Are we protecting our children too much while they play?

On November 5, 2013, we held a symposium on risky play and injury prevention in Montreal. It occurred prior to the 2013 Canadian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference and summarized their presentation in the discussion papers that follow.

The symposium was intended to promote dialogue and provide relevant multi-disciplinary perspectives on the whether we are protecting our children too much while at play. We heard from the following speakers, all of which also provided a short discussion paper summarizing their talk:

  • Mariana Brussoni & Ian Pike
  • Ellen Sandseter
  • Susan Herrington
  • Heather Turner
  • Scott Belair
  • Louise Logan & Pam Fuselli
  • David J. Ball


This entry was posted in Presentations, Publications.

3 Responses to Are we protecting our children too much while they play?

  1. Jutta Mason says:

    The contrast between Sandseter’s and Herrington’s presentations was rather horrifying. The children in some of the Vancouver footage looked like they needed to be rescued. Such deprivation! It would be interesting if the two examples, freedom versus bubble wrap, could be spliced together to show the contrast even more clearly.

    Also: there are some interesting playground blogs NOT coming from professionals in the field, but from people who care about children, adventure, beauty, and so on. Here are two I found recently:

  2. Alex Smith says:

    I’m very pleased to see that the PlayGroundology blog has been referenced here. I hope conference attendees will have a chance to leaf through it and playscapes, an excellent blog out of the States.

    I would invite you to read a relatively recent post – – Are Playground Injuries Really Where We’re Hurting Most?

    Thanks for making the papers publicly available.

    Alex Smith
    Founder/Editor PlayGroundolgy

  3. Robin Sutcliffe says:

    I cannot claim to have read and inwardly digested all the discussion papers, but I have skimmed lightly over them and, as Chairman of the Play Safety Forum in the UK, I would want only to welcome such considered and thoughtful debate. This is progress. No one is outraged any longer by the way we have approached the need for risky play or the inevitability of possible serious injury or even, very occasionally, death. And it seems that the play community, designers and workers are increasingly recognising the need for balancing risk and play. I particularly agree that we in the professional arena need to debate reasonably (not always rationally) and listen to each other. I am delighted by the approach of this conference.