Sunday, 23 September 2012

There will be NO scooting in the playground!

My daughter's infant school have gone straight from 'not expressing an opinion on scooters' to 'banning them from the playground entirely'.  There was no middle ground.  No gentle request that parents ensure to keep an eye on their own children and ensure they weren't ramming the ankles of other parents or crashing into other children.  There was no recognition that scooting is currently preferred to biking as a method to encourage children to walk to school (yes, walk) rather than get in the car.  There has been no view expressed on whether bikes (larger, harder to control) also come under the 'too dangerous for the playground' category.

You may be able to sense a little frustration in this post.  You would be right.

I am sick and tired of 'health and safety' and the 'litigation culture' effecting our children's ability to just BE.

How are they going to learn how to look where they are going, avoid collisions, do those amazing mental calculations that happen automatically when you see someone coming towards you at speed and you have to work out if you have enough time to keep walking in front of them, or if you need to change direction.  These mental calculations need to be practised on scooters, bikes, skates, basically anything with wheels, in order for children to have half a chance of taking that ability and applying it to the oncoming cars when they attempt to cross the road.

Apparently children do not have the mental ability to assess speed and distance accurately enough to safely cross the road on their own until they are 11 years old.  (If anyone at the Times can point me in the direction of the link for the article I read this in a few months ago I'd be grateful.)

If it takes them until they are 11 years old to master that skill now; what age will they be if we take away their opportunity to practise that skill with slower wheeled vehicles?

I suspect that the schools 'banning' of scooters in the playground has occurred either because one child has bashed into another child, or because a parent has had their ankles bumped.  I would humbly suggest that any child that has bashed into another on a scooter would be far less dangerous a rider after the event than before because, dare I say it, they will have learnt that if they don't look where they are going it will HURT.

So now the risk of accidents has actually decreased overall. 

Hmmm.  It's funny how, despite being such a risk adverse person, I still want our children to be children.  Even if I have to put knee and elbow protection pads and a helmet on my child riding a scooter, I'd much rather they RODE THE SCOOTER.

Hey, maybe that's an idea?  Maybe the school could change their rule to "No scooting without helmets and pads".  At least the kids would have a chance to be kids.

What do you think?  If you were in charge of the school would you have immediately placed a ban?  Does it depend on what circumstances (that we may not be aware of) have happened?  Should they have issued a 'warning' first?  Do your children walk, scoot, bike, skate to school?  Do they wear any protection?

Feel free to share your thoughts by clicking on 'comments' below or connecting with me at the Facebook Page or on Twitter @ymummyreally.


  1. I think this is an over reaction by the school. I bet the majority of parents and children think the scooters are enjoyable and beneficial compared to the minority who complained. I agree that there should be some middle ground or parent consultation before an outright ban.

    1. Hi hun! Lovely to see you here. :-)

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. I'm not a huge fan of health and safety gone mad, but the thought of 60 scooters on the playground could get a bit busy? I'm an ex-teacher. My daughter rides her scooter to school but then I either bring it home or lock it up for the day. One of my biggest pet peeves and I wrote about it once is kids not wearing helmets on scooters. Yes, I'm a bit over sensitive as hubby sustained substantial head injuries riding a bike, but kids do fly on them and I've seen a few nasty accidents.

    1. All the parents at our school equally take the scooters home with them, and bring them back at pick up time. So they children only have them in the playground for a short 10 minutes as they arrive into school with their parents and for a short while as parents chat and meander out of the playground in the afternoon. Parents are present the whole time, so should be able to manage it safely for this short period?

      I think my helmet and protective pads idea is definitely the way to go. I am sorry to hear that hubby was injured.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it. :-)


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