegraph 12 June 2007
Britain’s safety charity suggested yesterday it would be better for the occasional child to fall out of a tree and break their wrist than develop repetitive strain injury from playing computer games. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said parents were too risk-averse, particularly after the abduction of Madeleine McCann in Portugal, and youngsters should be allowed to bruise and cut themselves. Peter Cornall, the head of leisure safety at the society, said children would learn “valuable life-long lessons” by scraping knees, grazing elbows and bumping heads – not least how they would avoid hurting themselves in future – whereas they would learn little from getting RSI from playing games day in, day out on a PC.Around 21,000 children a year under the age of 15 break their wrists while playing outside, excluding those injured playing sport. As yet, no significant research has been carried out in Britain into the risks of RSI among children who spend hours on computers doing homework or playing games, but doctors report an increasing number of children with computer-related injuries. Children are increasingly unfit as a result of being immobile for long periods on a PC. Mr Cornall’s comments came after a study by the Children’s Society found 43 per cent of adults thought children should not be allowed out with their friends until they were 14 or over.


See Also: Over protective? Let go enough for growth
Channel 9’s TODAY Show (Australia) June 8, 2007
Every parent wants the perfect childhood for their kids — free of anything that might cause them pain. But can we end up harming our children by being too protective?