It is important to take a balanced approach to risk management as most activities children undertake have some element of risk involved in them. However when the activity is well planned and organised, with thought given to risks that may occur, any probability of risks should be minimised. We must ensure that the benefits the activity gives to the child outweigh any risks involved.
Risk and challenge are important to overall development as avoiding all risks may cause someone to grow up to be extremely shy and lacking in many skills and abilities. If we did not allow a child to take some risks, explore and experiment, it would have a negative affect upon their development. When children explore the environment, that is effectively managed, around them, children learn that they can explore and experiment and are able to develop their skills.
The dilemma between the rights and choices of children and young people and health and safety requirements. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child clearly identifies that children and young people have the right to learn and develop into adults without the risk of harm. Children learn by trying out new experiences and making choices, however do not yet have the ability to always make safe choices. Carers need to ensure that children are able to make decisions on what they do by judging when it is safe to allow children to undertake an activity or make a choice. Some children need to have more opportunity to do this than others, such as a disabled child whose parents are extremely concerned that they will hurt themselves, needs to have the opportunity to explore and try out new skills in a well-controlled setting.
Children are good at deciding what is safe or not. When using large play equipment, even without adult intervention, a child will not usually stretch themselves beyond their capabilities. Young children should be given the opportunity to take appropriate responsibility for safety...
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