Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(MSNBC)   Today's playgrounds may be too safe, according to reporter hoping to interview more wheelchair bound kids   (today.msnbc.msn.com) divider line 128
    More: Obvious, highest point, wood chips, cognitive behavioral therapy  
•       •       •

4825 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Jul 2011 at 4:03 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



128 Comments   (+0 »)
   

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all
 
2011-07-20 04:34:04 PM  
I don't really get the logic here "Children were occasionally killed and maimed by badly designed playgrounds when I was young, and I had fun, so therefore for kids to have fun now playgrounds must remain badly designed and higher risks than necessary".
 
2011-07-20 04:35:23 PM  
Playgrounds these days ARE too safe. When you remove all the fun, well, they're no fun. No form of play is fun unless there's a possibility of broken bones.

Sh*t, they've even removed the sticks and stones.
 
2011-07-20 04:36:45 PM  

xria: I don't really get the logic here "Children were occasionally killed and maimed by badly designed playgrounds when I was young, and I had fun, so therefore for kids to have fun now playgrounds must remain badly designed and higher risks than necessary".


Did you RTFA? Feel free to disagree with it, but the logic is in TFA...
 
2011-07-20 04:37:39 PM  

h2oincfs: Pilikia: shiat, this was my playground until I was seven or eight (see that rusty tin roof no electricity or running water having house? That was my house from 1975-78):

[www.melonwater.com image 360x247]

It more than met the criteria FTFA:

- heights: climb an avocado tree or a waterfall? check.
- high speed: swinging from the red jade vines that hung from the avo tree, or jumping back into the pool from the top of the waterfall? check.
- dangerous tools: ironwood branch sword fights? check.
- dangerous elements: pissing on electric fences? check.
- rough-n-tumble: being beaten up by the big kids? check.
- away from adults: all farking day? check.

What I do not see is the sign that says, "Stay away, fools!"


It may very well have been a love shack for the adults living there, especially considering that the kids left after breakfast and didn't get home until after dark. Who knows what those hippies were up to while we were throwing rotten guava at passing cars, but it sure wasn't working. ;-)
 
2011-07-20 04:40:38 PM  

FarknGroovn: This thing may not seem too dangerous, but it is the most painful playground apparatus I remember from my childhood. You always got banged up when crawling around in these metal and fiberglass contraptions.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 220x331]


Man, my McD's had one of these too. I always felt like it was the only one ever. And yea, you'd get pretty banged up climbing through the space shuttle sized entrance, and the metal ladder inside and the rolled steel insides of the burger platform.
 
2011-07-20 04:41:05 PM  

Treygreen13: ttintagel: My mother watched one of her classmates die in a playgroud accident. I guess there has to be a happy medium somewhere.

Only if she wants to talk to her classmate in the greeeeeat beeeeeeyond.


You win a Witch's Hat.

Everything seems bigger when you're little, of course, but I swear that in my elementary school's jungle gym you could climb up and up and up to a point where if you were very nimble and could shinny up a bare metal pole, you could reach a single horizontal bar 20 feet above the asphalt. I never made it up there, but I remember watching in awe as other kids more agile than I flipped around on it. I got knocked out doing some crazy tricks on the monkey bars though. But I'm perfectly potato!
 
2011-07-20 04:43:53 PM  

xria: I don't really get the logic here "Children were occasionally killed and maimed by badly designed playgrounds when I was young, and I had fun, so therefore for kids to have fun now playgrounds must remain badly designed and higher risks than necessary".


That's not the proposal. The proposal is that kids need to be exposed to a certain level of risk as part of their psychological development, and that the threshold for "necessary risks" on modern playground equipment is set too low to provide a healthy level of risk. Boredom is merely a side effect.
 
2011-07-20 04:45:08 PM  
"There is no clear evidence that playground safety measures have lowered the average risk on playgrounds," said David Ball, a professor of risk management at Middlesex University in London. He noted that the risk of some injuries, like long fractures of the arm, actually increased after the introduction of softer surfaces on playgrounds in Britain and Australia.

img651.imageshack.us

It takes Balls to work in an office like that with a 5-ton A/C unit over your head.
 
