Parents should permit their children to climb trees and glue their fingers together because by taking such risks they will be able to differentiate between risk and danger, a new book has revealed.
According to the book, Fifty Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do), wrapping children in cotton wool will result in them being unable to tell the difference between things that are genuinely dangerous and those that are simply unfamiliar.
The authors Gever Tulley and Julie Spiegler said that activities such as licking a nine-volt battery, steering a car with an adult working the pedals, and throwing objects from a moving vehicle are all listed as ways of teaching children how to make such a distinction.
"Of course, we must protect children from danger but when that protection becomes over-protection, we fail as a society, because children don't learn how to judge risk for themselves," the Telegraph quoted Tulley as saying.
"Let children practise climbing trees, and they will learn to do it safely. If you never let them climb a tree, they will eventually do it anyway, possibly in the most unsafe manner. Or they may never do it at all, which might be the greater tragedy," Tulley added.