Let them eat mud

Apparently, in our increasing risk-averse society, more children are getting RSI type injuries from games consoles than injuries from falling out of trees and similar traditional childhood games http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/04/02/ngames02.xml. Now it seems to me that the trend for children to avoid “adventurous play” may produce adults who are less able to judge risk accurately. Now suppose that a teacher is brought up in this fashion, that teacher is then asked to lead a school party on a trip to, say, Dartmoor. Now it might be possible that the teacher, lacking in innate risk assessment, takes the children on an unwise expedition when the weather is poor, and streams are running high and an accident occurs. Then the full health-and-safety industry kicks in to produce more regulations and restrictions; parents are panicked by media outrage and as a result fewer children get to experience adventurous play and the whole thing becomes mired in a feedback loop.

Now, it also turns out that there are bacteria in soil which may help prevent depression http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/04/02/ndepress02.xml so it would seem appropriate to begin a Campaign for Real Play, so that we can produce a generation of fit, healthy happy children who have an appreciation of risk built up through an experience of falling out of trees into muddy puddles.


~ by @mmonyte on April 3, 2007.

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