The good folks at the U.K.'s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents have today found it necessary to point out to society at large that it can actually be good for children to play outside, even if they get "bumps and bruises."
Well, duh. Ya think? If you're reading this, you probably think that's pretty obvious, akin to observing that children shouldn't play with plasma cannons, even though the children of today are the discerning consumers of military-grade weapons technology of tomorrow. However, the RoSPA, being nothing if not properly data-driven, has done the research:
" Research for the Children’s Society suggests that 43 per cent of adults think children should not be allowed out with friends until they are at least 14."
Mr Cornall said that the disappearance of Madeleine McCann would heighten parents’ fears. “You can see why parents are so concerned because of the fears highlighted in the media. But it’s not right. It’s detrimental to children’s development,” he said. “It also means that when they get to 13 or 14 when they are allowed out, they more or less have an accident straight away because they suddenly have all this freedom.”
Oh, well, that makes more . . . wait, what?
I feel for Madeleine McCann's parents, but isn't she three years old? And didn't she disappear when her parents left her alone in a hotel room in Portugal? Apples and hand grenades.
RoSPA, which is due to hold its International Play Safety Conference on Thursday, wants parents to discuss risk and play with their children.
Madness! Discuss risks with your children? I mean, after their phenomenal work on melon-baller safety, I swore I'd never question the RoSPA again, but talking to my children is a little extreme. Isn't there a PSA they could watch or something?
When reading Mr. Cornall's recitation of the obvious, I find it helps to read aloud in Eric Idle's voice, if you can:
“Parents and children must not be frightened about venturing outside. When children spend time in the great outdoors, getting muddy, getting wet, getting stung by nettles, they learn important lessons – what hurts, what is slippery, what you can trip over or fall from. . . . .We believe that children can learn valuable lifelong lessons, particularly about risks and how to deal with them, from playing in the natural environment, and that parents have to accept that their children may get injured. Bumps, bruises and grazes are not serious injuries and are part of growing up.”
I quite agree, old chap.