Risk, fear and childhood

29 Oct 2007 by Karl Hallam

The way the media covered play expert Tim Gill's new book, "No Fear -Risk Aversion is Undermining Childhood" about risk and childhood was interesting this weekend. Some picked up on his view that behaviour is often wrongly labelled as bullying; "Bullying is exaggerated, says childhood expert" The Guardian and "Bullying fear 'can harm children'", The Telegraph.

The BBC lead with, "Fear 'stops child development'", as did the Daily Record "Childhood Is Being Killed Off By Safety" picking up on issues Cadence have dealt with in their play and public space work.

BBC TV news had a clip of Esther Rantzen who appeared to be saying that parent's fears for their children are justified and that they should not be allowed to go to the park, walk to school etc.

Cadence's question is whether society's over protection of children, particularly taking them everywhere in the car, might make us feel that we are reducing the risk of children facing harm now, at the penalty of putting them at greater future risk of them being obese adults who have no links with the neighbourhoods they live in?

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