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Washington school district deems swings dangerous

Editors Opinion – Can swings be dangerous?  Sure back when I was a kid my sister ran in front of some swings and got hit in the head.  These were the OLD SCHOOL thick heavy swings made of solid wood.  She ended up with a few stitches over her right eye.  Soon after in the name of safety the park changed to “modern style” swings, the soft ones  that form around your butt.  We didn’t like them as much because they were harder to jump off of when you were swinging.   The other boys and I used to have a competition, who could jump the farthest on a forward swing.

I think both parents who sue if Johnny or Susie even skin a knee are to blame here as well as our teacup educational system.  The truth is simple, getting hurt is part of being a kid.  When I was a kid I skinned knees, shoulders and elbows at least a few times a year.  I broke a bone or two as well.  You can still see a slight deformity on two fingers of my left hand from a bike wreck.  These tea cup parents and over reactive educational administrators need to understand something.  These kids have to grow up and eventually go to work, when they do likely they will be working for people like myself.

I can tell you it doesn’t work out well for them.  Right now what is happening is clear, at both the parental and educational level, children are being robbed of the right to be children.  Cuts, bumps, bruises and scrapes are part of being a kid.  This doesn’t mean we don’t put in basic common sense safety where we can, like soft floor swings for example.  It does mean we need to once again let kids experience pain and injury while they are young enough to learn from it and small enough to in generally not be truly harmed by it.  I have to say now in my 40’s some of the spills I took would be a lot more harmful today, than when I was a kid.  Childhood is about learning and exploration and on some level injuries are part of that experience.

Source – Blog.SFGate.com

“A school district in Washington state is pulling out the swings at all schools because of pressure from insurance companies over liability, according to KEPR-TV.

Richland School District has already torn out swings at some schools and they’re fast-tracking an effort to remove them all.

“As schools get modernized or renovated or as we’re doing work on the playground equipment, we’ll take out the swings, it’s just really a safety issue, swings have been determined to be the most unsafe of all the playground equipment on a playground,” Richland School District’s Steve Aagard told KEPR-TV.

Labeling swings as dangerous seems to be part of this greater movement in America to make playgrounds excessively safe. Cement is being replaced with rubber surfacing or cedar chips to soften falls. Tall towers and walls are torn down to make way for tamer, low-lying structures. See-saws and merry-go-rounds are a thing of the past.

The modern-day structures are so safe that moms and dads can comfortably talk on their cell phones while their kids run amok–yet they’re also so safe that kids get bored of the equipment by the time they reach age 7.

Children need equipment that challenges them physically and teaches them how to navigate tricky situations. If a kid never figures out how to climb down a tall ladder or hang onto a merry-go-round that’s spinning him around at 5 mph, how’s he ever going to navigate the real world? The “dangerous” situations kids encounter at playgrounds help build common sense.”

Read more at Blog.SFGate.com


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  1. Reply Matt DeGelleke 14/10/14

    I grew up as you did. I don’t understand the weakness being bred into children now. When I was growing up, it wasn’t only unusual, but pretty much expected that you’d be having contests to see who could swing the highest and jump the furthest. Hell, when I was a child I also used to jump whole sets of cement steps going down 10 steps or more and teachers would actually cheer me on as I showed off. What a pathetic world this has become… especially during an age when being pathetic will ruin your country or get you killed.

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