Skip to comments.New Playgrounds Are Safe—and That's Why Nobody Uses Them (More Nanny State Unintended Consequences)
Posted on 02/02/2012 7:15:24 PM PST by DogByte6RER
New Playgrounds Are Safeand That's Why Nobody Uses Them
The problem with safety guidelines is that they make most playgrounds so uninteresting as to contribute to reduced physical activity.
Playgrounds don't look like they used to. Steep metal slides and wooden towers have given way to slow, plastic slides and carefully penned-in climbing contraptions. And forget about seesaws -- they're a thing of the past.
When kids are bored by unimaginative (read: safe) playground equipment, they're less active as a result, and with childhood obesity at epidemic proportions, that's a danger, too.
An interesting new investigation looks into this phenomenon. Researchers visited 34 daycare locations in suburbs and cities, including Head Starts, Montessori schools, YMCAs, and facilities at universities, corporations, and churches. Workers and parents were questioned about what they thought the main barriers to children's activity were. Injury concerns, financial constraints, and a wish to put academics first were among the chief reasons cited by parents and daycare employees for not encouraging more active play.
According to the study, the new, safer equipment often became boring because children mastered it so quickly. To make it more challenging, kids tended to improvise, walking up the slide the wrong way, or using supports as a climbing apparatus. Sometimes younger children were drawn to the older kids' equipment, presumably because it presented a more interesting set of challenges.
Lead author Kristen Copeland, a researcher at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, commented that some participants said that overly strict safety standards made much of the climbing equipment uninteresting, thus reducing children's physical activity.
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
ROTFL! I never thought about it that way before but you nailed it!
Societal Values and Policies May Curtail Preschool Childrens Physical Activity in Child Care Centers
How sad. Not a single slide that is suitable for use as a downhill ramp for launching a shopping carriage packed with four kids.
My kids were asked to bring helmets to a school rollerskating event at a local roller rink. We don’t even own helmets for biking - I was certainly not going to go out and buy some for rollerskating. What in the world??
I have learning scars from my youth and from what I’m seeing in the world around me, more kids need learning scars.
I used to love going to playgrounds back when I was a small kid during the 80s. That was back when playgrounds were still ‘how they used to be’. It seems something happened during the 90s. I could say that about a lot of things actually.
We were often told while going outside to play after lunch to “be home by supper”, without having any supervision or a tracking device strapped to our wrists. I feel like mine was the last generation that was still allowed to be a real ‘kid’ growing up, without all of the nanny state/PC bullshit. We try to give our kids as much of a free enjoyable childhood as we had, but the world is just too damn crazy and dangerous now, even in ‘good’ neighborhoods.
In my youth I would visit a playground in my parent’s hometown. The playground had the old equipment apparently until sometime in the last two years. I took my daughter there this past summer hoping to have her try just a little bit of it (though she’s too young for most of it). It is all gone now - I was disappointed to see it had all been replaced with the ‘new’ stuff.
I felt like Charlton Heston’s character in the final scene of Planet of the Apes.
I grew up in a small town with a park right at the center. Everybody knew which kid belonged to which house. Dogs ran loose with us and even the occasional horse. We played real baseball in the park. The playground equipment was durable metal. We had to head home when the streetlights started coming on.
We had to make are own rides when I was a kid. If you took the seat front wheel and handle bars off and flipped the trike over and put them back on so the curve was down instead of up you got something much like a big wheel.
We used to play tag on it....only one way (the entrance) to escape...without touching the ground, and you had to jump it.
We did flips, ran across those monkey bars, jumped the “impossible”...just not to be tagged.
If we fell, we fell. We said ouch, laughed at whomever fell and continued on.
“Everybody knew which kid belonged to which house”.
I don’t know when you were a kid, but when I was little... everyone knew where you lived and had your parents phone number. Pick a flower from the neighbor’s yard and your Mom knew about it before you got home. For years, I believed that she was a true psychic. How could she know?!! LOL!
We used to have one of these models in the city park all full of sharp metal, and fun.
Hanover Michigan is where I growed up.
Its still a small town but a big one compared to where I live now.
Everybody knew which kid belonged to which house.
Not only would you get in trouble from the neighbor, but you knew what was waiting for you at home as well!
I’m convinced that the 1980s were the last traditional decade for kids. The veteran teachers and school administrators who controlled the schools in the eighties learned their craft in the fifties and sixties. They were fine with us playing tag and dodgeball and having “challenging” playground equipment and jungle gyms to play on at recess.
That has to be the wimpiest slide I have ever seen. That whole playground reminds me of the old board game “Mousetrap.”
A friend of mine suffered a compound fracture falling off a jungle gym when I was in fourth grade. He fell about eight feet onto asphalt.
It taught everyone in my class the danger of gravity and after we got over the cool sight of the bone sticking out of his arm, we were far more careful when climbing up high.
Oh, his arm still works fine. ...and he has a cool scar.
Boys, especially, need to do dangerous things and learn real life lessons. I’ll never forget crashing my bike while riding down a steep hill with no helmet or pads. The pain was instructive.
If you never get hurt, you never learn from your mistakes.