MOTHERS of young babies are perplexed at the decision to ban tea and coffee at Stratford-upon-Avon Children's Centre in what one called "another case of health and safety madness."
Warwickshire County Council recently banned hot drink at play sessions at all its children's centres across the county.
At the Stratford centre, in Drayton Avenue, the 'coffee and play' session for parents and their children aged up to 18 months had to be renamed last week as 'Baby Play'.
One mother was particularly confused because she believed the existing cups they used were safe enough.
“The hot drinks were never served in a cup or mug,” she said. “They were served in what I regard as a ‘no spill plastic safety cup’ with a lid. They were almost like flasks, with a very small opening.”
The young mother, who did not wish to be named, goes to the centre at least once a week, and she said all the mums were talking about the decision.
“Everyone is just a bit disappointed,” she said. “I know it probably doesn’t seem much, but having a cup of tea or coffee is quite a nice social thing to do as a new mum.
“Does this mean I shouldn’t be drinking a cup of coffee in the comfort of my home?”
Vicky Kersey, children’s centre officer at the county council confirmed: “To minimise any risk of scalding a child we have introduced a hot drinks policy at all of the county's children's centres.
“Hot drinks can now only be served at children and baby sessions if the layout of the centre provides a separate area to consume hot drinks away from the children playing.”
Stratford Children’s Centre will now provide water, fresh fruit and breadsticks instead of tea, coffee and biscuits.
Caroline Loveridge from Stratford Children’s Centre added: “All families using the centre were informed about this change of arrangements and we invited their feedback. The majority of responses we have received have been positive and supportive as parents understand we want to minimise the chance of any harm being caused to their child.”
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