2011-07-20 04:46:17 PM  

ttintagel: My mother watched one of her classmates die in a playgroud accident. I guess there has to be a happy medium somewhere.


I'm not sure there is. Risk, by definition, means that somebody gets burned from time to time. You cannot take this element out without also removing the risk. That is unfortunate for your mother's classmate (or your mother, who had to witness it), but this is what risk is, and it's not necessarily a bad thing. It just happens.
 
2011-07-20 04:47:10 PM  
How would it work if a private citizen decided to build a "dangerous" old-school playground on their own land, with a posted sign that they are not liable for injuries? Like, someone happens to own 10 acres of land and they just want to build something that is more fun than town/city parks and open it up free to the public.
 
2011-07-20 04:48:22 PM  
jaylectricity: If the playground's "climbing equipment" isn't high enough to give the kid a little scare the kid can always just climb to the top of whatever IS there, whether it was meant for climbing or not.

Yep, and they'll probably hurt themselves even worse than if they were climbing something designed to be climbed. Kids are going to find a way to hurt themselves. You can maintain a little control over the severity, or you can try to stop it all together and lose all control over it.
 
2011-07-20 04:49:10 PM  

big pig peaches: My favorite playgrounds were constructions sites. Although I'll bet kids couldn't get away with that these days.


When I was a kid, the city replaced a small ditch into 4 underground cement tube tunnels.
Big enough to walk in. These lead into a new, huge ditch. The construction took quite a while, obviously.
There was every type of machinery imaginable right in the back yard.
I probably spent 1/3 of my childhood in that ditch.
Good times.
 
2011-07-20 04:49:50 PM  
HarpuaMM: How would it work if a private citizen decided to build a "dangerous" old-school playground on their own land, with a posted sign that they are not liable for injuries? Like, someone happens to own 10 acres of land and they just want to build something that is more fun than town/city parks and open it up free to the public.

They'd likely still be held liable for injuries.
 
2011-07-20 04:51:36 PM  

HarpuaMM: How would it work if a private citizen decided to build a "dangerous" old-school playground on their own land


IANAL, but that has 'attractive nuisance' written all over it. Better to take over the town board and do it under their umbrella. Of course, you'll have to get all the wimps elected out.
 
2011-07-20 04:53:28 PM  

HarpuaMM: How would it work if a private citizen decided to build a "dangerous" old-school playground on their own land, with a posted sign that they are not liable for injuries? Like, someone happens to own 10 acres of land and they just want to build something that is more fun than town/city parks and open it up free to the public.


They'd still get their asses sued off.

You're liable for an "attractive nuisance."

The legal ground was plowed a long time ago with swimming pools. A sign won't absolve you of liability.
 
2011-07-20 04:54:30 PM  

Surpheon: HarpuaMM: How would it work if a private citizen decided to build a "dangerous" old-school playground on their own land

IANAL, but that has 'attractive nuisance' written all over it. Better to take over the town board and do it under their umbrella. Of course, you'll have to get all the wimps elected out.


In the US it probably wouldn't be advisable. Then again this is a country with 300 million overly litigious assholes making it horrible for the 5 million of us that aren't. IANAL so this isn't legal advice.
 
2011-07-20 04:56:56 PM  
"We used to have to get up out of the shoebox in the middle of the night and lick the road clean with our tongues."
 
2011-07-20 05:00:31 PM  

stpauler: This is the roadsign for playground ahead



When was the last time you actually saw a real see-saw (teeter-totter)? Those rocked.


They definitely did.

2nd grade, class field trip to the park. A girl in my class tried to run under it on the down swing. The board ended up clocking her on the hairline, splitting her head open. Ambulance was called, she ended up with a few stitches and a cool story.

That was 20 years ago. What happens now? I'm assuming a full inquiry into the safety of the playgound, in addition to a lawsuit against the kids on the teeter totter, teacher, school, city, playground developers, and teeter totter company.
 
