Smacking never right, say doctors

Date: 7th February 2012
Category: Basic Health and Welfare

Parents should be banned from smacking their children because of the risk that "today's smack will become tomorrow's punch", the Royal College of Paediatrics has warned.

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, the specialists say the punishment is equivalent to "physical assault" and is a "very ineffective deterrent" to bad behaviour.

Prof Terence Stephenson, president of the college, suggests that parents instead adopt a "positive" approach and set stronger boundaries for their children.

The college decided to intervene after Cristina Odone, a Daily Telegraph columnist, said that working-class parents were reluctant to discipline their children because they feared social workers would take them away.

She praised David Lammy, a Labour MP and former education minister, who said last summer's riots were partly caused by parents being scared to smack their children.