Tag Archives: child safety

Please Kidshealth, give parents (and kids) a break

girl jumping off swingThe US non-profit agency Kidshealth – which claims that it runs the #1 most visited website for children’s health and development – has eight web pages of guidance for parents on playground safety. Page 6 includes the following advice: “Kids should always sit in the swing, not stand or kneel. They should hold on tightly with both hands while swinging, and when finished swinging, stop the swing completely before getting off.” Continue reading

Lenore ‘Free Range Kids’ Skenazy speaks!

Lenore Skenazy in BendigoLast week I spent some time with Lenore Skenazy, and took the opportunity to interview her. Lenore is well known to many readers as the author of the blog and book, Free Range Kids. Continue reading

Playgrounds that rip up the safety rules

Girl hanging from a fallen tree in Valbyparken playgroundThis post has a simple aim: to get you to rethink playground safety. Through a handful of images of playgrounds from around the world, I hope to encourage you to abandon any preconceived notions you may have about what a safe playground looks like.

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After the death of a child, a coroner calls for a ban on popcorn. Is he right?

Any civilised society feels a collective wave of grief at the news of the death of a child. When that child has died from something as apparently innocuous as a piece of popcorn, our sense of tragedy is compounded. When we are in the presence of a family whose sense of loss we know to be overpowering, we can feel a correspondingly overwhelming urge to make things right again. To try to offer the bereaved the consolation that, while their own child may no longer be with them, at least no one else will suffer like they have.

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Why scaremongering about strangers has to stop

Let’s get one thing straight. The threat from strangers is vanishingly small and has been for years – no matter what you might think from the tabloid headlines and distorted television coverage. What is more, the vast majority of child murders are committed by their parents, not by strangers. However low the risk, it is tempting to think that we – and children – have to be prepared for the worst: that we have no choice but to frighten them, in order to protect them. Tempting, but disastrously wrong. For it ignores the corrosive impact of the fear of strangers.

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Moving on from the zero risk childhood

Girl climbing a treeThe ‘cotton wool kid’ – cosseted, watched over, insulated from all possible harm – has become a potent symbol of our fear-filled, risk-averse times. Across the rich nations, children are statistically safer today than at any time in history [pdf link]. But the insidious question ‘what if…?’ crowds out common sense, and clouds our good judgement. Continue reading