Are your kids out in the snow throwing snowballs, climbing trees and having fun – or are they stuck inside on their iPad and watching hours of TV?
Prof Tanya Byron said that children’s natural development was being stunted after being refused the chance to play outside, banned from throwing snowballs and prevented from walking to school alone.
In previous generations, falling over and getting hurting was a rite of passage for many young people, with cuts and bruises being seen as a “badge of honour”, she said.
But she warned that rising numbers of children were being forced to attend A&E suffering minor injuries because they “don’t know how to fall any more”.
“They tense themselves up when they fall, so they sprain,” she said.
The comments – in a speech to the North of England Education Conference in Sheffield – come amid fears that growing exposure on technology and irrational fear over “stranger danger” is stopping children enjoying outdoor play.
Research last year by the National Children’s Bureau found that children were now less likely to play outside than previous generations, with almost half of parents citing concerns over traffic, injuries or abduction.
But Prof Byron, a child psychologist and author, who carried out a Government review into the effect of video games and the internet on young people, said parental concerns had reached “insane” levels.
“We live in a risk-averse culture, the levels of paranoia about health and safety and well-being are insane,” she said. “Most children spend most of their childhoods being raised in captivity.”
Read more here in The Telegraph