August 04, 2008

The end of playtime?

By Sarah Cassidy
The Independent (London)
August 4, 2008

Play time is over for children, with up to half of youngsters banned from climbing trees, playing conkers or riding their bikes by over-protective parents who are terrified that they might get hurt.

ICM research for Play England shows that half of seven to 12-year-olds are banned from climbing trees. Four in 10 were banned from playing in their local park or recreational area without an adult present and one in three cannot ride a bike without parental supervision.

One in five had been banned from playing conkers and one in six were not allowed to play chase because over-protective parents had ruled that it was too dangerous.

Yet parents were much less vigilant when it came to internet safety, the study found. Three-quarters of children aged seven to 12 were allowed to surf the internet without adult guidance.

Professionals in child welfare warned that children's development was being damaged by parents' obsession with safety, which was depriving youngsters of adventurous play. [More]

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