‘Safe’ Playgrounds, Ironically, Not Good for Kids?
Going completely against the current safety-first trend, the New York Times’ John Tierney asserted that the measures people have implemented to make playgrounds “safer” haven’t turned out as they anticipated. “There is no clear evidence that playground safety measures have lowered the average risk on playgrounds,” a British risk management professor told Tierney. That professor “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.”
Dr. David Ball, from Middlesex University said: “This sounds counterintuitive but it shouldn’t because it’s a common phenomenon. If children and parents believe they are in an environment which is safer than it actually is, they will take more risks.”
Additionally, by taking away monkey bars and tall slides, Tierney quoted a series of experts saying that that robs children of the opportunity to learn how to overcome fears of “heights and high speed.” (July 2011)