Health

Pediatricians: Parents Should Never Spank Kids

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Pediatricians in England say parents should never, ever spank their children, following a lawmaker's claim that the lack of spanking led to the riots there last summer.

In 2004 the British government basically outlawed spanking. The law says parents cannot do anything to their children that would cause "reddening of the skin."

The Daily Mail reports that former education minister David Lammy said the lack of parental discipline led to the riots. He said parents were not allowed to properly discipline their children, thus they could not prevent them from becoming criminals.

But the president of the Royal College of Pediatrics said spanking is not the answer.

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"Smacking is too often seen as the easy option – sadly as pediatricians we see all too often today’s smack becomes tomorrow’s punch," said Professor Terence Stephenson. "Children should be provided with the same protection against physical assault as adults, and aside from being unnecessary, smacking is generally a very ineffective deterrent to 'bad’ behavior."

Lammy's comments have led to a renewed debate in Britain on whether its anti-spanking law went too far, leaving parents "no longer sovereign in their own homes," in Lammy's words.