Stephanie is a senior reporter for the Rotorua Daily Post.

Opinion: ACC claims prove kids will be kids

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Kids will be kids.

We can wrap them in as much cotton wool as we like but that sense of adventure, wonder and constant need to test the boundaries won't be stubbed out.

And with that natural curiosity inevitably comes the odd grazed knee, stubbed toe and sometimes broken bone.

Today we reported on new ACC figures showing the number of schoolground claims has been increasing over the last six years.

Some principals say the increase is because injuries are being reported more, while others say stricter rules in the playground has led to fewer injuries.

Whatever the reason for the rising figure, one thing stands out to me - kids are still hurting themselves, just as they were 20 years ago.

And that's okay. The occasional face plant, trip or fall is not such a bad thing.

You tell a kid not to climb that ridiculously tall tree and they are up there the minute you turn your back. You tell them not to run on concrete, do bombs in the pool or swing by their knees on the monkey bars and they take it as a personal challenge to do the exact opposite.

The first five times they do it they may walk away smug and unscathed but when they do hurt themselves that sixth time, they learn a valuable lesson - they are not invincible.

They learn they can't climb a tree that high, it really hurts when you trip on concrete and landing on your hands after falling off the monkey bars is likely to result in a broken wrist or two.

It is called risk management and It's not fair to rob this generation of the opportunity to learn that for themselves, just as we did.

I held my tongue when bull rush was banned (to be fair, it used to be pretty brutal) and I kept my thoughts to myself when trees were labelled "out of bounds" on some school grounds but if we ban much more, playing outside will lose all its allure.

In 20 years' time do we really want a whole generation of adults who can't identify risk because all their life they've been protected from it? No.

So please, lets just let our kids be kids.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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