Soap Box – Graham Bell on the ‘Elves of Safety’
You can laugh at them – the dreaded ‘Elves of Safety’, but the do-gooding busybodies are actually making our children more vulnerable to danger in the long run. It started with the banning of conkers in school and it has got progressively worse ever since. Football at break time is frowned upon, unless it is played with one of those rubbish spongy balls. Scouts are not allowed to pack penknives on camping trips. As for climbing trees, well you can forget about that. Add the fact that our children are now driven everywhere, the streets are far too dangerous for bikes nowadays.
The cotton wool has been wrapped round so tight that modern kids no longer know danger when it stares them in the face. And that is the key to the problem, a broken arm here and a grazed knee there serves an important lesson in life. Now we wonder why we have produced a generation of young adults that end up as casualties in the most idiotic circumstances. I admit to being an adrenaline junkie, and yes I do dangerous things, but I do them in the safest way possible. Over the years I have learnt to manage and judge danger, and the freedom I was allowed as a child was crucial to that. We need to turn back the clock, unplug the computer games and let our children loose into the big bad world, before they forget how to handle it.