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Lifestyle

Let kids get into scrapes, says British report

Children play in the sea during the heatwave in Skegness, eastern England, July 19, 2006. Parents should let their children climb trees and play outdoors, and not be worried about them getting cuts and bruises, Britain's Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said on Tuesday. REUTERS/Darren Staples

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Parents should let their children climb trees and play outdoors, and not be worried about them getting cuts and bruises, Britain’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said on Tuesday.

Children learned vital “life-long lessons” when they took risks playing in a natural environment and any injuries they suffered were all part of growing up, it added in a report.

The message comes a week after Britain’s Children’s Society found in a survey that parents were stopping their children going out to play on their own because they were worried about their safety.

A total of 43 percent of parents in that survey thought children should not go out unsupervised until they were 14 because of fears they could be hurt or even targeted by predatory pedophiles, a precautionary attitude perhaps, but one which the study said could affect their development.

“We need to ask ourselves whether it is better for a child to break a wrist falling out of a tree, or to get a repetitive strain wrist injury at a young age from using a computer or video games console,” RoSPA said.

“Parents and children must not be frightened about venturing outside,” said Peter Cornall, RoSPA’s Head of Leisure Safety.

“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,” he said.

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