Cotton wool culture out of control

18 Apr

A friend of mine recently told me about an incident concerning her daughter’s school, which I found absurd to say the least.

Her daughter was due to celebrate her 9th birthday and, as it was a school day,  her mum (my friend) was planning to send her to school with some cakes and biscuits as a special treat to celebrate the day.

But when she mentioned her plans to one of the teachers while picking her daughter up from school one afternoon, she was told that only fresh fruit was allowed to be brought into school for the children as some of the kids may have a gluten intolerance or there may be traces of nuts which could cause an allergic reaction in some of the children.

I don’t know if there were actual pupils at the school who were allergic to cake or if the school was just covering its back, but surely the school should have a list of those pupils and have alternative arrangements in place for them so the rest of the children don’t have to miss out?

And what happens if one of the kids is allergic to fruit?

Similarly, there was a story in the Daily Mail (where else?) about a mother and her three-year-old son who were ‘kicked out’ of Tesco because the son was holding a balloon.

The security guard told them balloons were banned in the store because they could cause a severe reaction if they brushed past someone with a latex allergy. Yet, according to reports, there were balloons in the entrance to the store in Bristol.

A spokesperson for the Tesco store said there was a policy in place because a member of staff at this particular store had a severe latex allergy so customers were asked not to bring balloons into the shop.

If someone had a severe latex allergy, surely they could make up their own mind whether they wanted to walk down an aisle with a kid holding a balloon, or at least look where they were walking to avoid brushing past the balloon.

With the Royal Wedding fast approaching and the shops encouraging us all to hold street parties, all I see when I walk into a supermarket at the moment are balloons and banners. Maybe the member of staff in question should avoid working in a supermarket altogether and work somewhere where there are fewer opportunities for balloon incidents?

My point is that people shouldn’t be prevented from having fun because of a tiny minority that has somehow got ‘wrapped up’ in this cotton wool culture.

I admit the fact that maybe the schoolchildren who are supposedly allergic to cake don’t know their own mind to be able to say ‘no’ to treats and understand the consequences if they do eat a party ring, but why should the other 20 kids miss out on a jammy dodger once in a while?

Schools in particular have a fear of being sued, which is a very sad state of affairs in today’s society and should be stopped.  I blame the parents!


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