Have We Made Our Playgrounds Too Safe?


While most of America has been focusing on making children’s play-spaces safer and risk free, not everyone thinks this is the best way to go. Some playground developers are now saying that risk boosts fitness and brain development.

Read more at wsj.com.

66 Comments

  1. filler

    November 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    We never had playgrounds close enough to our house, but we always did have big piles of dirt to play on.

    • vegascable

      November 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      @filler no shit and what’s more fun the a dirt clod fight

    • Kevin in SC

      November 20, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      @filler
       We had lake to go to.  No adult supervision.  Just three kids from the sticks and a several hundred acre lake.  Or parents would be arrested now

      • filler

        November 20, 2012 at 8:29 pm

        @Kevin in SC thats awesome Kevin, I grew up in ABQ so…not a lotta lakes, but we made do with sand, ants, and spiders.

      • Kevin in SC

        November 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm

        @filler
         Where in ALBQ?   I lved there from 1993-1997.  I lived  near Central & Wyoming  for a year or so until it got too scary then lived on  Montgomery near San Mateo .  I made do with hiking trails in the Sandias and good pot.  Not that I would do that NOW.  LOL

  2. RonsCigar

    November 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    If you want to make it safe, just keep Elmo away.

  3. M_Architect

    November 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    No “gets scorching hot in the sun” tall as F’ metal slide? These kids have no idea how good they have it!

  4. Toin Coss

    November 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Let’s ask Marcey!?

    • Narc Zito

      November 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      @Toin Coss I hate you for this.  Their one bad song with its incessant airplay destroyed any tolerance I had for their one good song.

    • FLprodivider66

      November 20, 2012 at 7:42 pm

      @Toin Coss…Uncle Paul’s theme lyrics when referring to the kids on a playground “hangin’ round downtown by myself” and “I smell sex and candy here” hehe!

  5. JBinTN

    November 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Uncle Paul likes!

  6. Cletus from Brooklyn

    November 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Just bubble wrap your kids then fucking pussies…

  7. Narc Zito

    November 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    When  I was a kid, we had playground bridges over lakes of lava, while a monster at the far side threw hammers at us.  Either that or I played too many video games.

  8. Ziggy Stardust

    November 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    This will be great when they jump off the garage and think, “hey, no consequences !! “

  9. harlequincy

    November 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    risk boost fitness and brain development? Don’t they have pills for this now?

  10. nohomo

    November 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    I thought Ant didn’t allow pics of his back yard!

  11. nohomo

    November 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I thought Ant didn’t allow pics of his back yard! Oh well pretty nice setup for his “friends”.

  12. FLprodivider66

    November 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    If you already know, that blue stuff on the ground under what they’re climbing on is colored chunks of cut-up used tires and the kids will actually “bounce” off of it if ever they were to fall…..I on the other hand grew up playing on monkey bars with a concrete pad under it!? Wow, things really have changed.

  13. K Dubya

    November 20, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    That playground in the video looks fun as hell!

  14. FLprodivider66

    November 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    If you don’t already know, that blue stuff on the ground under what they’re climbing on is colored chunks of cut-up used tires and the kids will actually “bounce” off of it if ever they were to fall…..I on the other hand grew up playing on monkey bars with a concrete pad under it!? Wow, things really have changed.

  15. jerkstoresean

    November 20, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Put the cat shit back in the sandboxes. These kids need to know about bacterial infection

  16. Kevin in SC

    November 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I guess monkey bars set into packed dirt arent too common these days.    I bet none of those wimps know how it feels to fall from the top of the jungle gym.  Getting the wind knocked out of you as a 7 year old builds character

    • mistawag

      November 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      @Kevin in SC That’s because monkey bars have been deemed “racist”.

