What about health and safety?
The poor old Health and Safety Executive is often portrayed as the spoilsport in all this, and is given as the reason children shouldn’t play conkers or climb trees. The reality though is that the HSE does not want such activities banned – quite the opposite.
The former chair of the Health and Safety Executive, Dame Judith Hackitt has said she often heard from employers that young people coming into the workforce are worse at calculating and managing physical risks than previous generations.
Dame Judith says outdoor play teaches young people how to deal with risk. Seeking to protect them from every conceivable hazard, rather than sensibly managing the genuine risks they face, ultimately leaves them in harm's way, not to mention robbing them of memories that last a lifetime.
A summer to remember
We couldn’t agree more. There is a balance to be struck of course. We are not encouraging reckless behaviour. But doesn’t every child deserve a skinned-knee summer, climbing trees, building dens and running around the woods?