Parents are becoming more concerned about health and safety in school playgrounds. A survey carried out by Play England and British Toy and Hobby Association, on more than 2000 parents of primary school children shows that almost 75 percent felt that schools were too safety conscious at playtime. The average child gets just 37 minutes of playtime, according to the survey, which many parents feel is not enough. As child obesity levels rise in the UK, kids exercise should be increased rather than being restricted.
As many school children don’t walk to and from school, their activity levels are reduced even further. Playing in the school playground and falling over, getting minor bumps and scrapes teaches kids how to assess risks not only as children, but when they are older and are faced with drugs and gang violence.
According to psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer, litigation is the worst fear for a head teacher and schools are becoming increasingly averse to risks. Play England has launched a manifesto to get the government to recognise how important it is for children to take part in boisterous play.
As many children don’t play out or go to the park after school, playing in the school playground is one of the few opportunities for children to learn about negotiation, pack mentality, co-operation and teamwork skills. It is also an opportunity for kids exercise, increasing levels of activity and reducing the levels of child obesity, crucial for the health of children.