Anorak News | Swings & Roundabouts

Swings & Roundabouts

by | 15th, June 2006

THE advice to wear clean underwear when you left the house in case you were hit by a bus was right for its day.

Of course, in the terrifying moments leading up to your face becoming part of the No. 73’s radiator grill, your neatly pressed Y-fronts may well have become less squeaky. But you tried, and that is what mattered.

Now such advice is largely redundant. The bus has been fitted with sensors to alert the driver if he gets too close to things. It only stops at the stops. Drivers are tested for drink and drugs.

The risk has been reduced. And risk, and how to negate it, are at the heart of what is called the nanny state. But times are changing.

The Times hears from David Yearly, of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, a man whose life is about minimising risk. He says that such has been the drive to reduce risk that things are now “boring”.

He chooses the example of the children’s playground. Says he: “If you have a playground that doesn’t have an element of controlled risk, then children will not be challenged physically and they may seek adventure elsewhere.”

And, as the Times says, the thrill seekers go and play by the river bank, the railway track and the road. Rather than being less risky, these sanitised playgrounds encourage children to take more risk. They are truly dangerous.

This is interesting news – not least of all because the papers have spent a great deal of time telling us that children spend all day indoors eating junk food and playing video games.

Who would have believed they ever left the house…

Posted: 15th, June 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink