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 ...
I see a slide and then several gangways for walking. Is that what passes for playground equipment these days?
If you were a normal male child with a bicycle in the 1970s, at one point or another, you got hurt emulating Evil Knievel.
I grew up in the 70-80’s (born in 1969) and agree with you.
The “law-yahs” made all cities shudder against huge lawsuits.
In CA, my 5-year old must wear a helmet on his bike, or I face a fine.
“If you never get hurt, you never learn from your mistakes.”
Profound. Deeply profound.
You, in one sentence show the danger of Liberal Utopianism. The Left tries to shelter everyone from hardship by moving the playground or the job or earning a living to not be at a price.
I think Conservatives understand that human nature is about risk, both body, mind and soul. We avoid pain as human beings (save those S & M freaks) but inevitably there is loss, death, disappointment and failure.
The Liberal lives in a perfect, soft-floored, slow-slide, no sharp edges playground, shielded from the pedophile that lurks in the adjacent street that they fought to not have “stigma”.
You learn by trying and not achieving, then figuring it out and perservering. Kids today are not allowed to fall and when life slams them post-HS or college, they have never know defeat or hardship, and cannot function.
That looks like something Laurel and Hardy would pull a piano up...
We had one of those, too...North River Elementary, Mt. Solon, VA.
It was the last generation of America. Ted Kennedy’s Hart-Cellar Act hadn’t ruined the strongest, wealthiest and best nation in the country. 90% European, 10% black and other.
It’s all done. The lawyers and Liberals wrecked it.
Tackle football, when the end zone was my granddad’s brick wall. Wonder how no one ever died, but we were careful going deep.
The parachute stuff started in the 70’s. We did it on rainy days and it was a precursor to frisbee baaseball or dodgeball.
I’m sure a sail of clear plastic sheeting would have ameliorated the problem but hey! the blanket was handy.
Well we did that with the old school steep metal slides, so the new equipment is still safer.
You know what happened in the 90’s?
More women were elected to offices at every level of government than ever before.
It’s when the hovering began.
Today, the only place a kid isn’t safe is in her mother’s womb. If he or she can make it past the labia in tact, they never have to worry about so much as a scuffed knee.
Every budding mother is an executioner.
Nothing in our culture is as overrated than modern motherhood.
Habitrails for tots.
Fourth, fifth and sixth grade recess at St. Catherine’s School - Smear the Queer.
One guy gets the ball on a blacktop playground. You tackle that guy, and he has to give up the ball to another guy.
Rinse and repeat.
Can’t play Smear the Queer anymore. In fact, you can’t even say ‘Smear the Queer’ any more without losing family and fortune.
However, I saw no mention of the most important factor for safe, fun-free playgrounds...
A kid gets injured?
Parents ring the cash register on anybody with deep pockets and a hint of liability.
You were soft
We has one of these
Lighter, faster, and only one point of support so you could combine a pendulum motion with the spin.
Less than a week to the first injury, so the teachers put a restriction on use
Teachers were such fussbiddys in those days
The one at my grade school (~1970) had a solid platform to the center. We used to play “King of the ____” (name of that thing eludes me - not a merrygoround, but...).
Anyway, spin it as fast as you could while pushing the other kids off and trying to stay on yourself.
One Monday we got to school and just an empty spot of dirt where it used to be. The Principal called about 6 of us guys in and said we were the reason it was gone because we played too rough with it.
I asked him if he would be pulling out the slides next, as we would now be forced to playing “King of the Slide” and tossing kids from the slide. (Yeah - one more time mom had to come down to school!).
I seem to recall another thing that they pulled out from our rough play - it may have been the teeter-todder.
When I took my kids to the park they were always the bain of the other parents. One park had a bunch of great big mud puddles off near the woods that my kids enjoyed. The kind that would suck a tennis shoe off. We figured the clothes would wash (and they would). And the kids had a ball. (And the other parents would have to grab their crying kids away as they didn’t let them play in the mud).
And they also liked to climb up to the top of those castles and ship structures and throw themselves off to me waiting to catch them. Although I did have to remind my son once in awhile to make sure I had placed his sister on the ground and was looking at him before he jumped!
The grandkids’ school solved the kid to ground impact problem by putting down about 8 inches of tire chips. The surface is a little like playing on sand, but with ‘bounce’ and is very forgiving compared to the playgrounds of my youth. Considering the relative lack of skinned knees and torn clothes, it is a good deal. They can still fall, but are less likely to get hurt.
Yep - if you came home with an injury, and it was determined you were not maimed for life, the real issue was whether the blood would come out of the clothing or if the tear could be sewed up.
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.