2011-07-20 05:02:00 PM  
Back in the day in the western suburbs of Chicago, they had a slide that was encased in what looked like a rocket with vertical metal bars about 5 inches apart making up the body of the rocket. The slide was about 12 feet off the ground but it was the middle/top of the cylinder of the rocket and the top of the cylinder was another 6 feet or so above that, then there was the cone of the rocket. At the connection of the cylinder and the cone on the outside of the 'rocket' was a metal 'Skirt' that stuck out another 8 inches or so.

It was the duty of any male between the age of 11 to 14 or so to climb to the top of this rocket by gount up the stairs of the slide an then climbing to the outside of the rocket and scaling the outside of the rocket the rest or the way and navigating the 8 inch skirt and standing like you were on the top of a mountain. At best we were 20 feet above ground but it felt like the top of Mt. Everest.
 
2011-07-20 05:02:16 PM  
CSB alert.

When I was a kid, there was a park by my house that had what was, essentially, a giant wooden hamster wheel. Naturally, every kid I knew had tried (and failed) to run so fast in it that when they stopped the momentum would carry them all the way around.

Wonder if that thing still exists. I might have to swing by there sometime.

/Lion's Park in Lansing, IL if anyone lives that way...
 
2011-07-20 05:06:39 PM  
This one, in Belle Isle (Detroit River), almost killed me a few times:

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2011-07-20 05:07:58 PM  

itazurakko: AnthraxRipple: We have a huge-ass old metal slide at our local park. It's been there since I was a kid. It goes down a hill and is really fast especially with wax paper.

That reminds me of another play equipment I like - roller slides. It's like a slide except rather than a flat slippery surface, it's tons of free-rotating dowels all parallel, so you roll down it like a conveyor belt. Fun. Often very long and speedy.

Like this:
[farm4.static.flickr.com image 375x500]


There is a decent one at Dennis the Menace park in Monterey.

2.bp.blogspot.com

Fun slide.
 
2011-07-20 05:11:43 PM  

FarknGroovn: This thing may not seem too dangerous, but it is the most painful playground apparatus I remember from my childhood. You always got banged up when crawling around in these metal and fiberglass contraptions.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 220x331]


empressmess.files.wordpress.com

I remember thinking the bars were kinda scary.

In retrospect, I have to imagine what is would be like for an EMT responding to a case on the 4th floor of that thing. AFAIK, an adult could barely fit (could they even fit?) through the ladder holes.

But if the child wasn't able to climb down on their own, you'd be SOL for carrying them down. I suppose if it was something like a seizure, you could have one person feed them through the hole while another "catches", but it's breaking a lot of rules for an EMT to do something like that. And if it's an injury, that may make it worse and just not possible.

Aside from that, what are the options?? You could use jaws-of-life to open that thing up, but using those above ground level becomes a lot harder.

I wonder how many stupid kids tried to jam their heads through those bars. There will always be an age between where it can go in and out, and when it's too big, where it'll go one way and get stuck on the way back out.
 
2011-07-20 05:16:00 PM  

Nocens: danwiseman: I don't understand it. Bumps and bruises are not going to kill your children. hell even if they are stupid and break something they won't die, and it will heal up just fine.. Getting hurt is not nearly as bad as growing up into a hypochondriac bubble-boy freak.

Your little snowflake is probably stronger and more capable than you give them credit for.

/that woman who let her kid take the subway alone in new york is a hero.
//did you hear what happened to the kid?
///FARKING NOTHING. He was fine.

Yea, but did you hear about the Jewish kid who walked home?

Got his ass chopped in pieces.


Crime rate is basically lower now than it has ever been in most areas (fark you, detroit) but every time something bad happens the entire nation learns about it. One in 300 million sounds like good odds to me.
 
2011-07-20 05:17:20 PM  

vudukungfu: If you don't give your kid the chance to enjoy these, you have failed as a parent:

Tree house.
Rope swing into body of water.
Tire swing from tree limb.
Dirt bike, pedal style, no farking helmet.
Cap guns.
Chemistry set.
Real tools to access.
Time unsupervised to hang out with the neighbor kids.

