Norwich shoppers blast health and safety killjoys

Norwich shoppers have blasted health and safety killjoys who are trying to stop children from taking part in traditional games.

A report released by the Health and Safety Executive yesterday detailed the top 10 bizarre health and safety bans which included stopping children from taking part in sack races on school sports day in fear of them twisting their ankles, banning people from flying kites on some beaches in case someone gets hit and prohibiting dodgems cars from bumping each other through fear of whiplash or broken bones.

Shoppers in the city's Castle Street thought many of the health and safety rules such as replacing leather footballs with sponge footballs, were ridiculous.

Rita Cox said: 'We all played football with a leather ball and we survived. We all took part in the sack race at school - it's silly. I have children and grandchildren. Not being able to bump each other in the dodgems is daft.'

Robert Beaken said: 'I don't see what's wrong with a leather football I think sponge footballs seem quite silly. As for banning monkey bars, you are not going to do much damage with someone watching you.'

Julie Parker said: 'Banning leather footballs in unnecessary. It's taking it too far. It's not like they are kicking a medicine ball. They are not going to be able to learn football skills properly by just playing with a sponge ball.'

'Dodgems are part of the fun of the fair. Small children should be supervised. We can't wrap our children in cotton wool.'

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However, Alice Piper disagreed and said banning leather footballs was not such a bad idea.

She said: 'They can be quite hard. It's not ridiculous to ban them. Banning children from using monkey bars is understandable. They could fall and hurt themselves and injure their arm.'

Mikey Carter, who got in touch through Twitter, said one of the most ridiculous health and safety rules he had heard was having to fill out a risk assessment to change a light bulb.

Another tweeter claimed health and safety regulations were not there to benefit people but to prevent businesses from being sued.

Some universities have even banned graduates from wearing morter boards when they graduate for health and safety reasons

One man who did not want to be named said: 'Some of the health and safety rules are fair enough but some smoking regulations are a bit harsh.'