Youth Services Law

Fewer Rules Mean Fewer Injuries & Less Bullying

Boy in playgroundSpeaking of active children, it cannot be a coincidence that the diagnoses of ADHD skyrocketed as schools began phasing out recess. This article reports that schools participating in a study in New Zealand got rid of most of the rules on their playgrounds, and saw a dramatic decrease in injuries and serious bullying incidents. They also saw an increase in children's ability to concentrate in the classroom.

AUT professor of public health Grant Schofield, who worked on the research project, said there are too many rules in modern playgrounds. 'The great paradox of cotton-woolling children is it's more dangerous in the long-run.'

Society's obsession with protecting children ignores the benefits of risk-taking, he said. Children develop the frontal lobe of their brain when taking risks, meaning they work out consequences. 'You can't teach them that. They have to learn risk on their own terms. It doesn't develop by watching TV, they have to get out there.'

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