Liability Insanity Stripping U.S. Playgrounds

I wish I could blame this on a specific government agency or authority, but the problem is widespread cultural liability insanity. Here’s the way KEPR reported it: “Richland School District Is Saying Goodbye to Swings.”

Many playgrounds have replaced cement with cedar or rubber surfacing. The cement was just too dangerous. Now, swings are in the line of fire.

Swings are being phased out of Richland schools. The district says pressure from insurance companies  over the liability is part of the issue.

Swings are blamed for the most injuries of any play equipment.

Richland School District already removed them from some campuses and will phase them out of the rest.

“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,” said Richland School District’s Steve Aagard.

Each year, about 200,000 children go to the emergency room for injuries that happened on a playground. 

Muge Kaineoz’s daughter will be starting school next year. She’s in favor of the decision to remove swings.

“When she starts elementary school, those swings can get crazy!”

While there are many ways that children can get hurt on a swing set, sitting on the actual swing isn’t the most dangerous thing. More injuries come from walking in front of or behind a swing.

“I actually witnessed an accident with my own eyes one time,” said Muge.

Muge saw a toddler walk right in front of a swing.

“By the time you could do something about it she was knocked out,” said Muge.

Other parents see swings as a regular part of being a kid, danger or not.

Look, what isn’t dangerous? What activities never lead to injuries under any circumstances?

swing set

Notice where this logic leads. Once swing sets are removed, then there will be a new item that tops the list as the most dangerous equipment on the playground. So inevitably, the playground will devolve into a featureless flat place with cushioning on the ground and “do not run” signs.

If swings are wrong then why not accuse a parent with a swing in the family’s back yard of “endangering a child”?

That’s where all this leads… to arresting parents for letting their kids walk or play outside by themselves.

And some parents willingly help in the construction of this prison.

I realize people really do have accidents and children sometimes get hurt. But it is hard for me to believe that the attitude and decisions that are made to protect us from such accidents are not producing an unhealthy environment for children.

Would raising children in a padded room be good for them?