It is our main concern to keep children safe from harm. Doing this can be very hard, as at the same time we need to encourage children and young people to experience risk and challenges. If we try to remove all risks from children’s lives we could be restricting their learning experiences. Some risks obviously need to be avoided, otherwise we wouldn’t be competent in our role of caring for children and young people. Obviously the risks we allow children and young people to take should be appropriate to age, needs and ability, and a balanced approach should apply. We should not be excessively risk adverse and encourage children to have more independence, therefore creating more confidence. By allowing children to use and access certain equipment such as a trim trail or climbing frame, and giving them rules and boundaries to follow whilst using the equipment allows them to take certain risks without taking excessive risks.
The children that I work with understand that when they are allowed access to the trim trail, they must follow the rules. There have been instances when children have not followed the rules and then have ended up with minor injuries from falling. Children now know that if the rules are not followed they will be removed from the activity on that occasion. However, by allowing children and young people to take certain risks, we must also remember to avoid excessive risk taking, for example, we should encourage children not to swing on chairs, and always demonstrate to children and young people how to use equipment correctly, i.e. scissors. It is very important your children and young people to be given the opportunity to take risks and challenges in order for them to develop a sense of self awareness. They need to understand the importance of potential risks to themselves and others around them. Children need to be encouraged to think about what risks may arise and how they can be avoided, and how they may impact on others and themselves.