BETTER THAN Bubble WRAP: Do We “Over Regulate and Over Protect” Children at the Expense of Them Learning How to “Take Risks”?

Susie O'Neill,Marilyn Fleer
page. 111~127 / 2015 Vol.9 No.1


Throughout the World more children die and are disabled from injury than illness and disease, despite the fact that we are living in a society that is perceived to be safer than it has ever been. Environment and product modification means we have safer cars, homes, workplaces and play areas. Legislation and policy approaches have been introduced to regulate and enforce safe practices. However, in some cases this has brought about an over regulated and over protective societal change. Experiences and tasks once enjoyed by children are now often regarded as dangerous and irresponsible. The freedom of children to experience life in a way that allows them to develop competencies they need to become competent risk managers can be been hampered by over regulation of governing bodies and over protective practices of parents and caregivers, creating a bubble-wrapped generation in some communities. This paper captures an approach where child safety is reconceptualised by introducing a cultural-historical informed safety risk assessment model pushing against the current trend towards bubble-wrapped solutions to childhood injury prevention.

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