I could go on, but as a nation of pussies, this list is wasted.
Farking snowflakes need popped in the snotlockers, all of them.


What about those of us that live over a hundred miles from a body of water? And probably 3 times that to a home that has a tree that could hold a tree house?
 
2011-07-20 05:18:40 PM  

Oznog: empressmess.files.wordpress.com


A community park were I grew up had a rocket slide similar to that. Only three stories, but there was a flat slide on the second story (like in your picture), and the third story fed to a long spiral slide that wrapped around it.

Not only that, there was a second entrance directly to the third story from a long ramp attached to a wood-and-chain bridge, which was in turn attached to a platform that had two short, broad slides for the little kids.

That was the raddest playground item ever, and it got shut down for being made out of steel.
 
2011-07-20 05:25:21 PM  
When I lived in Fairfield, CA, there were two playground items that I remember fondly. The first was at the local park. It was this wooden tower that looked like a Jenga game with the pieces missing. Sometimes there were handles to help you climb up and around it, and sometimes you just had to have strong upper body strength. The handle were rarely a straight up ladder formation but instead required you to climb around it to get to the next one.

The second was at my Elementary school, it was this tall Rope Pyramid. A tall pole in the middle going straight up with red rope pulled down to four corners, and a spider web of rope in the middle to help you climb up to the top. God I loved this the most.

And of course, both were torn down.
 
2011-07-20 05:26:15 PM  

echarm1: This is an awesome slide I frequently slid down as a kid:

[i1110.photobucket.com image 400x266]


Ha! I recognize that thing. Israel, right?

/the things one sees on people's blogs...
 
2011-07-20 05:27:39 PM  
I've seen newer playgrounds whose primary feature is "activity centers", where there's hand-cranks that do nothing, things which flip over, etc. Basically an oversized Fischer Price Activity Center:
babyduckshop.files.wordpress.com

I suppose it's hard for me to interpret their "interest" as I'm not a little kid. But it seems like the interest would run out after about 30 seconds, well, unless you're autistic and turning a wheel is so fun you insist on turning that wheel all day.

Just... the point of a playground was to do things with your entire body, climbing, hanging, swinging. This manipulation of objects thing is generally already known once they're running around. And you don't need playground equipment to teach you how to pick up a box and turn it over. You need a box, of which a kid will easily find on their own inside the house.
 
2011-07-20 05:27:54 PM  

BKITU: Oznog: empressmess.files.wordpress.com

A community park were I grew up had a rocket slide similar to that. Only three stories, but there was a flat slide on the second story (like in your picture), and the third story fed to a long spiral slide that wrapped around it.

Not only that, there was a second entrance directly to the third story from a long ramp attached to a wood-and-chain bridge, which was in turn attached to a platform that had two short, broad slides for the little kids.

That was the raddest playground item ever, and it got shut down for being made out of steel.


It looked very similar to this (it may have been made by the same company). And, come to think of it, the second-story slide was a bumpy slide, not flat. The only major difference was that the spiral came out of the top of the third story, instead of the stopping point like this one. The spiral slide even had the same strips-of-steel configuration at the top:

www.tallgeorge.com
 
2011-07-20 05:29:39 PM  
Better view of the strips-of-steel configuration:

www.tallgeorge.com

Damn, now I'm all nostalgic and sad. =/
 
zez [TotalFark]
2011-07-20 05:32:51 PM  

Current Resident: The Dog Ate My Homework: You want to see an awesomely dangerous playground? Visit City Museum in St. Louis. I take my kids there at least once a month and they never get tired of it.

Agreed. These images simply do not do the place justice. One must experience it firsthand.

[www.examiner.com image 500x333]
[www.pps.org image 360x309]
[farm5.static.flickr.com image 500x375]


And that's just the outside!

i227.photobucket.com

i227.photobucket.com

My boy was 4 when I took those. I sent him up this one twisty ladder thing that went through the ceiling and after 10 minutes I asked a worker where that went. He said, "um outside, on the roof, lots of places why? How old is he?"

