Monday, 15 July 2013

Kids on the cut!

In the old days, as kids we were warned to keep away from the local canal. Now there is a positive change of direction. With the Canal and River Trust encouraging families to bring their children to the waterways. Pond dipping, canoeing and similar activities now demonstrate some of the fun to be had. Which is good as long as there is someone around to keep a weather eye on things.

I realise that what is happening is CaRT bringing the kids to well managed events. These are educational and can offer a good day out for the family. The problem is that kids will want to come back later to enjoy more 'unrestricted' fun with the adults out of the way. Are we undermining the good work done in schools to alert children to the dangers of being in or around our canals and rivers.

I know there is plenty of stuff said about the over reaction of some people to health and safety and the nanny state. But we are not talking about the odd kid falling off a bouncy castle or falling off a swing in the park. We are talking about deep water and sticky mud.

But now children are being warned to stay safe near canals and waterways in Nottinghamshire this summer. Each year an average of 35 youngsters drown in the country's inland waterways and coastal waters. The Canal and River Trust is now urging youngsters to keep out of local waterways. Annette Simpson, CaRT's education manager, said: "Canals and rivers are brilliant places to go to on hot days, and excellent for families to explore during the holidays. But it's also important that people, especially children, are aware of the risks water can pose." Its a mixed message!


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