      • Kevin in SC

        November 20, 2012 at 9:50 pm

        @mistawag
         Great.  Time to make up new Code Words

    • K Dubya

      November 21, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      @Kevin in SC I remember hanging from the bars next to other kids and trying to wrap your legs around them and pull them down. Nothing like the loud gulps of air from a kid that fell flat on his back

  17. harlequincy

    November 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I don’t see friends jumping from the highest apex of the seesaw, leaving you to crash to the ground, resulting in a bruised tailbone in this picture.

  18. Jerry65

    November 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Bring back the metal swing sets that used to come out of the ground when you would swing really high. Ah the good old days.

    • K Dubya

      November 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      @Jerry65 The playground at my kids school has those. I was on one the other day and got motion sick, it sucks getting old

  19. Greatly Fatigued

    November 20, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    An affinity for risk is what has allowed America to lead the world.  It has been declining to the extant that we value autistic academics over entrepreneurs. Now we resemble the stale, nerdy Europeans more than the down and dirty risk takers that made America great.  America needs to remember that failure is an essential ingredient for success.

    • HummusMagnate

      November 20, 2012 at 11:24 pm

      @Greatly Fatigued was that caused by playgrounds or state sponsored education?

    • Ray in Pittsburgh

      November 21, 2012 at 9:27 am

      @Greatly Fatigued I had no idea so much depended on our kids getting fucked up on shoddy playground equipment. I think I’ll put some broken glass in my little one’s sneaker. Don’t want her to grow up a nerdy european.

      • K Dubya

        November 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

        @Ray in Pittsburgh  @Greatly Fatigued Ray, you are my kind of people…

  20. mistawag

    November 20, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    We used to play “wash the car” or “mow the lawn” I think these kids are slackers.

    • K Dubya

      November 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      @mistawag …and walk to school up hill, both ways…

  21. indpendnt

    November 20, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    I think it takes common sense away from the kids if they have no fear of being hurt.

    • K Dubya

      November 21, 2012 at 8:56 am

      @indpendnt Do you really think safer play equipment removes fear of injury?

      • indpendnt

        November 21, 2012 at 9:56 am

        @K Dubya I think after a few times of them not getting even a headache, it would make them less afraid of a consequence.

      • K Dubya

        November 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

        @indpendnt You don’t have kids do you

      • indpendnt

        November 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm

        @K Dubya yes I do, but I allow them to experience real life. It makes them a little more cautious in the real world realizing they can be hurt. If you teach your children to think, (such as not running with scissors) they may have a better chance at a longer life. If they don’t realize a consequence, they do stupid unsafe things. 
         
        BTW-not talking toddler. Most people just let their kids raise themselves, and blame everyone else when their kids get hurt. (IE a litigious society) teach your children well!

      • K Dubya

        November 21, 2012 at 2:30 pm

        @indpendnt I agree 100% about letting them explore the world. getting scrapes and bruises it part of that. But having safety measures to limit serious injuries is a very good thing.
         
        also i don’t think most people let their kids raise themselves, I think you are exaggerating a bit. All the other parents I know are very involved in their kids lives and take responsibility for their actions. The “most” you speak of are just a creation of the media and alarmists.

      • indpendnt

        November 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm

        @K Dubya OK! Well, an example would be my neighbors. They had a kiddie pool filled and expected the older (6-7 yr old)children to watch the toddlers. I see kids running out and riding bikes in the street constantly. I hear stories like that a lot as well. We just had a lovely 11 yo girl in the area impale herself on a broken curtain rod walking up some stairs. She freaked out and pulled it out and her lungs filled blood and was brain dead. Breaks my heart.

      • K Dubya

        November 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm

        @indpendnt oh, you hear stories…

      • indpendnt

        November 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm

        @K Dubya They have this CRAZY THING HERE anyway. News and Newspaper. Fuck, do I have to do research and post EVERY FUCKING STORY!?

  22. Ray in Pittsburgh

    November 20, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    I work on projects where that polymer padding is made. The off gassing will kill the kids before a concussion will.

    • DeathProof

      November 21, 2012 at 9:45 am

      @Ray in Pittsburgh Zyclon B, eh kommrade?

