The UK Health and Safety Executive together with the Play Safety Forum recently published a joint high level statement on risk and children’s play.
It advocates that play is great for children’s well-being and development and acknowledges that accidents and mistakes happen during play. ‘No child will learn about risk if they are wrapped in cotton wool’.
In summary the statement makes clear that:
- Play is important for children’s well-being and development
- When planning and providing play opportunities, the goal is not to eliminate risk, but to weigh up the risks and benefits
- Those providing play opportunities should focus on controlling the real risks, while securing or increasing the benefits – not on the paperwork
- Accidents and mistakes happen during play – but fear of litigation and prosecution has been blown out of proportion
Read a pdf of the statement here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/entertainment/childs-play-statement.htm