November 22, 2012 Thursday - updated 13:30 PM PT

Children's lives blighted by Health and Safety

United Kingdom ( - November 22, 2012) Children in the United Kingdom are having their lives blighted, because of the obsession with health and safety, argues a new report from Not only are the lives of children being unnecessarily restricted, but their health is being endangered, by adults attitude to risk. 

The report quotes a recent report by the Health and Safety Executive, that found, that half of all children, between the ages of 7 and twelve, had never climbed a tree without an adult present, and that 1 in 5 children, in the same age bracket, had been stopped from playing conkers, on the ground's that it was dangerous. Health and safety fears are not only stopping children play, but are also effecting their health. Recent studies, have linked the rise in the number of cases of rickets, over the last decade, to parents and teachers reluctance to let children be exposed to the sun unprotected, because of skin cancer fears. Lack of sun lowers the amount of vitamin D, a natural protection against the disease, the body can create. Since 1996, the number of cases in the UK, has risen from 183, to 762 in 2011.

The report argues that Health and Safety legislation is not in itself at fault. Nor are Council's and local authorities wrong, in believing that they are vulnerable to being sued on the slightest pretext, by personal injury lawyers. The core problem, is people's attitude to risk. Rather than accepting risk as a important part of life, too many people are obsessed with avoiding risk at all costs. It highlights the case this year of Crawley Council, removing park benches from under trees, because of the risk of people sitting on them, being injured by falling branches, as an example of the absurdity of the situation.

The report concludes that the attitude to risk needs to change. If this does not happen, not only will children's lives will be poorer, but their health will be damaged.

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