Friday, September 14, 2012

Goggling over Goggles!

I was a teen growing up when I first heard the Tears for Fears song, Mad World. 
I'm not sure I took much notice of the lyrics, however, oddly enough, the first song that popped into my head when I read the latest letter home from school was that one!

Year six go swimming on a Friday morning and, despite not being sent home a permission slip to say he can go swimming, I was asked to send in a letter to say that Master Beehive the younger (who wears glasses) was able to wear goggles.

In our haste this morning we forgot to pick up the letter, so I ended up taking it up to the school office later in the morning. My letter was not of the official requirement. I needed to fill in the County Council's required form.

It began...

"We are advised by the ....shire Healthy (sic) and Safety Handbook which states:

"Goggles should not be worn unless for a specific purpose and in this case they must be made of unbreakable material."

We therefore request that pupils do not wear goggles to go swimming as there is a danger that:-
  • another pupils (sic) could knock the goggles accidentally against your child's eye and damage their vision
  • the material, from which the goggles are made of (sic), may be inappropriate (breakable under stress) and could cause damage to your child's eye.

Let's just ignore the grammatical errors for a moment, because we all know that spell checks don't always pick up on them and if you're typing in a hurry to send out a school letter ;-) HOWEVER....

What is unbreakable material? Kevlar? Lead? Heck, maybe we should have an 'elf and safety warning about the breakable and dangerous nature of pencils in school, or rulers?

Secondly Mr HealthandSafetywithobviouslyfartoomuchtimeonyourhands, my child wears glasses...yes...breakable ones at the playground, where there are children who may accidentally knock the glasses against my child's eye and damage his already damaged vision! 

Still, that'll be less of a possiblity since you banned balls in the school playgrounds which meant that children resort to kicking stones and rocks instead during playtime...I can see how a soft, sponge ball would be of far more danger to my breakable-glasses-wearing child than a medium rock coming towards his head as it's being used as a football.

For GOODNESS SAKE, PLEASE relax some of these ridiculous 'health and safety' rules. We live in a real, all singing, all dancing world where accidents do, sadly, sometimes happen. But to wrap kids up in cotton wool so that they never seem to get a sense of their reality, or their actions and subsequent consequences? How are we ever going to raise a society of well adjusted people who know limitations and how they will impact on others?

Actually, thinking about it, I wonder if any of the Olympic or Paraolympic swimmers were made to sign forms about their goggle wearing or, maybe there are just some 'magic unbreakable' goggles out there on the market that I just haven't learned about yet?

Please let me hear some of your 'Health and Safety gone mad' stories!

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