soccer balls We all want our children to be safe, but there's a point at which we need to just step back, relax, and brace ourselves for a black eye or two. Trying to protect them from every little bump and scrape is a ridiculous waste of time and energy and is likely to do more damage to them and their well being than good. Case in point: A school in the UK has banned leather balls from the playground. Balls.

That's right, Harewood Junior School in Gloucester thinks leather balls are just too dangerous after a "number of accidents" last year. They now want them to use only "sponge balls" at recess. Can you say ridiculous? I'd rather my kid come home with a bloody nose than be limited to playing with sponge balls.

At least during physical education classes and football club, they'll get the real deal, but when it comes to recess, it's all about the sponge. I'm guessing David Beckham never had to bend it like that when he was in school. Seriously, kids have been playing with leather balls for decades, but now they're suddenly not strong enough to do so? They're certainly not going to be if we keep limiting their abilities to explore, grow, and yes, get hurt once in awhile.

The ball ban is ridiculous and part of a growing trend for schools and parents to overreact to each and every little incident in which a child gets hurt. From banning pencils because kids might use them as weapons to banning boys from using their fingers as guns because it might lead to violence, we're trying to pad their world. The intentions are good, but the results are outrageous.

Things happens; kids get hurt. But it's important in life for them to learn how to fall down, then get back up, nurse their wounds, and move on. We can't put them in bubbles, and we need to quit trying to put bubble wrap down everywhere they go.

Do you think it's ridiculous for a school to ban leather balls? What's the craziest thing your child's school has banned?


Image via chipgriffin/Flickr