Children should take risks when playing

Children should not be wrapped in cotton wool when playing out with their friends. This is the suggestion of the Play Safety Forum (PSF) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which have released a joint statement stating the importance of play with regard to a young person's wellbeing and development.

According to the groups, kid will not learn about risk if they are not permitted the freedom to try different things when out and about.

The PSF and HSE have agreed that providers should be allowed to offer children challenging play environments without overly worrying about safety issues and the paperwork that comes with them.

Judith Hackitt, chair of the HSE, said it is clear that attitudes to risk are formed prior to a young adult entering the working world.

She stated: "Play outdoors teaches young people how to deal with risk and without this they are ill equipped to deal with working life." 

Chartred Psychologist Dr Karen Majors comments:

"The HSE statement which emphasises the importance of play to emotional well-being and development, is very much welcomed. Many children today have access to a diverse range of structured and supervised social, education and leisure activities outside of school, which are highly beneficial.

"There needs to be a balance here, children also need time and space  to develop and sustain their own friendships through their own games, physical activities and shared imaginative play."