Milk crates used as toys by pupils at a primary school in Oxfordshire have been removed over claims they are too dangerous for children to play with.
Dairy Crest gave Wychwood primary school 25 crates in 1996 for children to use in the playground. They have now taken them away claiming they are worried about the children injuring themselves, despite not one child hurting themselves in the 15 years they have been used.
Dairy Crest say current health and safety guidelines mean the crates have to be removed, and took them away during a routine delivery to the school.
Foundation stage leader, Anne Bardsley says the children love playing with the crates, and they have never once had a problem with them:
'They used to make castles, ships and cars out of them and would put blankets over them to make dens. They kept asking where they had gone and I had to say the milkman has got in a muddle and taken them away.
'They were quite upset about it but I am absolutely spitting. In all the time we have had the crates, we have not had a single child hurt themselves. They have got no right to make judgements of health and safety on my risk management. It is absolutely outrageous.'
Lyndsay Anderson from Dairy Crest apologised to the school for causing upset, and has promised to provide the children with alternative equipment:
'Whilst we understand their disappointment at losing something they had come to view as playground equipment, it remains a fact that milk crates are not toys and current health and safety guidelines require that they should not be used as such.
'It appears that this was not made clear to staff at the school and we can only apologise for any breakdown in communication when the crates were retrieved. There are lots of ways in which they could be misused and they could break, and it is very sharp plastic if they do.'
Health and safety gone mad or valid? What do you think?