Many present and future University of Cumbria students express an interest in eventually working with children, but a recent article in the Scottish Daily Mail (01/12/12) suggests some alarming trends in childhood habits they might want to heed.
Based on an NHS Scotland report by Frank Furedi, the author of the book Paranoid Parenting, it shows big differences in the numbers of hospital referrals of children as a result of incidents in the home as opposed to outdoors.
Seemingly, there has been a big slump in numbers of children falling out of trees or off skateboards, while they are twice as likely to end up in casualty with repetitive strain injury after excessive computer gaming sessions. Other injuries on the increase included falling out of bed, falling downstairs and injuries from using electrical appliances – mainly hair straighteners.
Meanwhile the number injured by fireworks has fallen by 41%, with further drops in injuries caused by ice skates, skis, roller skates and car accidents. The Mail also reports a survey showing that a third of children had never climbed a tree and one in ten cannot ride a bike, while the majority said they would rather play on a computer or watch TV than go outside.
This would seem to be vital information for our Health students, so that they know what injuries they are likely to be treating as well as for Trainee Teachers considering what new risk assessments they need to introduce. And perhaps the University of Cumbria can congratulate itself on its success in tempting so many away from the couch and the computer screen for long enough to sign up for our Sport and PE related courses!
I wonder though how the career choices of this “indoor generation” are being affected…