Cotton Wool Kids

Posted on: Friday 06 July 2012 5:40pm

Blogged by Alison Kimberley

‘Are we over- protecting our pre-schoolers?’

In the ultra-safe world of pre-school, is it our role to open up kids’ lives or keep them tightly wrapped? Which platform allows that best? Where do our responsibilities lie? ‘

Today’s session was an interesting debate led and produced by Tony Reed, who asked to take to the floor a variety of children’s safety enthusiasts with some very serious and thought provoking messages.

They identified:

  • Main injuries to under 5’s
  • How these injuries effect development.
  • Social/ economic factors that are apparent.
Cotton Wool Kids (Photo:

Cotton Wool Kids (Photo:










Of course there are ways to protect the kids (or rather perhaps the broadcaster) by giving a warning. This is taking a leaf out of Jackass’s book ‘don’t try this at home’ statement. Also in an episode of Justin’s House, as Justin was playing football inside, Robert addressed the audience to say ‘it’s ok to play football in Justin’s House but not in your house.’

Thanks Robert for protecting CBeebies from those parents’ complaints, of which we heard a few in today’s session.

We then moved on to how CBeebies were promoting safety through their broadcasts, whilst still ‘lighting up little learners’ and not mollycoddling the children. Alison Stewart spoke about how a great way to incorporate safety themes into programmes is with humour and songs.

The session was summarised as; the future should not be about risk assessment, but rather risk benefit assessment, and if the possible benefits out weigh the unlikely risks then lets do it!


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