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Risk and Safety

There is growing concern about how safety is addressed in children's play provision. Fear of litigation is leading many play providers to focus on minimizing the risk of injury. The effect is to stop children from enjoying a healthy range of play opportunities, limiting their enjoyment and causing potentially damaging consequences for their development.

Preliminary Legal Assessment

A preliminary legal assessment by Public Interest Lawyers confirms that PLAYLINK's play policy combined with the Play Safety Forum's Managing Risk in Play Provision Statement and proper risk assessment provides: 'a robust, explicit framework for organisations to demonstrate that they have acted reasonably in offering children acceptable levels of risk in their provision for play, whether in designated play space or shared public space.'

More information about the Assessment >>

Managing Risk in Play Provision

This statement by the Play Safety Forum is written for those involved in play provision. It addresses the balance between the benefit and the need for children to play against the duty of play providers to provide safe play opportunities for children.

PLAYLINK workshops

PLAYLINK offers Risk and Play workshops building on play values, common sense, skills and experience to help Play Service providers make judgements about risk levels with the aim of creating best possible play opportunities.

For more information go to the PLAYLINK website at: http://www.playlink.org.uk/workshops/

Playgrounds - risks, benefits, and choices

by Professor David J Ball, Middlesex University, published by the Health and Safety Executive, Contract Research Report 426/2002, April 2002.

"This report describes the first detailed strategic risk assessment of outdoor playgrounds in the UK for over a decade. It also reviews international research on risk factors. In summary, the risk of injury on UK playgrounds is found to be modest compared with the risks of many other activities in which children are encouraged, for accepted reasons, to participate."

Boy in Tree

Free Play Network, 129 Lancaster Road, New Barnet, Hertfordshire, EN4 8AJ. Tel 07790 981 175.