"4"

Shakes head, "oh, you shouldn't have done that"

Finally found him stuck in a cave tunnel about 50 yards away.

/people have lost fingers and more at this place.
//babies falling through gaps in the floor.
///it's a blast
 
2011-07-20 05:35:28 PM  
Man, I remember a lot of these as a kid in Germany, especially the roller-slides and hamster wheel - fun times. The only thing I recall being dangerous with a lot of the playgrounds in the US was that the metal would get too hot - that's about it.
 
2011-07-20 05:39:01 PM  

Kurai Kage Ryu: What about those of us that live over a hundred miles from a body of water? And probably 3 times that to a home that has a tree that could hold a tree house?


Then there's rope swing over concrete inside a pagoda thing.

It was a pagoda without walls, flat cement floor, pillars at the corner holding up the peaked pagoda roof. Nice shady place. But there was a rope in it, a really thick rope your hands could barely get around, somehow attached waaaaayyyy up there at the peak, and this rope had a HUGE knot in it big enough to sit on, toward the bottom. It was high enough that you had to sort of jump up to sit on the knot, and the best part was that the rope continued down a bit after the knot.

So one kid would sit on it, and his friends would grab the bottom of the rope and run around in crazy circles and then just let go, so the kid on the rope would swing around in crazy circles for a while.

It certainly wasn't any official playground equipment but that thing was tons of fun.

Almost Pure: The second was at my Elementary school, it was this tall Rope Pyramid. A tall pole in the middle going straight up with red rope pulled down to four corners, and a spider web of rope in the middle to help you climb up to the top. God I loved this the most.


I saw one of those on a vacation to Italy. It was in some public park and just CRAWLING with kids, who all looked like they were having a blast.
 
2011-07-20 05:40:59 PM  

zez: And that's just the outside!


...damn. I kinda wanna go in there!!
 
2011-07-20 05:42:39 PM  

Nexzus: Not exactly a playground, I'm still shocked that the city would build this in this day and age:

[www.concretedisciples.com image 600x450]

It's a skatepark near Vancouver's largest Mall, Metrotown.

I'm not sure how many kids have been hurt trying to do 360s in that loop.


We have something like that in our Vancouver. It's not a tube, it's more of a bowl flipped on it's side. Last summer a kid tried looping it and landed wrong. Even with the responding fire department within site of the skate park, he died a couple of hours later at the hospital.

It's still part of the park, but there is a "Use at your own risk" sign on it now.
 
2011-07-20 05:49:35 PM  
I just did a Google Streetview for that old monster, and unsurprisingly the climber has been replaced (I remember them doing that before I left) but surprisingly, they also got rid of that hill it was next to, one that wasn't even used for tobogganing in the winter. WTF
 
2011-07-20 05:50:17 PM  
Reminds me of the "Stegle" (Stay-Gahl, not sure why it was called that) a large wooden play structure that had been built on my elementary school campus sometime before I started (late 70s, so probably built in the 60s). It was full of spliners, hot metal slides, and if you climbed the outside (unofficial) you ended up like 25 feet off the ground.

We averaged 2 or 3 broken arms a year from that thing....
 
2011-07-20 05:56:34 PM  

BKITU: BKITU: Oznog: empressmess.files.wordpress.com

A community park were I grew up had a rocket slide similar to that. Only three stories, but there was a flat slide on the second story (like in your picture), and the third story fed to a long spiral slide that wrapped around it.

Not only that, there was a second entrance directly to the third story from a long ramp attached to a wood-and-chain bridge, which was in turn attached to a platform that had two short, broad slides for the little kids.

That was the raddest playground item ever, and it got shut down for being made out of steel.

