Health and Safety for your Kids

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog, bemoaning my lost weekends, and how they are now crammed full of sporting activities. Well, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for, because a week later my son badly broke his arm in a fall



Our weekends are back to being leisurely, as sport is off the agenda for 3 months, but at a huge price. He could not be more miserable.

The accident happened at break time at his school. He was doing what every kid his age should be doing - having a great time, haring around with his mates, letting off steam and having fun. They were playing some spy game on the climbing frame. One minute he is at the top, the next he is at the bottom and cradling a floppy arm that he said felt as if his forearm had come lose at the elbow. As the X-ray later showed, he was not far wrong!

Accidents do happen

I was surprised however by the reaction of some of the parents. They asked if I was going to take action against the school. Now I'm a qualified lawyer, so there's nothing I like better than a day in court, but why on earth would I want to take any action?

This was an accident, pure and simple. No-one was to blame. And what good would come of it? A ban on the kids climbing the climbing frame?

I always get quite irate when I read about some health and safety issue gone mad. One classic was a school that felt it had to ban triangular shaped flapjacks because one had been used as a missile and hit a child in the face. I shouldn't have laughed at that, but I did.

There was another story about a school that insisted children wear safety goggles when playing conkers, although that turned out to be a publicity stunt to raise awareness of the "Health and Safety Gone Mad" issue.

Overzealous schools or complaining parents

Most of the time when you read or hear about these things, it has nothing to do with Health and Safety laws. It is often overzealous schools trying to avoid being sued, or parents making a complaint. Kids must be allowed to play, and unfortunately accidents can happen. You cannot wrap them up in cotton wool.

No-one ever wants to see their children get hurt, and it is heart wrenching for us to see our son in pain. But this time will pass, and I can guarantee he will be swinging from that climbing frame again soon. And I'm not going to stop him.

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

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