Don't wrap kids in cotton wool

Posted by Jon Garside on 17/07/2013
Credit: HSE

The Health and Safety Executive has published a poster dispelling the myth that health and safety law prevents children from taking part in exciting activities.

Some argue that removing risk is detrimental to society, and the HSE's new poster dispels the myth that children need to be wrapped in cotton wool to keep them safe.

The poster reads, "Health and safety law is often used as an excuse to stop children taking part in exciting activities, but well-managed risk is good for them. It engages their imagination, helps them learn and even teaches them to manage risks for themselves in the future. They won’t understand about risk if they’re wrapped in cotton wool. Risk itself won’t damage children, but ill-managed and overprotective actions could!"

Health and Safety law is often cited as a barrier to volunteers wanting to get involved with youth organisations. One of the letters within the HSE's press archive from Judith Hackitt, the HSE Chair, puts the record straight. She notes that real health and safety is about, 'living lives, managing risk and enabling people to enjoy themselves.' 



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