It looked very similar to this (it may have been made by the same company). And, come to think of it, the second-story slide was a bumpy slide, not flat. The only major difference was that the spiral came out of the top of the third story, instead of the stopping point like this one. The spiral slide even had the same strips-of-steel configuration at the top:

[www.tallgeorge.com image 640x429]


ZOMG Rocketship Park! We had one of those up here. It was awesome (except burning your legs going down the slide on a hot day.)
 
2011-07-20 06:02:30 PM  
From TFA: "There is no clear evidence that playground safety measures have lowered the average risk on playgrounds," said David Ball, a professor of risk management at Middlesex University in London. He noted that the risk of some injuries, like long fractures of the arm, actually increased after the introduction of softer surfaces on playgrounds in Britain and Australia.

So Farkers, if kids are still getting hurt a lot on playgrounds then where's the problem???
 
2011-07-20 06:06:51 PM  

Treygreen13: ttintagel: My mother watched one of her classmates die in a playgroud accident. I guess there has to be a happy medium somewhere.

Only if she wants to talk to her classmate in the greeeeeat beeeeeeyond.


HA!
 
2011-07-20 06:09:09 PM  
i.usatoday.net

this looks safe...
 
2011-07-20 06:09:25 PM  
Reports of the pussification of the younger generation are greatly exaggerated.

Kids are going to climb and swing on stuff. You can't stop them.

/my kid and his friends are just as rough and tumble as me and my friends at that age
/I was just as rough and tumble as my dad etc etc
 
2011-07-20 06:13:38 PM  

stpauler: ZOMG Rocketship Park! We had one of those up here. It was awesome (except burning your legs going down the slide on a hot day.)


Heh, the first time I ever rode down the big spiral slide, I burned my wrist bad enough to require a bandage. It was HOT that day.

On a related note, I learned to pay closer attention and be more careful to keep exposed skin well clear from potentially scorching metal. Good life lesson. Furthermore, there was no lawsuit involved. My parents didn't go to the park demanding restitution. They put some Bactine and a Band-Aid on it and that was that.
 
2011-07-20 06:14:30 PM  

Krieghund: Reports of the pussification of the younger generation are greatly exaggerated.

Kids are going to climb and swing on stuff. You can't stop them.

/my kid and his friends are just as rough and tumble as me and my friends at that age
/I was just as rough and tumble as my dad etc etc


i sorta feel this way. The "waah, playgrounds aren't dangerous enough" fark meme has never resonated with me
 
2011-07-20 06:17:25 PM  

BKITU: They put some Bactine and a Band-Aid on it and that was that.


Bactine and Band Aids, two important parts of any childhood. I still buy Bactine to this day because of all the times used it as a kid.

Speaking of Band Aids, remember the old metal containers they used to come in? Those things were great.
 
2011-07-20 06:23:20 PM  

mander: From TFA: "There is no clear evidence that playground safety measures have lowered the average risk on playgrounds," said David Ball, a professor of risk management at Middlesex University in London. He noted that the risk of some injuries, like long fractures of the arm, actually increased after the introduction of softer surfaces on playgrounds in Britain and Australia.

So Farkers, if kids are still getting hurt a lot on playgrounds then where's the problem???



I would say if you are paying the same price (in injuries) but getting less (in fun and adventure) then maybe there is a problem.
 
2011-07-20 06:23:51 PM  
There was a park here in Chicago that had a few playgrounds back in the day and it had the awesome multipart multi-level rocket and fort type stuff.

/Warren Park on Western just north of Devon for any other locals
 
2011-07-20 06:25:59 PM  
I've got a two year old and a "Safe" new playground near the house. Let me tell you all, it's ok. You can still kill yourself on these things, it just takes a little more effort. If your kid isn't a slacker, he can still get that good nostalgic cast for all his friends to sign.
 
2011-07-20 06:31:06 PM  

Treygreen13: ttintagel: My mother watched one of her classmates die in a playgroud accident. I guess there has to be a happy medium somewhere.

Only if she wants to talk to her classmate in the greeeeeat beeeeeeyond.


I will be laughing in Hell at that.
 
Displayed 50 of 128 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all



This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report