Free Range Kids: Horrible Insurance Advice

Lenore Skenazy, author, Free Range Kids

Lenore Skenazy, author, Free Range Kids

Horrible Insurance Advice

by Lenore Skenazy

This is how insurance companies think, blame and change our culture. The paragraph below appears at the top of the  “Effective Playground Supervision” page  on the site of West Bend Mutual Insurance. West Bend insures the “businesses that many standard-lines companies shy away from” including, “daycares, fitness centers, swim clubs, summer camps and non-profit organizations.”

Just today I got a note from a middle school teacher who let her kids do their math sheets outside and one of the kids stepped onto the sidewalk, hurt her ankle, and the parents sued. The school had to settle out of court, the prospective damages were so high. So I do understand that litigation is a minefield.

But even more dangerous is the deeply flawed idea that every time an accident happens, someone is to blame, and the only way to prevent accidents (or liability) is to PROVE that adult eyes were never off a child, not even for a second:

Inattentive Teachers to Blame for Broken Arm

A group of twelve children were playing on a playground at their childcare center when a six-year-old girl fell from the structure and severely broke her arm. Two teachers were supposed to be supervising the students, but were in the middle of a conversation when the accident occurred. It turned out the girl was attempting the walk across the monkey bars, lost her balance, and fell. If the teachers were supervising properly this injury never would have occurred.

As if…! (Sputter sputter sputter.) As if adults can prevent every…!  As if no kid would otherwise ever…!

Feel free to sputter along. — L.

Worlds Worst Mom_Lenore SkenazyLenore Skenazy is the host of the family reality show, ”World’s Worst Mom” Wednesday mornings on the Discovery Life Channel. She is also a public speaker and founder of the book and blog Free-Range Kids.

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