Friday, June 04, 2004

Sun stops play

Derby city council has advised headteachers to stop children playing outside - if it is too sunny.

A circular from the council says, 'Try to plan external acitivies - short-duration trips, external lessons, sports days - for times when the sun is likely to be at its lowest...Give consideration to postponing or cancelling such events in periods of excessive sun and high temperatures'. So those school sports days that used to be postponed due to rain may now be postponed due to 'excessive sun'. The rising obsession with avoiding health risks is leading to a situation where many of the staple NEWCOLUMN pleasures of childhood are being scrapped in the name of a possible minute increase in the incidence of skin cancer. Not only does this killjoy attitude betray a contempt for the capacity of people to decide for themselves how they should live, but it is also contradictory: one week after a hysterical parliamentary report suggested that our children will die younger because of increased obesity caused by lack of exercise, we are told they should stay indoors for fear of skin cancer.

No games today, children, it's too sunny, The Times (London), 4 June 2004


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