Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Bonkers Conkers

Bonkers Conkers
With conker season all but over it never ceases to amaze me how each year there is a crop of stories relating to over protective schools either banning conkers, or insisting on some form of "protection" being worn, on the spurious grounds of health and safety.

This year the same sad old "health and safety" issues have cropped up, as the pupils of Adlington Primary School in Macclesfield have discovered. The pupils there, who wanted to play conkers in the playground, were been ordered to wear safety goggles because of health and safety issues.

Miss Broadhurst, the headteacher, said:

"We are quite an academic school and were determined the kids should have some fun - but we do it safely.

In terms of wearing goggles we just considered it was better to be safe than sorry. Conkers are generally frowned on now because a child somewhere in the country, at some point, has been hurt playing a game.

I suppose it does really show that health and safety has gone over the top

Ken says:

1 Wrap the kids up in cotton wool and they will never grow into mature, responsible, self reliant, confident adults.

2 What about the danger of wrists being bruised by a badly aimed conker? Why not insist on pads for hands as well?

3 Risk and danger is necessary for a healthy well balanced life, remove risk and danger and you kill the human spirit.

4 Kids will look for other ways of getting a "rush from risk", eg running across railway lines.

5 This type of overreaction merely transfers the adults' anxiety onto the kids, thus damaging them psychologically.

6 If this "does really show that health and safety has gone over the top", why on earth implement this daft policy?

All in all it is an over reaction to a low risk situation.

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  1. What really amazes me is how on Earth I survived my childhood....I used to play conkers without eye protection nor knuckle protection....How on Earth did I survive?

    I wonder if Nanny is trying to turn us into a nation of Insurance Assessors, we are being programmed to see risk every where....Life without any risk is very boring.
    The problem with wrapping kids up in cottonwool is that they do not develop any street sense nor any real appreciation of real risk.....By allowing kids to be exposed to some risk, they are able to develop a really important life skill, namely judgement.....It is my opinion that kids need to be exposed to two things in life that they are currently not exposed to; some risk and the word no.

    I have been watching some of the TV trailers for KID's films that have just been released and they have warnings during the trailer.....Warning, contains mild language...Warning contains mild peril, Warning contains mild threat.....What on Earth is that all about....These are films classified as kids films....Why not put a warning; "Warning, may contain mild enjoyment" The world has gone crazy...Thanks Nanny!!

    Enjoy conkers responsibly.

  2. Anonymous11:08 AM

    Dear Ken,

    Your picture advising safe apparel for playing conkers has left me shocked and disturbed.

    Surely you must realise that thick gloves should also be worn? I also object to the image of a man in a diving suit. Clearly a kevlar knife proof suit would be reasonable minimum level of protection, an old diving suit is a joke!

    Your sorry picture gives the impression that such a half hearted approach to protection is somehow acceptable.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Won't someone think of the children?

  3. Julius Caesar never had a problem
    He came, he saw, he conkered. I suspect the Romans were not big on Elf and Safety, that's why they got an Empire.

  4. Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells12:13 PM

    Anonymous said:

    "Clearly a kevlar knife proof suit would be reasonable minimum level of protection, an old diving suit is a joke!"

    .....and why isn't it hi-viz???

  5. microdave12:29 PM

    Miss Broadhurst would do well to visit the HSE website, where she can find this: (in the "Myth Of The Month section)

    "Myth: Kids must wear goggles to play conkers
    September 2007

    The reality

    This is one of the oldest chestnuts around, a truly classic myth. A well-meaning head teacher decided children should wear safety goggles to play conkers. Subsequently some schools appear to have banned conkers on ‘health & safety’ grounds or made children wear goggles, or even padded gloves!

    Realistically the risk from playing conkers is incredibly low and just not worth bothering about. If kids deliberately hit each other over the head with conkers, that’s a discipline issue, not health and safety."

  6. Thank god I have no children. The cost of cotton wool must be astranomical to large families.

    Ban children, problem solved.

  7. smithy2:14 PM

    If anyone deliberately hits me over the head with a conker, they'll be hearing from Claims R Us on my behalf.

  8. smithy2:17 PM

    ... and that is what the school is scared of.

  9. Julius Caesar3:52 PM

    herschelian said...
    "Julius Caesar never had a problem
    He came, he saw, he conkered. I suspect the Romans were not big on Elf and Safety, that's why they got an Empire."

    You're quite right: we got an empire by killing all those who opposed us! Seriously, virtually every kid I know played conkers when I was young, and I cannot recall ANYONE being injured as a result. Indeed, my peer group and I survived perfectly well WITHOUT interference from the elf'n'safety brigade!

  10. Grant6:15 PM


    As quoted (by microdave) from the HSE web site.

    "This is one of the oldest [b]chestnuts[/b] around, a truly classic myth.

    Someone has a sense of humour.

    I tend to agree with TheBigYin. Ban children - many problems solved. A partial implementation of the concept seems to have worked rather well for China.

    Disgusted, TW - are you using a Mac? I could just be a colour calibration issue that suggests Ken's diving suit is not Hi-vis on your screen. It looks totally over the top on mine. I very much doubt that anyone could walk down the street in that without be noticed quite readily by all around.

  11. skydog8:37 AM

    herschelian said...Julius Caesar never had a problem
    He came, he saw, he conkered. I suspect the Romans were not big on Elf and Safety, that's why they got an Empire.

    If Julius Caesar was to set foot on Albions shores today he'd take one look and pronounce the natives... 'Weeny, weedy, weaky' ;o)

  12. Julius Caesar11:23 AM

    Too right I would!
    I'm surprised the elf'n'safety fascists don't insist on everybody wearing a full suit of armour for everyday activities. Oops! Perhaps I shouldn't have made that suggestion, they might take me up on it!