If you have young kids, you might have noticed that public playgrounds are a bit different than the ones you played on as a kid. Rubberized surfaces have replaced gravel or asphalt, and simple teeter-totters (or see-saws) have been re-designed using viscoelastic materials to prevent dangerous accelerations. You might have noticed it’s hard to find monkey bars on playgrounds. The reasons for these changes are obvious: safety and liability. However, are kids still having as much fun outdoors? Here are just a few links on playground equipment.
- Can a playground be too safe? Maybe some playgrounds are too boring for kids. A new kind of playground lets kids do a few more dangerous activities, but will parents have to sign a consent form for it? [url]
- In 2001, a report on playground safety stated estimates such as: there were 7.5 playground-related injuries per 10,000 US population in 1999, treated by hospital emergency rooms. This report may have spurred a generation of playground equipment that is safer for kids, but arguably not as fun or enjoyable as homemade rope swings. [url]
- The next time you see a kid sitting on a parent’s lap going down a playground slide, you might want to stop them and point out that it’s actually safer for the kid to slide down alone. Too often, well-meaning parents slide down with their toddlers and accidentally fracture their child’s leg if a shoe gets stuck and the weight of the parent continues to push the kid down. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.