Health and Safety

3.2) Explain the dilemma between the rights and choices of children and young people and health and safety requirements.
The UN convention on the rights of any child clearly identifies the rights of the children and young people to learn and develop into adults and be protected from harm, so it up to each setting to protect all children in their care from harm. There are 54 articles about the rights of children and they are there to protect children under the age of 18.
Each child is an individual who makes choices and likes to experience different areas but they don’t have the experience or the skills to make safe choices. The carers therefore identify any potential hazard and judge if it is safe for the child to continue but the child needs to have a balanced approach of risk to continue to develop and make choices of their own with consequences (if any).
The adult’s role is to encourage the child to explore, learn to make choices and have their voice heard when decisions are being made that involve or affect them.
Health and safety regulations may sometimes put a limit on those freedoms, so for the child's wellbeing and safety we may limit their options. Always give the child an explanation of their actions if you are not allowing them to do the activity that they would like too. If a child is in significant harm during this activity, be as genuine, honest and realistic as possible, explaining it clear and precise at a level and age/stage appropriate why they can’t do this activity. If the child is not in significant harm but they might still hurt themselves explain the consequences of them taking part in this activity.