National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
The NSPCC is urging children to "keep cool" following the re-publication of its 2001 research findings about dangers to children. One of the most interesting parts of its recent report "The Main Dangers Children Face" is a table derived from statistics collected by the Royal Society for the Prevention of ASBOs (RoSPA).
|Falling out of a tree||0.1%|
|Choking on a crisp||0.3%|
|Being savaged by a dog||0.45%|
|Being hit by your mother||49%|
|Being murdered by your father||143%|
NSPCC spokesperson and report co-author R.Morris confirmed that cutting off the lower branches of most urban furniture trees has considerably reduced incidence of arboricide (being killed by a tree). "This is most encouraging, and the result of years of lobbying council environmental departments to invest in chainsaws and hydraulic lifting equipment. Our streets are safer by far now from making most trees unclimbable, and by creating fenced-off environmental areas which are inaccessible to children."
Another triumph, which the NSPCC claims is the result of its efforts, has been to persuade fast-food manufacturers to make potato crisps less tough. "Compared to just 25 years ago, most crisps - whilst still giving the impression of being crunchy - have in fact had their hardness reduced by a factor of 4," explains Morris. "More crumbly crisps means that when a flake 'goes down the wrong way', most children can now cope, whereas previously hard particles could much more easily become lodged in the gullet, leading to asphyxiation."
Government minister M.Long-Clawed-Eagle said, "We welcome this report. Children should not worry about being hit by their mothers, as this is a normal part of growing up, but we are very concerned about the dangers children face from their fathers. I am bringing in new legislation to ensure that all men are kept as far away from their children as possible. We will be making increased use of Anti-Social Body Odours (ASBOs) and taking more draconian measures, such as ensuring that fathers remain uninvolved in their children's lives. We are taking advantage of the NSPCC's initiatives in arboriculture, for instance, by confining fathers to the tops of well-pruned trees. Other suitable places for them are up cranes, on top of suspension bridges and on the roofs of well-guarded government buildings."
RoSPA's response: "Whilst we believe that prevention is better than cure, we are very pleased that the Minister is taking this report seriously, and we are currently undertaking research to back up the figures that the NSPCC is using."
Note for children
You can easily make a handy badge out of drink container labels. Re-use the parts of old beer-bottle labels which say "Keep Cool". Soak the label off the bottle and then use a pair of scissors - but ask mum first - to make a badge-shaped cut-out. Wear your "Keep Cool" badge with pride and remember, there's nothing to be afraid of. The NSPCC will keep you completely safe and out of the way of harm from adults, particularly from men.