  23. ScottRSchmidt

    November 21, 2012 at 12:40 am

    I miss getting thrust off the rainbow colored merry-go-round at high speed, mangled by the redneck truck roll bars staggered around the perimeter and then losing skin while sliding across the black top. Luckily there was usually just enough sand on the pavement to soak up any blood in the wounds.

    • max_beta

      November 21, 2012 at 3:28 am

      @ScottRSchmidt wow, that just brought back the memory skinned knees and elbows. bleeding from some abrasion was a consistent thing. you never see that anymore, and if you do some fez wants to call child protective services.

    • Kevin in SC

      November 21, 2012 at 5:11 am

      @ScottRSchmidt
       This reminds me of another hazardous playground item from my youth;   the first school I attended had one of those cement drainage pipes in the playground.  It was big enough for us kindergartners to crawl inside it.  Im sure it was left over after they built the school and someome just suggested putting it in the playground   I bet its no longer an  approved playground item

  24. K Dubya

    November 21, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I hate when people act like increased safety is a bad thing. Kids do need to be able to explore the world and have some level of risk sure, but things like bike helmets, seat belts and soft ground under a swing set are good things. 
     
    Truth is you get a group of 7 year old boys together they are going to find a way to get hurt so this generation is not going to be a bunch of pussies. They will just have fewer blunt force trauma injuries.

    • indpendnt

      November 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      @K Dubya Then why are most American men PUSSIES? They were too fucking coddled!

      • K Dubya

        November 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

        @indpendnt most American men aren’t pussies

      • indpendnt

        November 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm

        @K Dubya how many people do you know that could do a real day of labor for work? Most sit behind a desk.

      • K Dubya

        November 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm

        @indpendnt 
        Three points here:
         
        1. How does working at a desk make you a pussy
        2. What does this have to do with the safety of children

      • indpendnt

        November 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm

        @K Dubya 1-Not being able to do a real days work. Maybe not in all cases, but MOST!
         
        2-If you were coddled, you can’t take a paper cut well. Because you need safety corners or you’ll sue for injuries. If you understand you have risks, you will be more careful. 
         
        Your 3rd point is missing!?

      • K Dubya

        November 21, 2012 at 6:32 pm

        @indpendnt so desk work isn’t real?

      • indpendnt

        November 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm

        @K Dubya you don’t understand real physical labor? Sarcasm or stupid?

      • K Dubya

        November 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm

        @indpendnt Neither.

      • indpendnt

        November 21, 2012 at 8:25 pm

        @K Dubya but you don’t understand what labor is, maybe you think rolling a chair is labor. Hence why you think a desk job is a real day of labor.

      • K Dubya

        November 21, 2012 at 11:01 pm

        @indpendnt What are you talking about?

      • K Dubya

        November 21, 2012 at 11:04 pm

        @indpendnt You know what I changed my mind, you have me convinced. I am going to make sure my kids get hurt so they can get manual labor jobs when they grow up so they are better than all the pinko nerds sitting at their desks.

      • indpendnt

        November 22, 2012 at 12:22 am

        @K Dubya You dear sir are completely retarded! Try a little fucking comprehension. They are getting so they have no fear. Being a LITTLE AFRAID of a consequence is a good thing. That is my point you fucking imbecile! It is the healthy part of experience. Talking to a fucking wall makes more sense.

      • indpendnt

        November 22, 2012 at 12:25 am

        @K Dubya even the developers thinks it helps with brain development. Maybe you should put a crook in one of your chair wheels so your brain will fully develop and you could get my fucking point!

      • K Dubya

        November 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm

        @indpendnt why are you yelling at me, I said I agree with you

  25. DeathProof

    November 21, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Blame lawyers and lawsuits. Playgrounds will be gone sooner rather than later.

    • Mikfin

      November 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm

      @DeathProof Lawyers are fucking assholes. I ought to know, I am one.

  26. mistawag

    November 22, 2012 at 7:19 am

    For those that say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” Try a spinal injury.