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 ...
Yep. Had many a splinter in me bum from wooden teeter-totters. Mashed fingers from twisting up the chains on the swings. Oh, the stories I could tell...
I think the sad thing is is most of it is brought about of fear from lawsuits of people if their kid gets hurt on government property. Our parents would not have sued if we got hurt, they’d just take us home and patch us up and maybe tell us to be more careful next time. Not people today who are always out looking for their next free meal ticket.
Of course there are plenty of people who are PC and promote zero-fun policies as well.
My old grade school isn’t far away from where I am. went in a few years ago and got a little tour of the changes. Went in to the old cafeteria/gym and was talking about how great it was playing dodge ball in there. The now female gym instructor says ‘we don’t play dodge ball anymore’. Too dangerous, and not everyone’s good at it. They don’t play kickball like we used to either. Again not everyone’s good at it. They just do ‘skills’ work, and running. Everyone can play soccer because even if you suck you’re just running around. Hard to tell if you suck at soccer because hardly any goals are scored anyway. Team skills. That’s what’s important now. They do real sports in junior high and high school. Supposedly.
I already knew I’d probably see this as I had already known for years how they were messing up gym in the elementary schools. I was one of those kids that sucked at gym most of the time because my eyes were bad, and I was able to be in a class a year ahead of my age so I was smaller. Still had good memories of stuff and there were times when I did okay. Dodge ball was still great. Even if you aren’t the best you can still get people out and you can still dodge balls, for awhile at least.
If you could have asked the horse, it probably would have said it was glad she was there to fall on :-)
Easy enough to take a sabre saw to the exposed threads and make em flush with the nuts.
Then they’d probably bitch well the nuts are still sticking out. Just bubble wrap all the damn kids up then. Stupid libtards.
Back in 1980 we had one of the worst ice storms I can remember. Right around 3 inches. My parents lived on a gravel road at the top of a 1/4 mile long hill at the bottom of which lived my aunt. The ice completely covered the road and I thought it’d be a good time to sled down it.
Never have went that fast on a sled again.
In many ways these libtards are robbing our children of being able to be children.
In the same way lame-ass parents who would sue at the drop of a hat rob our kids of being able to be kids too.
This is not new. If you transported back 50 years you would see playgrounds were not used then either. Playgrounds have always been interesting for about half an hour then they are boring. Even with teatertotters.
We spent our times in the woods making forts.
In the same vein, I grew up in the town of Amherst, MA. Amherst college there happens to have God’s Own Sledding Hill, officially known as “Memorial Hill”. It’s sloped at about 30 degrees, starts at about 25 yards wide and ends at about 100 yards wide, is perfectly flat, and is about 100 yards long. The sole obstacle is a 24” drainage ditch at the bottom where the hill opens out onto the college playing fields. When I was a kid, the hill was open to all, and during the winter was the main destination for kids to sled. There were usually two well-packed tracks going down the center of the hill, and often some college kid would build a ramp off to one side (or even sometimes a small one on one of the tracks). The slog to get back up the hill was exhausting, but it was worth it for the ride down.
Shortly after I graduated high school, the college declared the hill to be closed, and would stop the usual weekend-day sledding festival, though people could still sled it on their own unofficially later in the day or evenings. A few years after that, I found that they had closed it completely, and the campus cops would patrol the area when there was snow, to prevent anyone from using it at all.
Some local nanny called the cops on my 7 and 9 year old boys for climbing on the roofs of this type of “playground equipment”.
It’s an interesting theory, but I doubt it is correct. I had two kids, and they loved playing in these “gerbil cages” as you label them.
The reason kids don’t do anything anymore is that they can have all the fun they want without getting out of a chair. When I was young if we wanted to have fun, we went out, found some kids, and played together.
Now kids have the internet and video games. The games even allow them to talk to “friends” while playing, so it’s like they are socializing, but without moving their bodies at all.
Lol, we don’t need no stinking foward visability.
I used to play swords in the street with big tree branches
at night no less it was awesome!
I guess the helmets can make you look funny; much better to hit your head falling and die.
I'm not so sure that the percentage of perverts changed much over the last, say, ten thousand years (modulo cultural variations, like the ancient Greece.)
What did change, though, is the awareness of those crimes. If a kid anywhere in the USA is abducted then everyone else in the country instantly knows about it. This allows a dozen criminals to terrorize tens of millions of parents. However only a few decades ago the news would be only printed in the local newspaper, and hardly anyone - even in the next town - would know. People would feel safer. And in practice the chance of a kid to be abducted or otherwise hurt by a criminal are miniscule compared to other risks that growing up entails.
Yet another factor is access to children, which is getting easier as more and more people live in large cities. A hundred years ago if a stranger shows up in the village he will be noticed. Today if a stranger walks into Los Angeles ... do you think many people there will pay attention?
But, unfortunately, the old-fashioned decay of the society is also taking place. That's what most comments in this thread are about. The value of honest work, and the need to work, are being diluted by government's handouts. When people don't need to work for food they start getting other ideas, not always good ones. Why not if they are all set for life and have nothing to worry about.
“...and then the grownups started and they moved in......the monkey bars.....the monkey bars came in, we lost 124 kids on one day...”
Yeah, because roller skating deaths are so common.
My kids were born in Japan, same kind of thing. The playground equipment on the U.S. bases was being replaced with the new pussy stuff from the states at the time, but off-base the Japanese still had good equipment in their parks.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.