Revised guidance for play providers

Revised guidance for play providers explains the benefit of managing risk

 A fully revised 2nd edition of the Play Safety Forum’s ‘Managing Risk in Play Provision’ has been published and explains how play providers can take a sensible approach to managing risk, which allows children to experience challenging play opportunities while keeping them safe from danger.

The ground-breaking publication is based on the premise that an element of risk in play is inevitable and can actually be beneficial to children. Risk helps children to explore their limitations and develop resilience. In her recent report on child health, the Chief Medical Officer described building resilience as an invaluable early intervention: ‘By exposing young people to low doses of challenges, in safe and supported environments, we strengthen their ability to act effectively later in life’. 
This guide shows how play providers can use an approach to risk assessment that balances the benefits of an activity with any inherent risk, thus fully taking into account and encouraging the benefits to children and young people of challenging play experiences. It will be invaluable for those who manage spaces and settings in which children play, and for those involved in designing and maintaining them.
Robin Sutcliffe, Chair of the Play Safety Forum said:
“Children need and choose exciting places to play, which inevitably means managing situations that are inherently risky. This publication recognises this and gives guidance to providers about how this can be reconciled with a natural desire for children’s safety.”
Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE said:
 “Play - and particularly play outdoors - teaches young people how to deal with risk. Without this awareness and learning they are ill equipped to deal with adult life. Outdoor play and learning is an important part of our children's education.”
“HSE endorses the proportionate advice in the guide. We should all make sure that needless health and safety excuses do not get in the way of activities. Of course take sensible and reasonable precautions, but let young people play.”
‘Managing Risk in Play Provision’ was funded through the Social Action Fund supported by the Cabinet Office and  has been endorsed by numerous organisations including the Health and Safety Executive, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and the Association of Play Industries.