Debate on Touch

Children’s experts are due to meet in Edinburgh this week and will debate “Touching children shouldn’t be taboo, it should be an expectation”.  A report on  states that Tam Baillie, appointed by the Scottish Government to champion children’s issues, said: “The pendulum of safety has swung far too far so that we don’t have a natural relationship with children and so that people, especially males, are wary of being misinterpreted if they hug a child or whatever”.

Other experts are also quoted as saying they have concerns that adults may lack confidence in knowing when physical contact is the right thing to do or when it is inappropriate and that a clearer message is needed to ensure adequate child protection and the meeting of development and emotional needs.. However Mark Smith from Edinburgh University is reported as saying: “I’m not sure we should be thinking that much about it because touch ought to be something that’s fairly natural. When we start to say this is a good touch or a bad touch then we start to actually introduce a possibility that shouldn’t be there in the first place.”