Parents under pressure to offer lavish, whole-class parties

Parents are splashing out hundreds of pounds on parties.
Parents are splashing out hundreds of pounds on parties.
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Parents are under increasing pressure to host pricey whole-class birthday parties, a report has revealed.

Two fifths of parents claim they have felt PPP (Pupil Party Pressure), feeling obligated to invite the whole class to the birthday party and for nearly a third of parents it is even official school policy that every child in the class is invited.

Families told Churchill Home Insurance that they spend an average of £252 just hosting a party in their own home, with one in five parents admitting they have spent upwards of £350 making sure their child had the best birthday party.

In the last 12 months alone, parents have hosted an estimated 8.2 million parties in their own homes or the homes of family members for their children, collectively spending a grand total of £2.1 billion – or £5.7 million every day.

Some schools have introduced policies to prevent children from being left out which requires children handing out invitations at school to invite the entire class.

The report showed that the cost of parties is not just balloons and bunting, as parents are frequently facing unexpected bills to repair damage caused by the number of children in one place. Nearly half have had to repair something in their home because of the party, setting them back on average £238 per event.

Craig Rixon, head of Churchill home insurance, said: “It’s interesting to see just how much pressure parents feel when it comes to throwing birthday parties for their children and the large bills they face when having to invite 20-30 children.

“In many cases, they do not have the space at home, so it is not surprising that damage is being caused to their home and its contents."

Damaged goods

The most common items damaged during parties at home are outdoor play equipment and outdoor furniture. Over a third of parents have experienced damage to carpets or flooring and electrical appliances, while over a quarter have even had to fix or replace windows and doors.

Meanwhile, some parties have even seen children become injured as a result of accidents during the event. Some 3.4 million parents of children under 10 said their child has been injured at another child’s party and in more than a third of those cases, the injury was serious enough that it resulted in a trip to A&E or to the GP.

The most common causes of injury for children at parties are slipping and falling, fighting with another child and falling off, or when playing, on a bouncy castle or inflatable.

Eating and drinking related injuries like choking or allergies accounted for nearly two fifths of accidents, as did paddling pool or swimming related incidents.

In circumstances where a child was injured in their home, two fifths of parents hosting the event said they had been threatened with legal action by the parents. A further one in seven refused to let their child return to the property following an injury.

Mr Rixon added: “Liability cases can cost thousands, sometimes even tens of thousands, of pounds, adding strain to an already extremely stressful situation if a child has been injured.”

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