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How Safe is Outdoor Learning?

Accidental, injury or sudden death amongst young people (up to the age of 19) approximately:

1420 All accidents
700 Road Traffic Accidents (Massively the biggest single cause)
220 Accidents in the home.
200 Skin cancer caused by over exposure to the sun
140 Suffocation
125 Poisoning (a quarter of which are from taking Class A drugs)
110 Suicide (Not part of the 1400 total, but twice as common as child murders)
90 Drowning
80 Fire (When did you last change the batteries in your fire detectors?)
70 Falls (Kids fall a lot, but it is not often fatal)
50 Homicide (Not part of the 1400 total. The vast majority by someone from within the direct or extended family.)
3 On school trips (The average since 1985 - Mostly Road Traffic Accidents)

And by comparison…..

School visits - 3 (A third of which are road traffic accidents)

Adventure Activities on school visits - 1
Marcus H. Bailie
: Head of Inspection Services, Adventure Activities Licensing Authority - Source: "….. and by comparison". (2005)

Just about the safest place a child could be is on a school trip, writes Phil Revell, and teachers have little to fear either.
The Guardian, March 15, 2005


Risk is often cited as the main factor deterring schools from organising school trips. We have found no evidence to support the perception that school trips are inherently risky.
House of Commons Education and Skills Committee

Education Outside the Classroom, Second Report of Session 2004–05


A person under 18 years has a 0.01% chance of staying in hospital as the result of an outdoor play accident.
Kate Moorcock
: teacher and author of Swings and Roundabouts

Leeds City Council found such an increase in pedestrian injuries each October that they have had to design a road safety skills programme for under graduates coming to their city. They are having to teach adults to cross the road because already people have not had the opportunity to practice these skills in childhood.
Kate Moorcock
: teacher and author of Swings and Roundabouts

The Duke of Edinburgh Award schemes have an accident rate of 1 serious accident (e.g. broken leg) per 1.5 million overnights.
Marcus H. Bailie: Head of Inspection Services, Adventure Activities Licensing Authority - Source: "….. and by comparison". (2005)

Health and Safety Guidance:


What is Outdoor Learning:

INDEX: What is Outdoor Learning?

Introduction page to this research

How Safe is Outdoor Learning?

How Much Outdoor Learning is going on?

Why Outdoor Learning Matters: the case for Outdoor Learning

Who supports Outdoor Learning and Why?

Campaigns for Outdoor Learning

What are the Benefits of Outdoor Learning?

Examples of benefits gained from OL

What does the research say about Outdoor Learning?

Where to find Outdoor Learning Research?

Outdoor Learning Research in other Journals

 

Acknowledgment

The “What is Outdoor Learning?” research was undertaken by Dr. Roger Greenaway, author of publications such as 'Playback'. The idea for the research project came from the English Outdoor Council, and has been funded by IOL. It is potentially a key resource for the field.